Welcome to the Workbook
The Workbook guides StressCare MBSR students through the weekly home assignments. All instructions for the course are in the Workbook and on the StressCare For Current Students page.
Read “Using the Workbook” and do the Orientation tasks before your first class meeting.
This online Workbook contains your assignments, including links for downloading PDFs each week. Students are required to download and print their homework pages, calendars, charts and worksheets—and bring them to their class meetings.
Important: The online Workbook is abridged. You must download and print homework pages to get all your materials.
Download the whole Workbook PDF (30 pages) now. Alternately, you may return to this page each week and print individual PDFs.
Download Workbook Now (PDF link coming soon!)
Table of Contents
- Using the Workbook
- Orientation message to new students
- Orientation Task #1—Read: Technical Requirements for Online Classes
- Orientation Task #2—Read: How to Join a Zoom Meeting
- Orientation Task #3—Read: Prepare for your Online Classes
- Homework message to students
- Home Assignment #1—Theme: One Hour for Yourself
- Home Assignment #2—Theme: Body & Breath, Perception & Responding
- Home Assignment #3—Theme: Pleasure & Connection
- Home Assignment #4—Theme: Stress & Reactivity
- Home Assignment #5—Theme: Suffering & Delight
- Home Assignment #6—Theme: Communication
- All-day Retreat message to students
- Home Assignment #7—Theme: Everyday Practice
- Home Assignment #8—Theme: This is it!
- Concluding message to students
Using the Workbook
Read: Guidelines for Class
- Complete the exercises in the Workbook and be prepared to discuss them. Your instructor will assign homework in each class.
- Print the Workbook before the first online meeting, or print your Workbook pages each week. Plan to use a journal or loose paper (not included) for additional notes.
- Use StressCare’s Guided Meditation Audio for the Workbook exercises. Download or stream Guided Meditations on the For Current Students page or the auxiliary student website, www.StressCare4U.com.
- Always bring your printed Workbook pages and a writing instrument to your online class meetings. Bring your journal notes if you have them.
- Complete the suggested weekly readings in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living, 2013 Edition. The book is not included in the course materials. Reading is recommended but not required.
If you have questions between classes, or must miss a class meeting, contact your instructor, Karin Pfluger at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at (510) 843-1575.
Orientation message to new students
New students, we look forward to meeting you!
Online Live 8-Week MBSR is an interactive web-based program—your full attention and participation will be required. Classes are held on Zoom, an online meeting platform.
Getting set up for class
Set up your computer and personal space for the online class meetings. Read and complete Orientation Tasks #1, #2, & #3 (below) before your first class meeting, the Orientation.
Orientation Task #1
Read: Technology Requirements for Online Classes
This online course requires internet access. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that you have adequate equipment and internet connection.
- Participation will be via your computer (PC or Mac), with interactive audio, video and chat. Tablets and phones may not display all of your classmates on one screen, and are not recommended.
- Classes meet online using Zoom, a web-based video conferencing platform. Participants must download Zoom onto their computer before the first class meeting (see below).
- Internet connection — broadband wired or wireless (WiFi)
- Audio and video — the built-in speakers, microphone and webcam on your computer are usually sufficient
- Optional — USB plug-in or wireless speakers, microphone, or webcam
- Recommended — headphones or earphones/earbuds to enhance sound quality and reduce feedback noise
- Get all system requirements on the Zoom website (see link below)
- Download Zoom by clicking on https://zoom.us/download
- Join a Test Meeting on Zoom, at https://zoom.us/test
- Test your camera and microphone at https://zoom.us/test
- Test your headphones/earphones with the computer you will be using
Other Zoom Links
Zoom System Requirements at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-Requirements-for-PC-Mac-and-Linux
Zoom Support Center at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us
Download Task #1 as PDF (link coming soon)
Orientation Task #2
Read: How to Join a Zoom Class Meeting
Online classes are held on Zoom.
Follow these easy steps to join an online Zoom class meeting:
- First, set up your computer and download Zooom (get info at www.stresscaretraining.org/technical-requirements)
- Next, read about our protocol for online classes (get info at www.stresscaretraining.org/required-preparation)
- Then, check your email. You will get an email invite from StressCare, 24 hours before the start of each class, with a clickable link and other meeting info.
- Open the email, and click on the meeting link
- You’ll automatically be taken to the meeting
- Close open programs or browser windows
- Follow steps 1 through 3 above
- Get the Meeting ID from the email invite
- Go to the Zoom website (at https://zoom.us) – at the top of the home page, click “Join a Meeting”
- Type in the Meeting ID, and click the “Join” button to be taken to the meeting
- Close open programs or browser windows
Download Task #2 as PDF (link coming soon!)
