Mindfulness Programs

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Mindfulness is the experience of developing particular awareness to the present moment without judgement.  The practice of mindfulness includes drawing attention to the breath, the entire body, physical sensations, thoughts, and sounds.  Exploring mindfulness comes in many ways and forms but is often associated with meditation, walking, and yoga or body movement.  Mindfulness has a place in nearly all faith and spiritual traditions but it not specifically tied to one religion nor is a religious practice in of itself.  Mindfulness cultivates a path into developing awareness and response to the everyday stress of life.  For thousands of years, students of mindfulness have understood the benefits and agency of these practices and now the latest neurological science also lends an empirical understanding as well.

The varied practices of mindfulness are as broad as they are deep.  The invitation from Religious & Spiritual Life is to explore and be supported in this gift through the understanding of spirituality as a component of the Eight Dimension of Wellness

Where do I start?

MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) is the complete and foundational 8 week curriculum designed to guide participants into an ongoing practice of mindfulness through various techniques.  Learn more here.

Mindfulness Meditation | Fridays during the Academic Quarter | Noon-12:25pm 
Multi-Belief Space (Parkes 204)
Guided sitting meditation to cultivate mindfulness and awareness to the present moment without judgement.  This practice includes paying attention to the breath, the entire body, and sounds.  No previous experience is necessary and first time participants are encouraged to come a few minutes early or to schedule an appointment with Eric Budzynski (e-budzynski@northwestern.edu


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a course designed to guide participants into cultivating a practice of mindfulness through techniques of body awareness, sitting and walking meditation, and mindful movement.  Mindfulness is the experience of developing particular awareness to the present moment without judgement.  MBSR fosters comprehensive personal wellness including an increase in emotional resilience and management of stress, anxiety, and pain.  Pioneered by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, the MBSR curriculum is routinely shared in schools, hospitals, and businesses as a practical way to seek a contemplative path. 


An eight week program with 2.5 hour weekly classes and one all-day retreat.  Participants also engage in home practice for forty-five minutes per day between each class.


Tuition includes an exercise mat and a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living.  Supplemental materials will be provided in class.

Attendance & Commitment

Attendance at each session is critical for immersing yourself into the practice of mindfulness and also in completing the home practice. 

However, “life happens” and participants may miss one session due to illness or an emergency.  If a participant needs to miss two or more sessions they will be allowed to re-take the course at another time with no additional charge.  All absences should be communicated to the instructor.

Participation & Consideration

MBSR includes the practice of walking meditation and mindfulness movement (a gentle form of yoga) and is well-suited to most ability and age levels.  Please consult the instructor for any considerations you may have and if you have any difficulty engaging in any of the techniques at any given time, you are under no obligation to do so.

MBSR is an educational curriculum for personal use and development but not a substitute for medical treatment or psychological intervention.  If you have recently or are currently undergoing treatment for addiction, psychosis, PTSD, clinical depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions you should consult with your therapist or counselor to determine if MBSR is the right setting for your individual needs. 


Eric Budzynski is the Associate for Religious & Spiritual Life at Northwestern University and is a qualified teacher of  Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.  He has been trained at University of California San Diego, University of Massachusetts, Shambhala Mountain Center, & Zen Life & Meditation Center (Chicago).  Eric is a member of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Illinois MBSR Consortium, and Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.  Eric is passionate about connecting the Northwestern community into the spiritual practice of mindfulness as a way of cultivating compassion for one’s self and one another. 

Upcoming Courses

8 week program:  Wednesdays | 5:30pm-8:00pm | October 10 - December 5 (no class on November 21)
All-Day Retreat:  Saturday, November 17 | 9:30am-4:00pm 
Location:  Parkes Hall | 1870 Sheridan Rd. Evanston, IL 60208 
Tuition:  Students $100 | Employees $195 | Public $295
(Need-based scholarship are available.)

Tuition includes a yoga mat and a copy of John Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living.

Open to all students, employees, and community members. Class size is limited. 

Register here to learn about all upcoming MBSR sessions.

For more information contact e-budzynski@northwestern.edu.