Winter meditation programs begin Jan. 29 and 30

A person in meditation pose

Two meditation programs offered through the York University Psychology Clinic (YUPC) will begin on the Keele Campus in late January to help foster a mindful approach to dealing with stress and cultivating creative attentiveness.

The clinic will run Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy beginning Jan. 29, and A Noon Hour of Mindfulness Training beginning Jan. 30.

If you are looking for an activity that will help keep your brain healthy, come out to one of the groups to learn about the practice of meditation. The clinic is facilitated by Paul Ritvo, professor and researcher in the Faculty of Health. Its approach to approach to mindfulness training involves tracking applications in everyday life in relation to specific training goals.  The clinic has seen evidence-based effectiveness in positively changing cardiovascular health, reducing blood glucose difficulties and substantially improving mood and sleep.

Physical health was, at one time, considered to be separate from mental health. New research shows they are a unity. Mindfulness training addresses this unity with breath awareness and releases of muscle tension as key features. Mindfulness discipline simultaneously increases attention control – enabling the mind to to focus where you want it to focus, moment by moment.

The programs are geared to both novice meditators and individuals.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
With the mindfulness “movement” come visions and actions devoted to world peace and a more compassionate society. In this 10-week group program, we adopt an interpersonal focus emphasizing peaceful, compassionate relationships with self and significant others. The mindfulness techniques emphasized are shamatha and tonglen, practices devoted to peace-making and healing exchanges where all people derive benefits. These approaches are integrated with an interpersonal approach to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), changing the distorted thoughts and emotions that regularly occur and result in unnecessary internal and interpersonal conflict. This combination is further integrated with recent cognitive and neurophysiological research on mindfulness and CBT, where indices of brain health are used as scientific validations of subjective processes and their benefits.
When: Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 29, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in YUPC, 102 Behavioural Science Building. The registration form is online.

A Noon Hour of Mindfulness Training
Mindfulness meditation is being applied in every major medical centre and university setting in Canada. This is an introductory group program that aims to use 10 afternoons to guide participants towards a personal practice with pragmatic benefits (reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep) and performance improvements (via better attentional control).
When: Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 30, from noon to 1 p.m. in YUPC, 102 Behavioural Science Building. The registration form is online.

For participants with extended health coverage for psychological services, the fee for either group should be reimbursable. For students with the YFS health plan, it should be reimbursable by session with a note from your family doctor, and some bursaries are available for students with financial need.

Contact the clinic at with any questions.