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Psychiatry

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) Brochure

11/01/2008

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein

What is mindful awareness?

Mindful awareness, also called mindfulness, is the process of being present with experiences as they occur by actively paying attention to one’s thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. It is an ancient concept involving self-awareness and introspection.With more than 2,500 years of history and development, mindfulness has recently been brought into healthcare settings and has been shown to play a powerful role in overall health promotion and healing. It is a skill that is accessible to anyone, and can be developed through meditation, yoga, tai chi, chi gong and other mind-body practices. Mindfulness can also be cultivated through such activities as art,music, writing or walking in nature. The term Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPS) is used to describe a range of activities that foster increased mindfulness.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Developing mindful awareness can profoundly affect health and the healing process — from boosting the immune response to changing brain activity. Research demonstrates the important role of mindful awareness in reducing stress and promoting healing for a variety of physical and mental illnesses, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression.

How can I learn more about mindful awareness?

There are many ways one can learn about and develop skills in mindful awareness. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) offers options that are available to the public, and many are eligible for continuing-education and/or professionaldevelopment credit.

  • Six-week MAPS classes develop and/or strengthen a personal mindfulness meditation and daily practice. Specialty classes are geared toward seniors, teens, schools, teachers and healthcare professionals.
  • Daylong retreats focus on sitting and walking meditations and practical inquiry into different aspects of mindfulness. Programs are available for beginners and experienced mindfulness practitioners.
  • Workshops explore the science and educational applications of mindfulness. Topics include mindfulness and cancer, education, psychotherapy, parenting, aging and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • The Mindfulness and Integrated Medicine Seminar hosts speakers each month throughout the academic year.
  • MARC offers community talks on the art and science of mindfulness.
  • MARC experts offer training programs for mindfulness facilitators.

About MARC

The mission of MARC is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan, through education and research, in order to promote well being and a morecompassionate society.

Education: MARC conducts workshops on the science and practice of mindfulness for the general public, the UCLA community, medical and mental healthcare professionals, educators, parents and youth.

Research: MARC is engaged in the study of both the biological mechanisms of mindfulness and the impact Mindful Awareness Practices have on the brain and behavior, including learning, memory, attention, emotion regulation and qualities of compassion, connectedness and creativity.

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
760 Westwood Plaza, 47-444 NPI
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: 310 206 7503 Fax: 310 206 4446
Email: marcinfo@ucla.edu
http://marc.ucla.edu/





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