Ely Mindfulness Centre

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

The MBSR programme was developed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970’s at the Stress Reduction Clinic, University of Massachusetts Medical School. It was set up to support those suffering from a wide range of chronic psychological and / or physical difficulties.
The programme brings together mindfulness meditations and yoga movements with educational material encompassing the nature of stress. Its purpose is to teach and support the learning of new skills and practices and to encourage new insights into the way we individually respond to our physical and psychological difficulties. Through these learnings we often notice our experience of suffering during times of psychological, emotional and physical challenge reduces and our general sense of well-being improves.
The MBSR programme provides a comprehensive course for those completely new to meditation, as well as offering further learning and development for those who already have an established practice.

MBSR is generally suitable for anybody who is wanting to gain greater insight into themselves and how they react, particularly at difficult / stressful times, and who wish to bring about some sort of positive change for themselves.
It is well evidenced to support those suffering from chronic psychological and physical difficulties such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and chronic illness.
Mindfulness does not seek to find ways of ‘getting rid of’ stress, dis-stress, depression or discomfort. Instead, it teaches us how best we can ‘be’ with whatever is already present, thereby helping us make wise choices for ourselves as to how we may choose to respond and move forward . MBSR is therefore also very suited to those who are seeking, more generally, to find a more satisfying, resourceful and resilient way of living and being for themselves.
Please note, MBSR is not recommended for anyone currently experiencing a deep depressive episode. Please contact me to discuss your individual circumstances if you are uncertain.

The course runs over 9 weeks. The first session is an Introductory Session to the MBSR 8 week programme and is an integral part of the course. Participants are expected to attend all 9 sessions.
Sessions will last for 2 hours with a maximum of 15 participants.
The Introductory Session will give an overview of the course with time to ask questions . You will also be asked to complete a brief information sheet about yourself and why particularly you want to do the course at this time. Following this session all participants will have up to a 20 minute telephone conversation with Sarah before the start of the programme itself. This gives an opportunity to clarify any further questions and to check together that this is the right time for you to do the course. If at this point we decide that it might not be the best time for you to continue with the programme then a full refund will be given, or transfer to a later course.
Each subsequent session will consist of mindful practices, group reflection and discussion, home practice reflection and discussion and theoretical input around the nature of stress.

Please note:
Learning and practicing mindfulness is a discipline which takes time and commitment.
Home practice forms a key part of this course and you will be required to practice one or more meditations daily in-between each session. You will need to put aside up to 60 minutes, in total, daily for practice and reflection.
Please consider seriously whether you are prepared to meet this commitment before booking.

Sarah Parkin

Sarah is a qualified Mindfulness trainer experienced in delivering both the full Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course as well as shorter workshops and talks. She taught, for a number of years, a variety of Mindfulness courses to both students and staff at Cambridge University and has co-facilitated a number of MBSR courses at Cambridge Buddhist Centre.
Sarah is listed on the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations which ensures the integrity of Mindfulness classes and recognises trainers whose practice meets the Good Practice Guidelines.

If, after reading the above you are interested but not quite sure whether this course is for you or not then please contact me. I will be very happy to give any further information or to help clarify whether this course is right for you at this time.

Please contact me to book a place.
Payment can be made via online bank transfer or cheque (details will be given)
Your place will be confirmed once payment has been received.
Please let me know if you have any special physical or psychological requirements that I should be made aware of at the time of booking.

If you decide to cancel your place following payment the following charges will be made:
Up to 2 months prior to course commencing: 25%.
2 – 8 weeks prior to course commencing: 50%
2 weeks or less prior to course commencing: 100 %.

A full refund will be given following the Introduction session and telephone call if for any reason you and / or I decide it is not best time for you to be doing the course.
No further refunds will be given once the course is underway.


  • Ely Cathedral Conference Centre is about 10 minutes walk from Ely train station. There is on street parking nearby and a public car-park.
  • The venue is wheelchair accessible; the room is on the first floor and has a lift.
  • The sessions take place in a quiet room, facilities include provision for hot and cold drinks and toilets. There will be time to arrive early and make a drink and settle before the start of each session.
  • You do not need to buy any particular equipment. Mats and blankets will be provided and the chairs used are very suitable for meditation.
  • The longer session will be an extended practice session. You will be invited to bring your own supper.
  • Each participant will receive a comprehensive MBSR Handbook and links to guided meditation practices.

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