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UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

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About MARC

"Direct your eye right inward, and you'll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography"  -Henry David Thoreau

The Mindful Awareness Research Center is a partner of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology within the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. MARC's mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society. 

Contemporary culture in the United States is marked by extraordinary advances in science and technology, yet coupled with these advances is an increasing sense of pressure, complexity and information overload. Individuals across the lifespan are feeling tremendous stress, which is contributing to a variety of mental and physical health problems and diseases.

Mindful awareness can be defined as paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. It is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. It invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one's inner experience. There are many ways to bring mindfulness into one's life, such as meditation, yoga, art, or time in nature. Mindfulness can be trained systematically, and can be implemented in daily life, by people of any age, profession or background.

In the last ten years, significant research has shown mindfulness to address health issues such as lower blood pressure and boost the immune system; increase attention and focus, including aid those suffering from ADHD; help with difficult mental states such as anxiety and depression, fostering well-being and less emotional reactivity; and thicken the brain in areas in charge of decision making, emotional flexibility, and empathy.

MARC was created to bring to a renowned mental health research institution the ancient art of mindful awareness in a scientifically supported and rigorous form.

Our center: 

  • offers classes and workshops to the general public, teaching the skills of mindfulness across the lifespan
  • fosters and publicizes research to support the scientific benefits of mindful awareness
  • brings mindfulness to professionals through UCLA's medical education program-including doctors, medical students, staff and faculty
  • offer mindfulness tools and classes to support mental health professionals

"The Intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant, we have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein

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