Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no else can do for you -consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.

Jeanne Vargas and the Mindfulness Institute of NW Illinois joins you in being deeply concerned about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. Risk and benefit are difficult to assess and we encourage everyone to make the most informed decisions possible from a grounded place.  At this time, our classes are continuing to be scheduled and we encourage each person to make the wisest choice for them. We encourage you to receive the value of human connection and mindfulness training by attending an online class. 

Our programs are designed to introduce mindfulness meditation practice into your everyday living as a way of reducing stress, and developing greater balance, ease and fuller participation in your life. 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is the eight-week program that assists people who want to learn to use their own internal resources to respond more skillfully to stress, medical, and psychological conditions, and promote healthy living. 

The Mindfulness Program and MBSR and Cancer Recovery are alternative and complementary programs that augments your medical and behavioral health care plan. The goal is to have balance in your life, a higher quality of living, better health, and the ability to find joy in living. 

The course includes guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching, mindful yoga, inquiry and application into the experiences of daily living, group dialogue, home assignments and audio recordings.

The program is:

  • A challenging and effective practice of engaging in your life with curiosity and care.  
  • Designed to introduce Mindfulness practice as a way of reducing stress, and developing greater balance, ease and fuller participation in your life. 
  • Invites people to be active participants in caring for themselves, using their internal resources to cultivate health and well-being.

Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening as it's happening, in an open, non-judging, compassionate way. This awareness assists us in responding wisely and skillfully to what is occurring. 

Mindfulness is the art of paying attention, of listening to your heart. Rather than withdrawing from the world. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more fully, effectively and peacefully.

Mindfulness-Based programs are offered throughout the world in medical institutions, educational settings, businesses, the military and correctional systems. Scientific research supports the benefits of mindfulness practice.

Research suggests that mindfulness practice can positively affect stress resilience, physical and mental health, academic skills, self-regulation of emotional reactivity, interpersonal skills, general well-being and happiness.

Some reasons people come to the group include, but are not limited to:

  • Job, school,  or family issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Hypertension, heart disease
  • Attention deficits
  • Enhancement of quality of life, happiness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Mild or situational depression
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Wellness and self-care
  • Cancer or other illness
  • Anxiety, panic
  • Anger-management, life transitions

Intentional, present-moment awareness, developed through mindfulness meditation practices, helps you experience whatver is happening in your life as it unfolds with curiosity, non-judgment attention, and compassion for ourselves and others.

Engaging with your life in this manner helps you become more skillful and creative in your responses, while gaining insight into how to free ourselvs from habitual patterns of reacting such as anxiously anticipating the future, chronically focusing on the past, or just going through the motions of living, missing what is actually occurring right now, including when things are pleasant and joyful.

Focusing on what is happening right now, cultivated by the practice of mindfulness meditation, enables you to wake up to the pleasures in your life and enhances your ability to tap into your wisdom and internal resources in difficult times.

The practice of mindfulness is accessible, universal, and can be practically integrated into your everyday living.

The MBSR program is often used in combination with medical care to promote health and well-being.

Jeanne A. Vargas has offered Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction since 2016. The MBSR Program is sponsored hosted by the Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois nfp and is modeled after the well-known program developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.


Overwhelming stress, anxiety, grief and loneliness is a serious problem

 as we are sheltered-in-place during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We offer an online support group (sangha) that meets on Wednesday evenings. We invite you to join with other people who share your

angst. The group meets for Wednesday evenings, 7:00 - 8:00 pm CDT beginning April 15.

During the sessions we learn:

  • how to face our fear and anxiety and find our freedom by looking closely at our suffering;
  • how to have a healthier relationship with our thoughts and feelings; and
  • how to manage and balance our emotions.

The goal is to live a well-balanced life, have a higher quality of living and better health.  positive side effect is meeting new friends and acquaintances that offer new lens and perspectives on the problems and challenges, the ups and down in life, we all may experience.

When we're caught up in the business of adjusting to life as it is,

we can easily lose sight of what's most needed in the moment. It becomes easy to feel overwhelmed, and we may add to our own suffering. 