Orientation Task #3
Read: Preparing for Your Online Class
Follow the steps below before joining your first class meeting.
Give yourself ample time to read and prepare, so you can successfully join the online classes. We look forward to seeing you “there”!
1. Set up your computer
- Set up your computer, download Zoom, and join a “test meeting” – see Technical Requirements for Online Classes (p. 3 above)
- Headphones or earphones/earbuds are recommended.
2. Set up your space
- Choose a space where you will be undisturbed.
- You will need floor space for the yoga, walking, and lying-down meditations. Space for walking should be at minimum the length of a yoga mat.
- Set up a comfortable seat in front of your device so your face will be visible on screen, and lit from the front, if possible.
3. Bring the following to each class meeting:
- Yoga mat, camping mat, or thick blanket for the floor
- Light blanket to cover the body
- Pillows for support
- Water (hydration)
- Journal, homework pages, and writing instrument
- Optional: Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
4. Be present
- Set aside this time to be fully present for class. Consider leaving your cell phone in another room. Rest inside yourself!
5. Join the class meeting
- Join the class from your email link, or from the Zoom website using the class Meeting ID – get details at www.stresscaretraining.org/how-to-join-zoom.
6. Etiquette during class
- Classes begin and end promptly. Join the meeting a few minutes early, and remain in the “Waiting Room” until the teacher starts the class and lets you in. It is important to be on time.
- Join with video and audio. Your microphone will be muted upon entry – do not unmute your mic. When you are muted you can still hear everything that is going on.
- Acquaint yourself with the controls: Mute/Unmute, Video On/Off, Raise Hand, Chat, and GalleryView/SpeakerView.
- Keep your microphone muted and your video on during class.
- Use Gallery View.
- Use the Chat function sparingly.
- In class discussions, raise your (real) hand to let the teacher know you want to talk. When the teacher calls on you, unmute yourself. When you are done speaking, mute yourself again.
- If you need to leave your spot for a moment or for a bio-break, turn your video off. When you return and are settled in your seat, turn on your video. Keep yourself muted.
You are all set for your first class meeting!
Download Task #3 as PDF (link coming soon!)
Homework message to new students
Weekly Home Assignments begin below
Complete the exercises in each week’s home assignment and be prepared to discuss them in the following class. Your instructor will assign homework in each class.
If you encounter resistance along the way, don’t worry! This is common, and is part of the process. Your effort is best when not too tight and not too loose. Be kind to yourself, and forge ahead, gently! Steady effort is essential—no need to be hard on yourself, just move forward step by step—fitting the practices to your life.
If you have homework difficulties or questions, contact your instructor, Karin Pfluger at email@example.com.
Home Assignment #1
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #1
Theme: One Hour for Yourself
- Download and print this Workbook, if you haven’t done so already.
- Download the Guided Meditation Audio—four meditation tracks—to your device(s), and make sure you can play them. Or, test and plan to stream the Audio from this page or the auxiliary page.
- Spend some time considering what brings you to this course. What do you want for yourself? Reflect on the commitment of time and attention being asked of you. How can you keep this, and your own health and well-being, as a priority? Make journal notes.
- Make one hour for yourself each day this week. Notice when the hour begins, and when it ends. What you do is entirely up to you. Make notes in the One Hour for Yourself worksheet (handout). Make additional journal notes if needed.
Download the whole Workbook now (PDF link coming soon!)
Or, download this week’s pages only:
Home Assignment #1: Download PDF (link coming soon)
One Hour For Yourself Worksheet handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Home Assignment #2
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #2
Theme: Body & Breath, Perception & Responding
- Do the Body Scan once each day, using the Guided Meditation Audio.
- Eat one meal mindfully this week.
- Suggested reading: Full Catastrophe Living, introduction, chapters 1-5.
- Do the Nine-Dots Exercise (handout): Connect all nine dots (sample below) using only straight lines, and no more than four. Do not lift the point of the pencil while drawing the lines. The lines may cross one another, but do not retrace. Don’t Google it—attend to your own process—it all matters! Journal notes optional.
• • •
• • •
• • •
Home Assignment #2: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Nine Dots Exercise handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Home Assignment #3
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #3
Theme: Pleasure & Connection
- Do the Body Scan once each day, using the Guided Meditation Audio.
- Do Sitting Meditation once each day for five minutes, exploring presence on your own.
- Complete the Pleasant Events Calendar (handout).
- Select one activity that you do every day such as washing your face, brushing your teeth, washing a few dishes, taking out the garbage or walking the dog—and do this activity mindfully each day.
