Mindfulness Institute Mindfulness-Based Program

This program is designed to introduce Mindfulness practice into your every day living as a way of reducing stress, and developing greater balance, ease and fuller participation in your life. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 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 is alternative and complementary, and augments your medical and behavioral health care plan. The Program also provides preventative care for those who want circumvent the emotional and behavioral pitfalls of aging. 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.



Loneliness is a serious problem for the elderly and it may also be a problem for single/divorced/widowed men and woman over the age of 50.

We are offering a group that you can join with other people who share your angst about being alone and feeling lonely. The group meets for eight consecutive weeks and after the eighth week, meets twice monthly to continued support to participants who finished the eight week program. 

During the eight weekly 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.

A 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.

Go to the Registration page and register now. 


The Mindfulness Meditation Follow-up Group is open to anyone who has completed one of the eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program at the Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois (MINWIL). Many people find the follow-up group helps them return to more consistent practice, deepen what they are already doing, and/or benefit from practicing and discussion mindfulness with others. 

At the MINWIL Center for Mindfulness, the Mindfulness Institute offers ongoing support for your continued Mindfulness Meditation practice after you complete the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program. 

SEEING MORE CLEARLY - a Four Week Follow-UP for Mindful Living 

When we're caught up in the business of daily living, 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 Practitioner


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.  

Register to ATTEND a one-hour Orientation to learn first hand about the MBSR Program on:

See REGISTRATION page to register and check out Orientation dates and times.


Course Structure & Commitment


The MBSR Program consists of:

  • Free Orientation (required for enrollment, no charge)
  • Eight-weekly classes,  2 1/2 hours each  (31  hours direct instruction). Two class sessions (5th week and 8th week) are 3.5 hrs).
  • One  All-Day class on a Saturday or Sunday Daily 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.

The one hour Orientation is free. To attend the eight-week MBSR session attending an Orientation is mandatory. Choose the Orientation that fits into your schedule. Afternoon and evening  Orientations are offered. 


Easy Steps To Get Started

  1. Go to the About the Program and research the program information.  
  2. Click on Registration. Look at the class schedule to determine days and times that work for you.
  3. Check the Orientation Schedule to find an Orientation session (required) that works for you.
  4. Complete the Orientation Application form online on the Registration page (go to the top of the page and click on Registration). 

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Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois nfp

P.O. Box 345, Rock Falls, Illinois 61071, United States

For Urgent Concerns: 815-716-8385


Monday - Saturday: By appointment