Students and private mentoring clients share their experiences.
This program showed me a new way to live--a much more full experience in my everyday experiences. I learned to meditate in new ways, opening myself to healing compassion I did not know (or want to admit) I truly needed. Stan was such a phenomenal teacher--he gave wonderful classes and was available for make-up classes as needed. He went above and beyond anything I could have imagined. This course truly changed my life.
~Samantha, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
I came into this course a nervous wreck, had a depressive episode four months prior, and full of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. But with Stan's guidance and kindness, I am now confident, happy and serene. I've had a good performance review, mended relations with people, and through the deepest longing meditation found a new direction in life. I am completely changed, and I'm very thankful.
~Jeremy, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Before attending this MBSR class, I had relatively little prior experience with meditation. The course definitely helped me gain insight into causes of stress and practical ways to address it. But the benefits of the course were much broader. There was a significant benefit from attending classes and participating in the class discussions. The class was very open and non-judgmental, with no pressure to share beyond what was comfortable. Also, the CDs that Stan made available for home use provide several different types of guided meditation which are all easy to follow. I had to miss one class but Stan was very accommodating in emailing material that was covered in the class that I missed. Since completing this MBSR course, I have continued with regular meditation (and basic yoga) practice. I highly recommend both this course and Stan as a teacher.
~Terry, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
The beauty of this course is every bit due to the skill and talent of the teacher, Stan, as it is the profoundly rich materials and practices. With compassion, humor and humility, Stan guides students through the carefully constructed mindfulness practices that have the potential to bring powerful changes into our daily lives. I wanted to return to meditation but had no idea of how much more deeply this practice of mindful meditation could go. It opens up the connection between mind and body, not on an intellectual level, but through true physical awareness of sensations and their connections to feelings and thoughts. Through that awareness I finally understood how shifts in beliefs and behavior are truly possible. What a gift to yourself and others to carry into each day of your life that can make for more peaceful, sane responses to stresses and kindness to yourself and others. Stan creates an emotionally safe community for that to unfold.
~Delsi, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
This course showed me how to put mindfulness into action in my life. The many class exercises and experiences helped me to become aware of body sensations and underlying thoughts associated with feelings and reactions to stressors. I learned how to be kind to myself through self-kindness meditation. Many different meditation experiences were provided. This class was full of information and rich experiences that enable one to keep coming back to the present moment. Thank you, Stan.
~Karen, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
I highly recommend this class for anyone interested in a richer, more positive, life experience. Stan is a fantastic teacher, has tremendous compassion, understanding, knowledge, and a great guided meditation voice. He also clearly connects what we are learning and practicing to our daily lives. I took this class because I wanted to make meditation a more regular practice in my life and was just not doing it. So my only expectation was that this class might help me meditate (I didn’t even know it was focused on mindfulness). It turned out to be so much more, and tremendously more helpful for general life skills than I was anticipating. It gave me skills to help me stay more centered in irritable situations, and compassion for myself and others that makes life so much enjoyable! It also helped with a more positive and realistic concept of myself. I feel more resilient in the face of the everyday ups and downs of life.
~Meghan, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
This course helped strengthen and deepen my meditation practice. We learned to become familiar with the physical symptoms of our emotional states and watch thoughts float by like leaves on a stream. In a life characterized by inevitable stress, pain, confusion, and chaos, the MBSR class really teaches you to surf the waves rather than fight against the current. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. In my case, I have noticed a giant transformation from how I dealt with stress, anxiety, and sadness before and after the course. This is easily the best money and time I've ever spent for anything in my life. The material and structure of the course by itself is amazing. In my opinion, however, it wouldn't have been nearly as great if it weren't for the man in the front of the room, Stan. He is an extremely talented teacher and role model.
~Charlie, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
For as long as 8 weeks sounds, the class breezed by in a flash. I miss it and the gang dearly, which is an indication of how much I appreciated this class. Given my struggles with chronic, intense physical pain + fatigue + anxiety/depression along with everything that comes with that baggage, the strategies or tools/techniques we learned have helped me greatly. For the first time since I was diagnosed with this TN, I am learning to "be with it" as opposed to just seeking to be "fixed" or pretending it away or busying my mind as opposed to learning to deal, live and find some peace. Still have a very long way to go, but def see life through a completely new lens now. I continue to meditate daily, in fact, some days Ill do multiple depending on the severity of the TN episodes. Have not gotten the entire meditation without guidance down, but working on it. Thank you Stan for your guidance and introducing me to meditation and mindfulness.
~Albee, on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
I have become more sensitive to taking another person’s perspective and also to considering their possible intentions. I have noticed that after meditating I am more calm and even-keeled, positive, strong, optimistic. I feel like I ruminate far less than before on emotionally-laden events.
