Mindfulness & MBSR

December 24-29, 2023
Join us for a 5-day silent retreat in the Berkshires at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. Mindfulness. Yoga. Nature. Nourishing food. A wonderful way to recharge, as well gain clarity and calm as you prepare for a new year.



Mindfulness is a form of meditation. One pays attention, on purpose, to the present moment experience – bringing an attitude of non-judgment and curiosity.

Several mindfulness practices are taught during the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week course (course materials can be adapted into 1-time introductions or a shorter series).

Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

  • Reduces stress: clinical studies demonstrate that MBSR participation reduces the symptoms of stress.
  • Help with a variety of challenges: anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, circulation, insomnia, chronic pain, and others.
  • Well-Being & Self-Efficacy: practices cultivate an overall sense of well-being and ability to handle the stresses of life.
  • Enhanced self-awareness: Meditations and group exercises develop the practice of awareness of thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, communication and relationships.
  • Facilitates wiser decision making: with greater awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations, and relationships, we have more information on which to base decisions.
  • Learning to Focus the Mind – is also supported by the practices, helping us use our thoughts more effectively.
  • Stress Physiology Education: the curriculum includes basics about how our bodies work – both stress reactions and relaxation – so that we can consciously begin to practice that which supports relaxation.
  • Mindfulness serves a wide range of people: all genders, races, religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, body sizes and images. Techniques are being adapted for people of all ages.
  • Mindfulness serves all body-abledness: even just imagining the physical movements instructed has been demonstrated beneficial. Instructions can be adapted by each individual to fit their body.

Guidance & Facilitation Options:

  • Private coaching / sessions
  • One-time classes & workshops
  • Multi-session Courses
  • Retreats

MBSR – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Foundations Course

  • Stress Reduction: MBSR is an 8-week course (or adapted for Introductions to mindfulness) that provides practices that have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of stress related to daily life, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and other life challenges.
  • Widely Accepted & Used: MBSR is taught world-wide in hospitals, universities, public schools, and workplaces. Therapists and many others are using the MBSR curriculum. This course will be the curriculum as taught by the Mindfulness Institute a the Center for Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University.
  • Empowerment & Self-Awareness: Mindfulness is empowering, since participants are paying attention, on purpose, to the experience of their life – and making more conscious decisions based on this increased awareness.
  • Facilitates relationship: interactive exercises, sharing, and mindful communication techniques build relationship skills.
  • Builds Community: practicing together over a period of 8 weeks, peer support through active listening, as well as sharing of personal experiences and growth, develops a community.


  • 8 2.5-hour class sessions, plus one 7-hour day of practice.
  • Variations available for one-time introductions or shorter course series.


  • Bob Pileggi has more than 10 years of experience practicing and teaching meditation and yoga, having facilitated numerous classes, workshops and residential retreats.
  • Bob is committed to the fostering of empowerment, compassion, relationship, community, and collaboration.
  • Bob has been trained by the Mindfulness Institute at Jefferson University’s Center for Integrative Medicine through it’s MBSR Foundations Course, Teaching Practicum, and Internship (co-teaching a Foundations course).
  • Bob is co-facilitating experiences for Jefferson’s Mindfulness Institute.
  • Bob receives clinical supervision from the Mindfulness Institute at Jefferson University.

Why the need for mindfulness & MBSR?

People experience stress and do not have effective coping mechanisms.

  • In fact some people are so stressed they are not even aware any longer. The feeling of stress becomes habituated.
  • Keeping the body in a state of habitual, or chronic stress can lead to maladaptive/avoidance coping mechanisms (such as substance abuse), and eventually to disease.

Life changes and traumas, including illness, cause stress that we do not have coping mechanisms for.

  • MBSR provides techniques that help reduce physical symptoms of stress and open us to acceptance, rather than resistance, of life’s natural changes.

Sensory and information stimuli constantly bombard people, with little rest.

  • With texting, television, cell phones, email, etc. we receive a continuous flow of information and stimulation that can produce a stress response in the body.
  • MBSR techniques help focus the mind, which is usually relaxing.


  • MBSR was established by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, at University of Massachusetts in 1979.
  • Kabat-Zinn and now 1000s of others have demonstrated clinically the stress-reduction benefits of the MBSR curriculum.
  • The MBSR curriculum is a well-established methodology and generally universally understood amongst MBSR teachers as containing a certain set of fundamental practices and teachings.