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Penn State Health Mindfulness

Why Mindfulness?

We live in a world that has become increasingly distracted. Many of us are juggling busy schedules, trying to keep up with the demands of work or family life. In the face of stress or pain we may find ourselves coping in ways that do more harm than good. Mindfulness offers a different way to meet the challenges that arise in our lives. It is a practice that is beautifully simple and practical, and yet also a radical departure from our mainstream way of living.

Reasons to practice mindfulness are as varied and personal as our individual lives. Over 40 years of scientific evidence shows the effectiveness of mindfulness for stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, among other problems. Better yet, these practices have been shown to enhance quality of life for healthy people. We can all benefit from building these time-honored practices in our modern lives.

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Regardless of our motivations, mindfulness offers each and every one of us an opportunity to know ourselves better, so that we might live fuller lives, with less stress and more joy. Follow the links to see which Mindfulness Program at Penn State Health is right for you today.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

This evidence-based, eight-week course is the foundation of the modern mindfulness movement. Developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, this course has been offered in hospitals around the world since 1979. Thousands of research studies have demonstrated its effectiveness for stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and hypertension, among other conditions. Our qualified teachers provide the same curriculum as seen in these studies, and our own quality assurance data demonstrates statistically significant improvements in stress, depression, and anxiety among participants. Are you ready to take a step toward well-being? Learn more about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

Community Practice

Led by experienced mindfulness teachers, the Wednesday and Friday Community Practice sessions offer participants a chance to strengthen their mindfulness and meditation skills free of charge. During the community practice sessions the mindfulness instructor will offer a brief mindfulness lesson followed by a guided meditation practice. These short, 30-minute weekly sessions are perfect for both beginners who are curious about mindfulness, as well as experienced meditators who enjoy the structure and support of a mindfulness community. Absolutely no meditation experience is necessary to attend. Click here to register.

Introduction to Mindfulness

This two-hour, one-time class is designed to provide a strong base for further mindfulness exploration. During the course the instructor(s) will lead participants through the major concepts and meditation practices of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. This is an interactive session, offering a combination of didactic teaching, meditation practice and open discussion. This course can be taken alone, or it can be a precursor to the longer eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class.

Now is the only time you have to start your journey. Click here to register.

Two-Hour Silent Retreat

The two-hour silent retreat offers participants an opportunity to strengthen their meditation skills in the company of a supportive mindfulness community. A variety of meditation practices are offered during the retreats, including guided meditation, mindful movement and walking meditation. Silence is embraced and encouraged during these retreats, not out of censorship, but as a means of self-reflection. The two-hour silent retreat offers a brief but powerful meditation retreat experience that can fit into almost any schedule. Some prior meditation experience is encouraged but not required. Click here to register.

People are saying...

"Mindfulness has enhanced not only my healing journey but my life."


"Mindfulness is so helpful in our daily lives, wish I knew about this before!"


"I am learning that time set aside for mindfulness meditation provides benefits that extend throughout the day. When stress occurs, I know that I can use my mindfulness practice to reduce stress, get more in touch with my physical body, get out of my thinking, processing mind and be more thoughtful and kind (to others AND to myself.)"