The Division of Mindfulness holds the distinction of being the first medical school division devoted to mindfulness in the United States. Mindfulness involves paying attention on purpose, moment by moment, non-judgmentally and with an attitude of curiosity, and practicing mindfulness has been found to have physical, psychological and social benefits. Our mission is to explore, understand, articulate, and further mindfulness in the lives of individuals, organizations and communities through clinical care, rigorous scientific research, professional training and informed public discourse.
Located within the Division of Mindfulness, the Center for Mindfulness has been the premier institution for delivering Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for almost 40 years. Since MBSR’s creation by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, more than 20,000 people have completed MBSR at UMass Medical School. The Center for Mindfulness also offers additional mindfulness-based programs such as Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindful Eating, continuing education programs, workshops, retreats and special events.
Also located within the Division of Mindfulness, the Therapeutic Neuroscience Lab performs research focused on the neurobiological underpinnings of how mindfulness affects the mind and related behaviors and seeks to develop and improve evidence-based mindfulness treatments grounded in biological mechanisms and optimized for personal benefit. Research conducted in the Therapeutic Neuroscience Lab spans basic science, translational medicine, clinical research, and public and population health with the goal of improving well-being and realizing human potential.