A Sampling of Extracts from Evaluation forms from MBSR courses
taught at Freehold & Highland Park NJ
1. The present moment, for me, is what is real. The past is gone, the future unknown. Even with the intention to be in the present, I see how my mind is drawn in other directions, sometimes self-imposed and self-distracted. What as been especially helpful in this class is the emphasis on being gentle with oneself when this distraction is noted. -- I was inspired by the selected poetry and benefited from the class and our discussions. Ken’s teaching was lucid and uplifting, reflecting his own sincere, committed practice. I am grateful. –J.W. children’s librarian
2. What I have learned about the nature of the present moment is that that is all there is. -- When I focus on the present moment, my perspective and awareness changes. I am calmer and unworried, unrushed. I feel more balanced and aware of what’s happening now rather than focus on ‘the next thing/activity’. --When I slow down and pat attention to my breath, it slows my conscious mind and I have greater ability to focus on my intuition. –L.V. counselor
3. I have learned that although the present is a nice place to be it can also be uncomfortable. I realize I have a strong attachment to keeping my mind in the past or future and just keeping it busy. I look forward to continuing this style of meditation and learning to accept what is. –J.M. firefighter
4. I have been dabbling in this area for years but I feel the course has clarified the principles of Mindfulness and the discipline of regular practice. I have towards the end of the course learned to sit with my negative emotions that come up rather than avoiding them and what a freeing experience that has been! –J.M.
5. I found the graphic representation of the
prism of experience separated into sensations, feelings, and thoughts very
helpful. To be able to separate and
recognize each element, for me, is a useful method of dealing with unpleasant
situations. The course material for me
is multi-layered. It offers the opportunity to delve into myself. Whether
it is poetry, homework, or the practice
itself, it has been well worth the time and energy. The sitting meditation, being present, offers
for me a chance to set my day in a framework of positive intention or
energy. Ken, you have been wonderful and
I am so grateful to you. I found you to
be open and accepting, willing to value views and experiences. It has been
6. The course was very helpful for me. Coming to an awareness of bodily sensations through the yoga exercises was very useful. The structure of the class and homework exercises allowed me to sit pretty much every day for the past 8 weeks. The sitting has been difficult for me on a number of different levels but I feel closer to being aware of what I am feeling in my non-sitting moments and this seems like a good thing. –J.W. technologist
7. Although my practice was irregular at first. I gradually established a daily practice. That daily practice, those moments are now like a refuge that I can go to and find calm. It seems contradictory because in meditation I encounter all these wild thoughts and fantasy scenarios, but the quiet, observing encounter with them seems to allow me the ability to see through them to a more centered calmness; one I can take with me throughout the rest of the day. The practice has also taught me greater patience and tolerance of my own and other’s mistakes. When I am calmer, time seems to linger. I can appreciate life more deeply and be kinder to others. This is terribly important to me as I have always been a very anxious person. The entire course- the meditation, yoga, poetry and excellent instruction from Ken, has been very valuable to me, and I intend to keep this practice in my life. –V.A. nurse educator
8. I have learned many wonderful things in this class. I realized that my life is not going to change but I learned to deal with my situation at home in a totally different way.—I feel I benefited so much from coming to this class and I thank my daughter and I thank you Ken so very much. I will not find it difficult maintaining what I have learned in this class.—E.B.
9. I have learned to be ‘present’ in the moment, to stop for a minute when I feel things are getting out of control. Learning to respond instead of reacting. I am taking lots of steps back, lots of deep breaths. I feel I have a foundation of what will be a new exercise to add to my daily routine. I think that with more practice I can really change my level of stress. –D.E. sales executive
10. I love the present moment –for the most part! Bringing myself to this level of awareness has, thru practice, proven to be not as difficult as it initially was thought to be, and truly enlightening once achieved. I haven’t reached the point where this practice has affected my day, but most certainly a good time thereafter and calling on it though out the day when needed proved most beneficial. Thank you!—E.Z. sales
11. One of my goals was to practice more regularly which I have been doing. I have noticed a big impact in many areas of my life. I feel I have more time, that time is not slipping away from me. This has made my life fuller. I feel and sense of calm, even during stressful events, I am more at ease with negative emotions and am willing to feel those feelings. I have more mental energy to deal with life’s challenges. Overall, I feel the quality of my life is improved. I am really most grateful for the sense of acceptance I have for myself, and all of the positive effects this has on the rest of my life. –K.W. neuropsychologist
12. Fear seems to be something that has consumed a lot of my thoughts, to the point of shutting myself off and being distant from others. This course has made me take a good look at myself and all the wasted energy involved in the state of worry. I have found an inner peace when I sit in the moment, not being fearful of these thoughts but rather embracing them, understanding them, and feeling the power to let them in or not has given my a sense of power over them and a feeling of freedom.—D.S. dental hygienist
13. I believe there was much value for me in taking this course. I’m definitely way at the beginning, but I have seen positive results already. Utilizing the techniques you taught have effected my daily life on the short term, i.e. relaxing and responding to situations as they occur in a more meaningful, compassionate way. I am so glad I enrolled and I appreciate all your hard work and attention.---R.N. administration
14. I enjoyed the teaching, the poetry and the practice. I didn’t particularly like the group discussion which at times felt like group therapy. I particularly enjoyed the retreat and would have liked the classes to be structured more like that. I have come to enjoy the daily practice. I’m sure it will pay off in the long run. B.F.
