classes/events

Classes and Events

Please subscribe to the email newsletter for information about mindfulness and to stay informed of upcoming course and event offerings.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a workshop designed to teach you skills and tools to reduce your experience of stress along with its negative health impacts. You’ll learn skills for regulating and lowering stress reactivity, as well as how to relax your body, quiet your mind and open your heart. All it takes is a consistent commitment.

classesNeurological research demonstrates that practicing MBSR actually changes the structure of the brain! With a 30+ year history of effectiveness, I’m pleased to be trained to teach MBSR and offer it to the greater Traverse City community.

This workshop is a combination of ancient wisdom and modern medicine, creating one of the most effective programs for harmonious, healthy living available today. Learn how to reduce your stress, change your relationship to physical or emotional pain, and cope with the demands of everyday life. Deepen your relationship with yourself, others, and the places you work, live and play. You will receive personal, supportive, guided instruction in mindfulness practices – leading to less stress and greater health and happiness in your life.

What is Mindfulness all about?

What does training in MBSR do? Too often we spend our days on “automatic-pilot”, worrying about the future or analyzing the past and, as a result, we are not able to fully bring our energy and resources to deal with the very real difficulties and challenges we all face in the present moment. MBSR teaches the art and science of paying attention (on purpose) to the present moment with open and non-judgmental awareness. By learning to pay attention in this way, we learn to respond skillfully to life’s challenges rather than react automatically, thereby increasing stress reactivity in the body. Through the skills taught in this workshop, you will train and “tame” your mind to be less reactive and responsively resilient. A growing body of research demonstrates that engagement in this series of classes (combined with home practice sessions) literally changes the structure of the brain! Mindfulness is both an art and a science. It is a skillset, and a way of living.

This powerful workshop curriculum was created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979. It encourages you to be an active participant in your health and well being. Mindfulness is a natural human capacity that can be strengthened to help access our inner abilities to respond more effectively to stress, pain and illness. People who complete MBSR training report more effective skills to cope with stress and an increased ability to relax, resulting in significant decreases in reported physical and psychological symptoms, reduction in pain, greater energy, in addition to feeling emotionally and physically aware and alive. This workshop teaches skills and practices that can be utilized daily and built upon following the conclusion of classes.

Participants will receive customized, step-by-step instruction of mindfulness practices (lying down, sitting and walking), gentle stretching/movement, inquiry exercises to enhance self awareness, group dialogue as support, and weekly home assignments. An average of 30-45 minutes of practice, six days a week is recommended to maximize workshop goals.

This is an evidence based workshop curriculum created and designed specifically to benefit those who are experiencing:

  • Stress (work, family, financial, health)
  • Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Preventing Depressive Relapse
  • A sense of overwhelm within a fast paced, high tech and complex society.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • And/Or those wishing to learn skills to increase quality of life and prevent stress related disease.

In a safe, accepting and supportive classroom environment, you will develop and explore:

  • Mindful awareness as a means to reduce stress and improve health and concentration.
  • Flexibility of body and mind to be responsive and adaptive in choosing effective options in your daily life.
  • Increased sense of compassion and kindness for yourself and others.
  • “Equanimity” – a means of balanced and conscious responding rather than automatically reacting to stress triggers and patterns.

“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We feel more alive. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation and healing”~Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

It is important to remember that this program is not intended to serve as a substitute for proper medical care. It is recommended that you speak with your physician and inform your healthcare providers of your participation in this program. If you are unsure if the activities in this program are right for you, please approach your concerns in a private interview with Dr. Gray. If you are actively abusing substances, are in an abusive relationship, or have active symptoms of psychoses or suicidal thoughts, you will be assisted in seeking appropriate resources to support you so that you may return to consider MBSR in the future.

Please know that you can learn to regain a connection with inner peace, strength and wisdom, no matter with is happening around you. Mindfulness is a skill that is learned, strengthened and retained with practice.

Past Participants Say:

“My life was transformed by this class and Lori’s guidance. My family and co-workers noticed a huge difference!”

“I now look forward to going to work…..something I would never have dreamed could happen! Thank you!”

“The things that stressed me out completely before, now feel manageable. When I’m upset, I’m better able to calm myself and make good decisions going forward.”

“I’m sleeping better than I have in years! Much less chronic pain and physical symptoms that had my physician stumped for answers. My body is learning to take care of itself!”

“Thank you for sharing MBSR and helping me get my life back.”

Your Instructor

Dr. Lori Gray is a licensed doctoral psychologist and a student of mindfulness at the Center for Mindfulness in the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. She has completed professional training with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Center’s current director, Saki Santorelli. Lori has also recently completed a 70 hour practicum at the Center for Mindfulness, a 92 hour Teacher Development Workshop and is currently supervised by a senior MBSR instructor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness. She received received certification from the Center for Mindfulness as an MBSR instructor in 2014.

Not able to attend this time, but would like to stay informed of future classes? The best way to stay updated regarding future MBSR courses is to sign up for my newsletter. You will see the sign-up in the left side margin. Signing up is a guarantee that you will receive announcements of workshop offerings as well as informative articles emphasizing mindfulness in daily living.

To learn more about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, I invite you to visit the site where I’m receiving my teacher training and supervision. Simply click here to visit the site for the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine and Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Make this the year of Mindful Living! What are you waiting for?