“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf!” 

Jon Kabat-Zinn


Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

The next course is in Castlemaine.
Please note that this group will now be held in Term 2, beginning Wednesday 8th May.


Developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the U.S., Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is the most renowned and researched evidence-based 8-week meditation program in the world. When people now talk about “the benefits of mindfulness,” they are often relying on the research done on this particular and intensive program that includes 30-45minutes of guided meditation each day for 8 weeks, plus comprehensive training and practice around living more mindfully in ways that enhance and support our everyday lives.

 Proven to increase awareness and mental, physical and emotional resilience and wellbeing, MBSR participants typically finish the program reporting they feel happier, more aware and present, more able to deal with pain, stress or difficulty, and more connected and empowered to live in ways that feel healthy and meaningful. Jon Kabat-Zinn initially developed the program for patients at the Medical Center with life-threatening illness or chronic pain and the health professionals who worked with them. As the above quote suggests, his vision was that MBSR is not about escaping stress or pain which after all is inevitable in any human life, but rather a training and ongoing practice that supports us to live and work more skilfully and compassionately with whatever we might be up against at any given time – embracing the messiness of a big and meaningful life or what he calls “Full Catastrophe Living!”  Part of this training is learning how to catch ourselves when we are worrying or ruminating so that we don’t just stay stuck in the type of automatic thinking patterns that take us in the direction of more stress, anxiety or depression.

 After years of the research on MBSR showing consistently positive outcomes, a group of leading international psychologists teamed up with Kabat-Zinn and colleagues to develop their own version of the program specifically targeting depression.  This Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has consistently proven more effective than medication for preventing the re-occurrence of depression, an amazing finding that over the past 15 years or so has slowly transformed psychological treatment strategies such as CBT and fuelled the explosion of interest in all things mindfulness.  Mindfulness is now mainstream, thanks mostly to the research done on MBSR, MBCT and a small handful of other high quality and evidence-based training programs.  It is wonderful these days that mindfulness practices and trainings are so easy to find but it also is important to understand that the more intensive and evidence-based programs – all taught by long-term meditators with extensive training – that have been proven to provide more brain change and lasting benefit.

 Whether you are a stressed-out corporate high flyer, a nurse, teacher or counsellor wanting to protect against burn-out, or have been referred for depression or anxiety, participants find that they have much more in common than not – that stress is universal and there are proven ways of approaching our stress so that we can experience less suffering and more contentment.  We all share the same tricky nervous systems and mammal brains designed for survival, not ease, and the program is about finding out for ourselves whether daily meditation practice helps to create less stress and more satisfaction, compassion, wisdom or happiness.  It is also about finding, connecting and aligning with our own core values and purpose, so that we are more empowered to live well and with meaning, no matter what we might be up against at any given time.


Next MBSR Program – Enrol Now

Castlemaine, beginning Wednesday 8th May

The Forge, 341 Barker St, Castlemaine
8 x Wednesdays, 11:30-2:30pm plus full Retreat Day as per details below:


Week 1: Stepping out of Automatic Pilot & Waking up; Wednesday 8th May, 11:30-2:30pm (including lunch break)
Week 2: Perception: The relationship between Stress & Suffering and how we perceive what is happening in any given moment; Wednesday 15th May
Week 3: The Power and Pleasure of being present (and in our bodies)!: Wednesday 22 May
Week 4: Approaching Emotional Stress and Difficulty more skilfully (Resilience): Wednesday 29 May
Week 5: Stress Physiology and Working with rumination and unhelpful thinking patterns: Wednesday 5 June
Silent Retreat Day: Saturday 8th June 10:00-4.30pm (venue TBC)
Week 6: Interpersonal Mindfulness & Compassion: Wednesday 12 June
Week 7: Living on Purpose & according to our Core Values: Wednesday 19th June
Week 8: Mindfulness as an ongoing way of living and being. Wednesday 24th June


Concession EarlyBird $469 (paid by 1st May), $499 (after 1st May)
Full EarlyBird $569 (paid by 1st May), $599 (1st May)
Repeating MBSR with Maggie - $299 (including all new materials)
Frequent Flyers (2 or more of any courses or retreats with Maggie) please take an additional $30 off whatever price you are paying.

 Please email Maggie if you wish to pay by instalments

The fee includes approximately 30 hours session time which works out around $15 per hour for Concession price or $19 per hour if you are paying Full rate.  You also receive a comprehensive 120 page Coursebook and an App for your computer or phone with many different guided mindfulness meditation practices.  As an Openground MBSR graduate you will also be eligible to attend any of the quarterly silent retreat days in Melbourne at a nominal fee (just to cover morning/afternoon tea) or to go on to train as an MBSR teacher.

To secure your place, please enrol by filling in the enrolment form below, and pay your nominated amount via direct deposit to:

Bank Account Name: Margaret O'Shea
BSB: 633 000
Account number: 145643953
Reference: Your initials plus MBSR C



  • A 3-hour class (including tea/meal break), once a week for 8 weeks plus one full retreat day (approximately 30 hours total class time)

  • Mindfulness meditation training (in stillness and movement), including daily practice at home of 30-45 minutes using guided recordings from an App or CDs & a Coursebook as a guide.

  • Exploring patterns of thinking, feeling, body sensations, and behaviour

  • Brief lectures & discussion

  • Individual feedback & phone support when needed


More about Maggie & her Mindfulness teaching

A long-term meditator, Maggie has specialised in teaching mindfulness since beginning her teacher training with Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) founders Jon Kabat Zinn & Saki Santorelli in 2009. From 2010-2017 she offered local MBSR groups in addition to facilitating MBSR groups in Hawthorn each school term for Openground, Australia’s leading Mindfulness Teaching Training body. In recent years she has also been offering Kristin Neff & Chris Germers’ Mindful Self Compassion training (MSC); Rick Hansons’ Positive Neuro-plasticity Training (PNT); and a Deep Rest program combining mindfulness with practices from the tradition of YogaNidra.