~Arlene, on Deepening Practice
One of the things I take away is the cultivation of space to feel and connect to my body through difficult emotions and uncertainty. I feel like I have gained access to a core, central voice of wisdom that is just waiting for me to access at any moment.
~Raisa, on Deepening Practice
Going in I had no real expectations. But by the end of the course, I found my way of responding to my pain and disability had changed dramatically. And I was feeling better for it--physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
~Jean, on Deepening Practice
Course organization, delivery, and content were among the best I’ve taken to effect behavioral change. The exercises, meditations, and homework addressed many of the challenges I have with chronic pain in the way I perceive, feel, and communicate with myself and others. Stan’s teaching was tops. His focus on intent, self-kindness, and self-compassion enabled me to explore my thoughts and feelings without falling down the rabbit hole of self-condemnation and hopelessness. I smiled a few days last week for no reason. I know that I smiled a lot, and that others noticed. Even this weekend, when I experienced a high level of pain, I could still turn up the corners of my mouth and smile.
~Janice, on Inviting Chronic Pain and Illness to Tea
The course was comprehensive, methodical and clear. Each step of the training built upon what had come before. Stan is a gifted teacher who hears his students deeply and helps the group bond. The guided meditations were particularly helpful, as were the supporting written materials. But most importantly the course has heart. Stan was in the moment flexible with what was working or not working with the group, adjusting and adapting as needed. In our interviews, he asked skillful questions to evoke perspectives and discussion when I was stuck in knowing what I wanted to talk about. The email daily gratitude practice, which our group continued, was rich and became the most important part of the course for me. Of course it would not have worked so well without everything else. I really appreciated Stan recording the two sessions I was not able to attend. It made a big difference not missing that material.
~Beth, on Inviting Chronic Pain and Illness to Tea
I was reminded of RAIN, a tool that I think is quite useful. I was able to introduce my partner to meditation in the applied context of some challenging relationship issues we're dealing with. In many ways, this day was more helpful than the couples therapy we've been doing. The difficult conversation practice gave us an opportunity to communicate the journey we'd each been on that day in relation to a recent painful event. I clarified my desires in this relationship and was able to communicate those.
~Workshop Participant, on Mindful Relationships
I know a lot of the things I need to work on, but it is difficult to face those issues. I found the exercises and strategies presented at the workshop to be very powerful because each of them helped me get to the core, or the essence of what I would like to achieve. Each exercise and strategy had a purpose and was interconnected. I definitely walked away feeling more accomplished and positive.
~Workshop Participant, on Mindful Relationships
When the mind tries to overrule the body...the body reacts. Listen to the body and the body will say when it’s ready.
Because of Stan’s gentle, non-judging, skillful abilities to witness and guide...for the first time I felt supported enough to go through a PTSD episode with him there. In fact he was the first to recognize my PTSD. It was such a relief to have someone see it, stay with me through it and then help me find within myself the resources to recover from it. And then little by little the underlining trauma revealed itself....
This is how I describe our work together. It is my session. I decide what we look at. I choose how we might get a little closer to whatever disturbs me or more importantly whatever rises up in meditation or reflection during the time between sessions. Stan offers suggestions, reminders and reflections. It’s my journey. Stan acts as my "guardrails" and a wise overseer. He reminds me of how far I have journeyed and how difficult the work has been.
Stan reminds me that it isn’t a straight path in fact he describes it as a puzzle where we wait for pieces in different parts to reveal themselves and then we glean understanding. He helped me develop the compassionate inner resources which are available to me even in the darkest, most traumatic memories. Stan reminds me that I am strong and dedicated. I am an open hearted warrior.
~Marianne, on private mentoring sessions
Stan has been my meditation teacher for approximately seven years and mentor for two. As my teacher, he has provided guidance and resources that have enriched my spiritual exploration(s). As a mentor, he has worked alongside to help me navigate my sometimes challenging inner journey. Stan, with his intuitive, kind, and gentle approach, has been a trusted ally who has helped me find my inner resources in the midst of living this life.
~Linda, on private mentoring sessions
Stan providing online mentoring was more than a lucky break as there are no local teachers in my area. Despite the online setting, Stan‘s friendly and compassionate attitude crosses the digital divide and lets you feel right at home with the teachings.
Cherishing independence and self-reliance, I hesitated to seek help from a teacher. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Stan encouraged me to challenge my stale meditation techniques, try out new ways of meditating and trust my inner wisdom to guide my practice. Stan‘s skillful questions let me drop down from my head into my body and allow sensations to play out rather than suppressing them. Stan's teaching style encourages freedom and self-guidance.
Since Stan started mentoring me, many of the metaphors that I read in Buddhist books came to life in my practice. This reinvigorated trust in my practice which changed my life.