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Mindfulness Meditation as Effective as Medication

According to an article on Forbes, a recently published review study has found that mindfulness meditation may be just as effective as medication in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and pain. The study’s authors reviewed thousands of earlier studies to arrive at their findings. Many of the previous studies included very short training periods, typically eight weeks or less. Click here to read the entire article on Forbes >

Since 2011, Vinland has offered an adapted mindfulness meditation program. Vinland worked in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing to develop an adapted mindfulness-based meditation program for Vinland’s clients. This project was made possible by a grant from the Trust for the Meditation Process, a charitable foundation supporting contemplative practice among Christians and encouraging dialogue among all contemplative traditions.

What is Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness” is a form of meditation that focuses on simply paying attention, without judgment, to what is happening with your mind and body in the present moment. An individual’s ability to “come back” to the present moment over and over again changes the mind’s relationship to stressful thoughts and body sensations. This practice offers a way for people with substance use disorders to improve their ability to recognize stress reactions in their bodies and cope with their feelings in a new way.

“Participants in meditation programs develop better coping skills and de-escalation techniques,” Vinland’s Associate Director Duane Reynolds said. “They learn to slow down their actions instead of acting compulsively.”

For this project, staff from Vinland and the Center for Spirituality & Healing worked together to adapt the traditional MBSR curriculum for Vinland’s unique client population.

Mindfulness-Based Meditation in a Treatment Setting

Research has shown that mindfulness-based meditation can be an effective tool to help people deal with their past, live in the present moment, and become more hopeful about the future. It is a low-cost technique that people can use to help reduce anxiety, increase awareness, and change their mindset. The practice of mindfulness-based meditation is low intensity and non-pharmaceutical, which makes it a low-risk treatment option.

“Mindfulness-based meditation helps many people with a variety symptoms,” Reynolds said. “After participating in the mindfulness-based meditation program, people are able to recognize their bodies natural response to anxiety and stress, and they learn to control their reactions.”

Early studies involving mindfulness-based meditation for individuals with substance use disorders have revealed positive effects on treatment outcomes.
Adapted Program at Vinland

The adapted program for Vinland’s clients is a four-week curriculum that teaches sitting meditation, mindful yoga practice, body scan awareness, and aspects of the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi.

“With Vinland’s clients, verbal descriptions are not as important as direct experiences,” Vinland Chemical Health Case Manager Tom Beckers said. “Meditation is a way for someone to experience a shift from an agitated state to a calm, still and alert state.”

More Info

Learn more about the Trust for the Meditation Process online at

Trust for the Meditation Process