Recreational Sports Programs

Mindfulness Info

Mindfulness Serving Life Class- Winter 2015

Thursdays 6:30-8:30pm

1/15, 1/29, 2/12, 2/26


Non-members will need to purchase a single quarter IMA membership for $66 + tax.

Register Here Choose Course Offerings then Mind/Body.


What is Mindfulness Serving Life?

Mindfulness is the practice of sustained focus, self-regulation, self-exploration, and self-liberation with an accepting, open and kind attitude.  This practice can produce calmness and expanded awareness.  Neurophysiological studies have shown increased brain growth and function in areas of emotional control and executive function in as little as 8 weeks.  Course evaluations show decreased stress, improved self image, and improved emotional regulation. Improved concentration and less anxiety are common outcomes.

The course consists of  4 weekly 2 hour sessions.  The methods of the course are briefly the following:

  • Sitting meditation
  • Body scans and body awareness practice–no athleticism required.  Some practices may include lying down but position is optional.  Yoga mats or floor cushions are responsibility of student and not provided.
  • Home formal meditation practice-approx. 45 minutes/day maximum.
  • Regularity is better and is more productive than large amounts of time.
  • Class discussions
  • Personal examination of experience and our ability to mold experience.
  • Personal acceptance practice
  • Empathy practice
  • Learning to better separate “mind creations” and “reality”
  • There is no required book or reading homework.  Experiencing as opposed to “book learning” is encouraged.

The course requires a commitment to completion.  The concepts usually come together and there is a shift in perspective around half way through the course.  The goal of the course is to provide an alternative framework for experiencing and operating in the world that will be less stressful, anxiety provoking, and require fewer struggles.  There is data that highly suggests the program can increase the participants’ well-being and improve function and empathy.

The full 8 week course Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction will be offered at the IMA at least one quarter per year. This new course, Mindfulness Serving Life, is being offered for those who would like to learn about mindfulness or sustain their practice with a four week rather than 8 week commitment. It will be offered in the quarters that MBSR is not offered.

Instructor Bio

Richard (Rick) E. Berger, MD, Professor Emeritus in the Medical School at the University of Washington, is the primary teacher of MindfulnessNW. He received his undergraduate education and medical degree from The University of Chicago. He received mindfulness teaching training at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness (certification requirements completed) founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn and  received a Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation from the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California in Los Angeles.   Rick has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPS) classes at the University of Washington Hospital to staff and residents, the University of Washington Intramural Activities Center and the Center for Child and Family Wellness. He is also holds a certificate to teach children and adolescents from Inner Kids and Mindful Schools and teaches mindfulness in the Seattle Public Schools.  His ongoing practice includes daily meditation, yoga, silent retreats and continuing education in mindfulness and related areas.

Dr. Berger is trained in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) tradiition, which was founded over thirty years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.  The course has a basis in eastern psychology but is very applicable to modern secular life.