In the weekly  program, we'll pause to cultivate spaciousness in our minds and bodies, exploring "on-the-spot" practices that help us discern what's called for when we find ourselves stuck in automatic reactivity. Practicing responding skillfully, even when life is moving fast or in unexpected directions, it is like developing cognitive and emotional"muscle memory."


Jeanne A. Vargas, MA

Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois nfp

804 E. Humphrey Avenue, P.O. Box 345

Rock Falls, Illinois 61071


Are you ready?

Do you drive your car to the store or to work and have no memory of the journey because you are so lost in thought?

Do you often lay awake at night anxiously worrying about the things you need to do the next day, wondering if you'll be able to accomplish them at all, let alone well enough?

Perhaps you feel burdened with a sudden or chronic pain or illness. Maybe you are stuck trying to think your way out of depression, anxiety or addiction.

Do you have a nagging feeling that there should be more to life than checking things off the "to do" list, going through the motions of living?

Are the ways that you react to strong emotions such as anger, fear or sadness causing more problems for you and your relationships than the feelings themselves?

It may be you are someone who is basically healthy, happy and grateful for the many gifts of life and you want to continue to foster this attitude. The MBSR Program will show you how to integrate mindfulness into your life.

Are you ready to learn how to cultivate lifelong tools that will help you maximize your life, even when facing stress, illness and pain? The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program is for you! Throughout the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction  (MBSR) Program you will be consciously and systematically working with the challenges and demands of your everyday life. Your instructor will create a safe and supportive environment for this work and learning through:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
  • Group dialogue and discussion aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
  • Systematic instruction in formal MBSR meditation practices, with opportunity to check in with teacher
  • Daily home assignments
  • Home practice audio files (cd's) and a home practice workbook

If you want to learn how to take better care of yourself and discover a deeper sense of ease and peace of mind - and if you are willing to actively engage in your own health and well-being, we welcomes your participation in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR). 

Each class is a combination of practice, instruction and group discussion in a  supportive environment. Our instructors has years of experience practicing and teaching mindfulness and comes from professional fields that include education, medicine and mental health. 

The MBSR Program is committed to intentionally welcoming people of all races, faiths, ethnic backgrounds, gender expression and sexual orientation. Financial assistance is available upon request.  

 Mindfulness meditation is the art of paying attention, of listening to your heart. Rather than withdrawing from the world, mindfulness can help you enjoy it more fully, effectively and peacefully.  

See REGISTRATION page to register for Support Group and MBSR Programming session dates and times.


Course Structure & Commitment


The MBSR and Cancer Recovery Program consists of:

  • Free Orientation (required for enrollment, no charge)
  • MBSR is an Eight-weekly program consisting of 2 hour sessions that meets weekly.
  • MBSR and Cancer Recovery Program is a nine-week program meeting once weekly for nine consecutive weeks. 
  • One  daylong virtual retreat between weeks 7 and 9.
  • Home practice assignments for 45-60 minutes each day​


YOU MUST BE WILLING TO MAKE A STRONG COMMITMENT TO ATTEND ALL CLASSES and to practice daily home assignments for eight weeks.


Easy Steps To Get Started

  1. Go to the About the Program and research the program information.  
  2. Click on Registration. Look at the online class schedule to determine days and times that work for you.
  3. Check the Orientation Schedule to register for the Orientation session.
  4. Complete the Application form online on the Registration page (go to the top of the page and click on Registration). 
  5. After you have submitted your online registration form, you will receive an email with a link to meet Jeanne Vargas for a 45 minute consultation prior to the beginning of the eight-week MBSR class.

Get in Touch

Send Message

Need a question answered?

Please contact us directly with any questions, comments, or scheduling inquiries you may have.

Jeanne Vargas, MA

804 E. Humphrey Avenue, P.O. Box 345, Rock Falls, Illinois 61071, United States

For Urgent Concerns: 815-499-1818


Monday - Saturday: Online via Zoom platform by appointment