What we offer

We offer Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program Course is an 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. 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 program include, but are not limited to:

  • Job, school or family stress
  • 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​

The intentional, present-moment awareness, developed through mindfulness meditation practices, helps us experience whatever is happening in our life as it unfolds with curiosity, non-judging attention, and  compassion for ourselves and others.

Engaging with our life in this manner helps us become more skillful and creative in our responses, while gaining insight into how to free ourselves 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.

This kind of awareness, cultivated by the practice of mindfulness meditation, enables us to wake up to the pleasures in our lives and enhances our ability to tap into our wisdom and internal resources in difficult times.

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

The program can be a complement to current medical care as well as promotion of health and well-being. 

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program has been offered by Jeanne Ann Vargas, MA,  in NW Illinois and surrounding areas since January 2016. It is sponsored by the Mindfulness Institute Inc. and is modeled after the well-known program developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

​The Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois is founded on the belief that mindfulness, the nonjudgmental and clear awareness of one's experience, enables one to use the wisdom of the body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. The Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois is a mentor and leader in the awakening of individuals and organizations to their true potential and alignment with their highest purpose, that all may live with a deep connection and meaning. We inspire, guide, teach and connect people, ideas, wisdom and resources to help transform lives toward greater awareness. 

Class Duration

     The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program consists of eight (8) weekly two-and-a-half-hour afternoon or evening classes and a one day weekend silent meditation retreat between the sixth and seventh week - a total of nine sessions.

​Courses are offered Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. 

What Does This Class Provide You With?

 This highly participatory, supportive, and structured program will provide you with:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness and meditation practices;
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga;
  • Group dialogue and mindful communication exercises to enhance awareness in everyday living;
  • Individually tailored instruction;
  • Daily home assignments; and
  • Home practice materials include:
    • a copy of Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Handbook including guided mindfulness practice CD; 
    • a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn's  book: Full Catastrophe Living; and
    • the Mindfulness Institute 's Weekly Home Practice Manual.



At the Center for Mindfulness, the Mindfulness Institute NW Illinois offers a support group where you can support someone who is suffering and where you can find respite. Let's remove the stigma around mental health by talking about the commonality and prevalence of anxiety and depression. These symptoms are passing thoughts, feelings and emotions of situational anxiety and depression. Talking helps. Listening and showing compassion, empathy in action, can win out over self-imposed isolation and ruminating. 

We will show you how to see things clearly when you are faced with the struggle between fear and free your mind by letting go and letting be of the things that obscure your vision and confuse your mind. 

We teach you how when you are confronted with the face of fear, anger and hatred, you can  create a pause for contemplation and action.  Opening your mind to the awareness of the forces of goodness and consciousness, gives you strength to respond with acceptance and commitment. Spread goodness and inspiration. Be contagious! Open your heart and mind to allow the Light through. Become stronger, stress hardy and resilient.

After all, there's no way of knowing how things will turn out.

The Mindfulness Helps Support Group meets Thursdays, 6-7 pm

Mindfulness Institute

Center for Mindfulness

104 E. 3rd Street

P.O. Box 345

Rock Falls, Illinois 61071


Mindful Writing and Poetry

Are you interested in joining the Mindful Writing and Poetry ONLINE Group? 

We offer:

Guided Meditation 

Writing Prompt

Suggested Readings

You can join us from the comfort of your home or join us at the Mindfulness Institute Center for Mindfulness.


If you're interested in joining the group, send your contact information to:


The Teacher

The Jeanne Ann Vargas is the teacher. She is practiced and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging experiential learning environment. Jeanne will assist you in learning methods, providing group and individualized instruction on how to learn, practice and integrate mindfulness in your everyday life.  The program is challenging and life-affirming. 

Upcoming Orientation & Classes