- Suggested reading: Full Catastrophe Living, chapters 11-16.
Home Assignment #3: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Pleasant Events Calendar handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Home Assignment #4
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #4
Theme: Stress & Reactivity
- Do the Body Scan every other day using the Audio; on alternate days do Yoga On The Floor, using the Audio.
- Do Sitting Meditation once each day for 10 minutes on your own, with attention on breathing, or using the Audio.
- Complete the Unpleasant Events Calendar (handout).
- During the course of your day, notice those moments in which you are not aware, not present, not paying attention, going on “automatic pilot.” What are the events or circumstances that distract you, that pull you off center?
- Suggested reading: Full Catastrophe Living, chapters 17-20.
Home Assignment #4: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Unpleasant Events Calendar handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Home Assignment #5
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #5
Theme: Suffering & Delight
- Do yoga every day alternating Yoga on the Floor and Yoga On your Feet, using the Audio.
- Do Sitting Meditation once each day for 10 minutes, with attention on breathing, or using the Audio.
- Be aware of stress reactivity during the week, and pause. What are the events or circumstances that led to the stress reaction? Stress reactivity also includes shutting yourself off from difficult situations, or becoming numb or indifferent.
- Complete the Stress Reactions Calendar (handout).
- Suggested reading: Full Catastrophe Living, chapters 7, 21-25.
Home Assignment #5: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Stress Reactions Calendar handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Home Assignment #6
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #6
- Do Sitting Meditation using the Audio at least three times this week. On alternate days, do the Body Scan or Yoga, using the Audio.
- Complete the Difficult Communications calendar (handout).
- Use mindful breathing to slow things down in everyday stressful situations. Notice moments of reactivity and pause.
Explore ways of responding with mindfulness. Make journal notes.
- Suggested reading: Full Catastrophe Living, chapters 8-9, 26-32.
Home Assignment #6: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Difficult Communications Calendar handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
All-day Retreat message to students
Co-creating an online retreat
In our (required) Online All-day Retreat, you’re invited to create your own “retreat hall” at home. We’ll join each other online, on Zoom, for a day of (mostly) silent practice, guided by your instructor. We’ll do our familiar long practices, short practices, and more. There will be sitting and moving and lying down. Bring your water and tea. We’ll have a mindful lunch. Bring your journal and writing instrument. We’ll have a little bit of conversation, but mostly, we’ll be in silence. You’ll have the chance to share retreat insights and experiences in Class #7.
Home Assignment #7
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #7
Theme: Everyday Practice
- Do Sitting Meditation every day using the Audio.
- Do 15 minutes of Yoga every day using the poses and stretches that are most suitable for you, with or without the Audio, or do Walking Meditation.
- Use the Food Chart (handout) to keep track of your food and liquid intake for one entire day. Make note of your physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behavior.
- Bring to class everything you need to perform a hands-on task such as mending a garment, folding laundry, or polishing shoes. Be prepared to do this task in class.
- Suggested reading: Full Catastrophe Living, chapters 10 and 33-36.
Home Assignment #7: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Food Chart handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Home Assignment #8
This Week: To Be Completed for Class #8
Nothing happens next. This is it.
- Each day this week, do one or more of the formal practices—Body Scan, Yoga, Sitting Meditation, Walking Meditation— experimenting with and without the Audio. Make notes in the Meditation Log (handout).
- Select some informal mindfulness practices to be done in the midst of everyday activity—do these every day.
- Bring a gift to our next (and last) class to share, for example, a poem, song, story, object or photograph.
Home Assignment #8: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Meditation Log handout: Download PDF (link coming soon)
Concluding message to students
Congratulations on completing your 8-Week MBSR Course with StressCare
By now you know that this is not an end so much as a beginning. Practice is for a lifetime—nothing short of an embrace of your whole life. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself and others. Stop, breathe, listen, feel, think—and respond to your whole situation with attention and heart. We always have the option to reduce our stress and pain—and be more peaceful, loving and fulfilled.
There is so much to explore and learn! Students’ needs at the end of the course will differ—check in with yourself. You may be needing rest, or you may be wanting a next step right away. StressCare has five recommendations for ongoing practice:
1. Meditate regularly with others (weekly online meditation)
2. Get regular or occasional teacher guidance (Mindfulness 1-on-1 and ACT 1-on-1)
3. Build retreat practice into your life (Return for an online All-day)
4. Take a class to connect with others and explore your understanding
5. Read Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, from cover to cover!
Learn more on StressCare’s Ongoing Practice page.
Thank you for your wholehearted participation in our course! We’re delighted you chose to learn something new with StressCare. We hope to see you again.