15. This course was offered at literally the perfect time for me. Learning the art of meditation, I believe, definitely has aided in my recovery and my sobriety. It also helped me become confident in my own mind and body. It has allowed me to accept and honor myself, my needs and has helped me to accept and honor peacefulness and non-judgment in my life. I don’t think the art itself is to thank, but definitely Ken is to thank. The style of his teaching has definitely allowed me to embrace the art of meditation and trust that it will enhance my life-and to keep sticking to it no matter how challenging it may be at times. I am so grateful to have been able to take the course.---B.C.
16. I have learned to appreciate myself more. This class has been a highlight in my life.
17. Nothing in the course was new to me, but it was presented in a fresh, entertaining manner that restarted and re-invigorated my long dormant practice. Ken’s teaching methods have inspired me to further study -mindfulness- and to re-commit myself to practicing a mindful way of life, which is far more enriching the living perpetually lost in thought. I particularly liked Ken’s gentle way of teaching us how to still our minds and to avoid our natural inclinations to shame ourselves for lack of perfection.--- R.S. attorney
The course gave me a great set of new questions to ask myself. Like food for
thought. Although it caused much pain
there were also moments of calm and peace.
The present moment is all we really have and I take great joy in
experiencing the small things i.e.- holding my grandchild’s hand, rocking the
baby and marveling in the growth of all of them. It even easier to be less ‘judgmental’ of my
husband. I have learned that my instincts are good
and I just need to follow them along with my breath.
20. This course has been extremely refreshing, well-taught, thorough and well paced. The directions are insightfully delivered with a gentle tone. Very well done! I would highly recommend this modality. I found myself gravitating more towards instruction rather than group discussion. P.S. The retreat was sensational. Thank You. J.S.
21. I have had moments of being in the present moment that have been beautiful. I also have gone days forgetting to be mindful. Ken’s talks on mindfulness have been more helpful than many of the books, and tapes I have learned from. Also the guided meditations are great. I would have gotten more out of this course if I were better at home practice.---J.C. manager
22. I feel more mindful of my personal story and how I use that story to create a pattern to process all my information. Becoming mindful put a little space between my reaction and my story so I was able to shift my perspective a little. I found the journeling about communications very useful as a visual display of my patterns. Becoming mindful of the Now allowed me to embrace the experience and observe details that I usually don’t notice.---J.C. hypnotherapist
23. The present moment has usually been something I’ve tried to avoid or change. Unfortunately, the changes are often worse than the reality. Though I have come to realize this fact with maturity, I still have been uncomfortable with myself, my thoughts and feelings. Somehow they still seem “wrong” or not “good enough” This approach, this practice helps me to accept, be compassionate and to relax that tight know inside. I hope that by continuing to use these mindful techniques as well as my yoga practice, I may someday feel a peaceful place to move forward from.—D.I. sales
24. I feel that when I am in practice, I can relate to
the present moment very easily, but still find it challenging on a day to day
level. I do believe that with continued
practice I will eventually become more aware of the present moment more
frequently. I have actually learned a
lot about myself. I never thought I would be able to sit still long enough to
concentrate and learn to meditate. I
learned that my mind was much more accepting of the practice than I thought it
would be. And I learned that there is a
place I can now go to to find inner peace when I need it. I feel the course would be good for anyone
regardless of age, education, job, etc.
I wish they would teach this program in schools.