MBSR courses

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Break cycles of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion

We’re all attracted to a quick fix, but real transformation takes time. True mindfulness involves changing the habits of our mind and body. And real change happens through practice.

Evidence suggests that eight weeks provides the time for new cognitive, emotional, neurological and behavioural changes to become embedded. Our experience is that mindfulness practice is most effective and sustainable when there is an ongoing personal relationship with a teacher who really knows their stuff.  

Openground’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses are taught by highly skilled, experienced and dedicated teachers. Each course runs over eight weeks of 2.5-hour weekly sessions, as well as a full-day retreat and home practice



Course locations

Please either select a location from the dropdown or enter a location in the field to see if we have a course available.

Mondays 6.30pm - 9:00pm
The Buddhist Library
90 Church Street, Camperdown
Bondi Junction (Night)
Tuesdays 6.30pm - 9:00pm
Loft and Earth
70 Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction
Bondi Junction (Day)
Wednesday 10:00am - 12:30pm
Loft and Earth
70 Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction
Thursdays 6.30pm - 9:00pm
139 Artarmon Rd, Artarmon
Northern Beaches
Mondays 6.30pm - 9:00pm
Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club
Surfview Road, Mona Vale
Armadale (Day)
Tuesdays 10.00am - 12:30pm
Chi Flow Yoga  
Suite 3A 727 High St, Armadale
Moonee Ponds (Night)
Wednesdays 6.30pm - 9:00pm
Moonee Ponds Mind Body Health
23 Gladstone St, Moonee Ponds
Hawthorn (Night)
Thursday 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Melbourne Centre for Mindfulness
16 Trinity Place, East Melbourne
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What will you be learning in the course?


Focus and presence

Cultivate more concentration and capacity to be in the moment with what matters to you most, here and now.

The practice helps interrupt endless rehearsing the future and rehashing the past and to arrive in the moment, again and again.

Savour your precious life. Stop procrastinating. Become present with loved ones and your work.


Emotional Calming

Reduce reactivity, learn to befriend your emotions and to express them in ways that set clear and caring boundaries.

The practice helps to digest difficult emotions and cultivate more positive states including calm, interest, warmth, vitality and compassion.

Dissolve anxiety and irritation. Find more peace and ease. Understand the process of your own mind.


Clarity and wisdom

See your patterns and values with more clarity so that your actions can be more beneficial to yourself and others.

The practice helps to grow confidence in building new habits and more choice in responding to challenges.

Be curious.
Recognise your situation.
Act with courage.

Personal attention and skilled teaching:

Practicing mindfulness with an experienced teacher simply can’t be compared with just using a meditation app. We know from experience that most people who use mindfulness apps, or try mindfulness programs without a properly trained teacher, simply don’t continue to practice.

The benefits of learning with a skilled instructor are countless. We take a genuine, personal approach, and our highly trained, experienced, and dedicated teachers go the extra mile to help you engage with your practice in ways that can bring real transformation to your life.


Evidence-based program:

MBSR is an authentic, evidence-based program of mindfulness training, grounded in 39 years of research. Unlike many shorter mindfulness courses, which have no evidence of benefit, MBSR is globally recognised as the gold standard for mental and physical health in the field.

Eight weeks of MBSR training and practice can lead to measurable changes in the areas of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress, as well as improved immune response.


Excellent value:

Our immersive, eight-week courses include 28 hours of personal mindfulness training. Many short courses only give you a taste of mindfulness, and are actually more expensive than MBSR on an hourly rate basis. Our courses offer significant value, and we can also arrange serious discounts if you need a helping hand.


MBSR Australia-wide

Openground offers MBSR courses throughout Australia, including by distance education. Our courses are offered four times a year in -
NSW - SydneyNewcastle, Wollongong
VIC - Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga, Castlemaine
QLD - Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast
WA - Perth
SA - Adelaide
TAS - Hobart
Distance - Live Online


Discounted places

We know how beneficial mindfulness is, and so we do our best to help people access our courses. Openground offers course discounts wherever possible to people experiencing hardship or special circumstances – ranging from financial constraints to chronic pain or other complex needs. Talk to us if you are a current Health Care Card holder, or are experiencing genuine financial difficulty.  Significant early bird rates are also offered for our courses in some locations.

Six things to expect in doing a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course that may surprise you

MBSR is different from many other contemporary mindfulness offerings in four ways:

  1. it is evidence-based
  2. it is not a quick fix
  3. you will actually practice the training exercises which make you more mindful (ie.meditation)
  4. it can transform things deeply.

So what to expect? Read more HERE


Do you know about "The Mindfulness Experiment" on Catalyst, ABC TV?

Openground Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course on ABC Catalyst

"In August 2018, I was approached by Andrew Sully of the ABC Catalyst team who was interested in making a film about mindfulness – and a wonderful group of people were filmed through the 8 week journey of MBSR. As well as learning how to meditate, they were scanned and questioned and tested extensively throughout the time by a gaggle of scientists and it will be interesting to see the results. What stood out for me is the remarkable personal transformations that we each made through more presence, kindness and honest-reckoning in our lives." 
- Timothea Goddard

"The Mindfulness Experiment" will be on Catalyst, ABC TV + iview on Tuesday 19th Feb - put it in your diary! 

I've tried meditation and I can't do it!

Yes, we know! Everybody has this experience when they first start mindfulness practice, and most people in your class will feel the same way. Don't worry – it won't prevent you from developing more ease and peace in your life through MBSR training.

