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A Mindfulness Clinic in Toronto since 1997

Meditation for Health is a Toronto medical clinic that's been teaching group programs of mindfulness since 1997.

Patients come to us to learn Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a self-care treatment for stress-related symptoms and chronic illness.

The MBSR program complements and supports conventional medical care by helping patients to mobilize their inner resources for coping and healing -- especially for symptoms that no longer respond to standard medical treatment, or symptoms that worsen the course of chronic illness.

Mindfulness practice can help to promote healing by reducing the burden of the stress response in mind and body.

Has been useful for such conditions as:

  • chronic pain
  • anxiety and panic
  • sleep disturbance & insomnia
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • job or family stress
  • skin disorders
  • high blood pressure
  • stress factors in heart disease

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What is mindfulness?

"Mindfulness" is nonjudgmental, present moment awareness –– being here, now.

To practice mindfulness, we pay attention to what we're experiencing, moment to moment, without judgment or expectation. We simply observe whatever we're aware of, letting the moment be as it is.

When we're mindful, we often notice things we usually ignore, such as:

      ... Noticing the sounds you're hearing right now ...

      ... or the feeling of your eyes moving, blinking, ...

      ... or your feeling of sitting here in this chair ...

      ... Can you feel your next breath beginning? .........

Here you are ... sitting, breathing, experiencing this moment ...

This is mindfulness.

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What is MBSR?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program of meditation, physical movement, and other simple exercises that develop a person’s capacity for mindfulness.

Research studies show that many people who suffer from chronic pain and stress-related illness have been helped by the daily practice of MBSR.

The MBSR method was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the Stress Reduction Clinic of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (now The Center for Mindfulness). Since that clinic first opened in 1979, MBSR has become a recognized medical intervention that continues to attract research and influence other treatment programs around the world.

MBSR is fully described in Dr. Kabat-Zinn's book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. The Meditation for Health program is closely modeled on this original MBSR program.

The practice of mindfulness has developed most formally in the spiritual traditions of Asia, but mindfulness is present also in traditional practices of the Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). However, Meditation for Health is a secular medical program. We teach mindfulness as a basic awareness practice, a way of looking at things, to be shared by people of all faiths and philosophies.

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Program Details:

This 9 week program is offered in 2 parts. (Participants usually find it’s more effective to attend both parts, but they can choose to attend only Part One if they prefer.)


  • Two private interviews before group sessions begin
  • Five weekly, 3 hour group sessions (on a weekday)


  • Four weekly, 3 hour group sessions (on a weekday)
  • "The Day of Mindfulness" (a 6 1/2 hour group session on a Saturday)

All sessions are held at locations near Bloor & Spadina.

Between-session, telephone support is available, as needed.

Patients who complete the program are invited to attend follow-up meetings of meditation and discussion. These meet 3 times a year.

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About Payment:

The medical services of the program are covered by OHIP if an insured patient is referred by their physician for medically necessary treatment.

As well, patients are charged a sign-up fee to pay for materials and program services that aren’t insured by OHIP. (Materials include a workbook, handouts & 6 CD recordings. Non-OHIP services include the participation of the program's non-medical health professionals.)

  • Part One fee for materials and non-OHIP services: $295
  • Part Two fee for materials and non-OHIP services: $295

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Is your health worth 60 minutes a day?

Your commitment is the key to MBSR. To benefit fully, you’ll need to practice MBSR at home, every day for 9 weeks (excepting those days you attend group sessions). We’ll show you how and give you self-help recordings to guide your home practice. We intend to support you fully, but no one else can do the actual practicing for you -- are YOU ready?

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Taught by:

Lucinda Sykes, M.D. has taught medical programs of MBSR since 1997. She has participated in 16 training and educational events sponsored by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts -- beginning with 2 residential training programs under the direction of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Dr. Sykes has personally practiced meditation and hatha yoga for over 25 years. She established Meditation for Health clinic in 1997. (more info...)

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For more information:

Contact our program coordinator, Diana Wilson. She's usually in the office on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays -- or leave us a message anytime.

We’ll send information packages to your doctor or other health professional, at your request.

Phone : (416) 413-9158

E-mail :

Address of our administration office :

Meditation for Health
Suite 509 - 720 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON, M5S 2T9

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We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time...

-- T.S. Eliot --
Four Quartets


Groups Now Registering

Now booking intake & private consultation with Dr. Sykes for the following groups:

Part One

Tuesday Sessions starting:
May 27, 2014
2:00 - 5:00 pm

Wednesday Sessions starting:
May 28, 2014
5:00 - 8:00 pm

Part Two

Wednesday Sessions starting: 
July 2, 2014 
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday Sessions starting: 
July 3, 2014 
2:00 - 5:00 pm

Additional Information

Information Letter for Patients (PDF)

Mindful Toronto Links

Mindfulness Videos

©2014 Meditation for Health