We all need to start with the mind we have, and if that is a busy and preoccupied mind, then that’s the perfect place to begin. Initially, mindfulness practice is about becoming familiar with your own mind and body, and exploring ways to soothe, calm, and simply explore how you tick.

Step-by-step throughout the course, you’ll be offered different ways of practicing so you can bring more of this way of being into your life. By exploring the science of mindfulness, you’ll also discover why so many of us have such jumpy, 'jack-rabbit' minds and learn what you need to do to cultivate a calmer and clearer mind.

Who is it for and what does it involve?

Our MBSR course is for anyone who wants to reduce work, family or health-related stress, bring a greater sense of balance and meaning to their lives, and learn how to manage challenges more skillfuly. The MBSR course involves:

• an individual phone interview with your teacher
• a 2.5 hour class, once a week for eight weeks, plus one full retreat day
• yoga and body awareness training
• an exploration of your own patterns of thinking, feeling and action, and how to transform them
• brief lectures and discussions
• individual feedback and support
• scientific rationale for the practice
• your commitment to daily homework practice using audio tracks and a course book.

What are the benefits?

Over 39 years of research into the MBSR program, evidence has been established for the following outcomes:
• greater capacity to deal with stress
• increased sense of wellbeing and balance
• lasting decrease in physical and psychological symptoms of stress
• increased energy and productivity; feeling more engaged with life
• stronger immune system
• increased levels of attention and concentration
• more creative problem solving and greater focus
• increased sense of connection, meaning and purpose.

Why is it important to practice?

Mindfulness is not just a good idea – it’s a practice!

A with any new skill – like learning to swim, do Pilates or play golf – just hearing or reading about mindfulness can only take you so far. Experience and practice are the two things that will lead to lasting and profound changes.

To fully benefit from the program, ask yourself if you are willing to make a commitment to undertake some formal practice each day over the eight weeks of your course. This will make all the difference to your satisfaction with the course, the benefits you experience, and your life.

Training in mindfulness will equip you with a very portable set of skills that you can practice anywhere, anytime. Give it a go and let's see what happens!

Why not just an app or a 4 week course?

We may not like it, but real change takes time. This is why your MBSR training unfolds over eight weeks of 2.5-hour sessions plus a whole day retreat – a total of 28 hours of training, as well as your home practice.

Promises of a quick fix are always tempting. There are many short, 4-6 week courses that offer a few hours of training and claim to be based on MBSR or 'the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn'. Often these courses also inaccurately draw on the MBSR research base, when this is not evident in the structure of the course or the experience of the teacher.

Mindfulness involves changing the habits of your mind and body. Change happens through practice, and evidence suggests that eight weeks is the optimum time for new cognitive, emotional, neurological and behavioural changes to become embedded. Our experience is that practice develops most effectively and sustainably when there is an ongoing personal relationship with a teacher who really knows their stuff.

We encourage you to do some research of your own. If you are quite stressed, or you’re facing some big challenges, you may find greater benefit in an in-depth, evidence-based MBSR program.

Read more about why a mindfulness app may not be the best way of learning.


I am a health professional. How will it help me in my work?

MBSR is a wonderful program for people working in helping professions. It assists with our capacity for listening, empathy, compassion and genuine curiosity. It can also help us see into our own patterns that can get in the way of being truly helpful.

However, MBSR is not a professional training program for using mindfulness with clients. We welcome you to join the course as a participant, leave your professional hat at the door, and immerse yourself in mindfulness practice. Our MBSR course presents an opportunity to learn about mindfulness from the inside out, by engaging in the group process and learning from your fellow participants.

There are good ethical and professional reasons to develop an in-depth understanding of your own personal mindfulness practice before teaching others. A sustained mindfulness practice, including completing an MBSR course and a teacher-led silent mindfulness retreat, is a pre-requisite for training to teach others.




Distance mindfulness training

A distance course with a difference.

We offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction by Distance Education and we think you will find it quite different to other online options. We believe that mindfulness training is not well-served by a "one size fits all" online model and is best done through a relationship with a teacher.
Find your course

What People Are Saying

I have learnt a lot about myself through the MBSR course. Coming from a place of feeling very disconnected to myself, I now feel I am engaged and listening to what I need, which then has allowed me to handle what life has to offer in a positive way.

Anonymous, 2018

Since doing your course (Living with Wisdom and Compassion) my major transformation has been in my daily work as a family doctor. Instead of being the best doctor I can so that patients will admire me and appreciate me I am aware that I am regularly “putting myself in my patients shoes.” I want their lives to be better and their suffering to diminish. Whether that is through my doctoring or something not related to me is not relevant.



Ingrid (GP), 2018

Understanding mindfulness has changed my life.



Lee-Anne , 2018

It was great to be able to explore the strength of compassion, both internally and externally, through Living with Wisdom and Compassion. This course builds on what MBSR began. While it had its challenging moments, I came away from it feeling stress-relief thanks to my heart softening yet strengthening. And from the ability to see that even though we are all unique individuals, and we may express ourselves in wildly different ways, we all have the same needs. The better I can get at understanding those needs the more effective I can be in helping myself and others. I highly recommend this course to everyone.

Lisa, 2018

Bravo Ingrid Jolley and Openground! Thank you for your soothing and strengthening MBSR course. I’m feeling grounded, curious and hopeful about the future. I have the tools I need to lead an authentic, fulfilling life. 


Roz , 2018