Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress & Pain Management (MSPM)


Hosted by the Program on Integrative Medicine


The UNC Mindfulness-based Program for Stress and Pain Management offers training in meditation and mind-body awareness that will teach you how to slow down, set priorities and stay calm, focused and relaxed in the midst of a busy life. These practices will enhance your body’s natural adaptive healing ability and will cultivate the mind’s clarity and insight.


This evidenced-based program is based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s model that teaches Mindfulness is “the awareness that arises from paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It enables individuals to step out of ‘automatic pilot.’ and to connect and respond to daily life with increased awareness and self-control.


The class format includes instruction and practice of mindfulness skills, mind-body exercises, group dialogue, and daily home assignments. In this program, you will receive:


  • 8 weekly classes of 2-1/2 hours each
  • One 6-hour retreat on a Saturday
  • Recordings with guided meditations and stretching practices
  • Access to extensive handouts, reading lists, home assignments, resources, etc.

Participants are encouraged to practice home assignments for 30-40 minutes every day and to complete an initial questionnaire and a course evaluation. This challenging, life-affirming course requires a strong commitment for maximal benefit. Your instructors are committed to and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging learning environment.


Questions? Email mindfulness

June 2019

Mindfulness Refresher, with William Frey, M.Ed. 

Class Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019

Time: 9:30 to 11:00 A.M.

Instructor: William Frey, M.E.d.

Location: UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care, 1807 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill NC 27514


Click here to Register!

“Spring into Summer” A Mindfulness Retreat, Restoration, & Rejuvenation with Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT


Feeling stressed, overloaded, out of sorts?


Join us for this day of Mindfulness in the beautiful wooded surroundings of New Hope Camp and Conference Center. While taking a break from the daily grind, we will experience a day of Seated Meditation, Mindful Eating, Mindful Movement, Restorative Yoga and Walking Meditation at the labyrinth.


From this Retreat you will be reminded of the possibilities for calming and nurturing self while learning techniques for applying Mindfulness to every aspect or your life.


No experience is required. We will have chairs and cushions for seating.


  • All activities can be adapted to suit personal preferences and physical limitations.
  • Please bring your own yoga mat and a blanket and a meditation cushion if you have one.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that allows you freedom of movement.
  • If you plan to take the walk to the labyrinth, or otherwise be outside at lunch, you may want to bring sun screen and bug repellent. (No DEET please)
  • Please avoid wearing perfumes and other scented toiletries and cosmetics.


Class Date: Saturday, June 8, 2019

Time: 9:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Instructor: Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT

LocationNew Hope Camp & Conference Center, 4805 NC-86, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 , Oak Lodge


Click here to Register!

Day of Mindfulness Silent Retreat, with Kessonga Giscombe, MS, LAc.


Class Date: Saturday, June 22, 2019

Time: 9:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Instructor: Kessonga Giscombe, MS, LAc.

LocationNew Hope Camp & Conference Center, 4805 NC-86, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 , Oak Lodge



Click here to Register!

Kessonga Giscombé, MS, L.Ac. is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s of Science degree in Acupuncture from The New York College of Health Professions. He specializes in Japanese Meridian Therapy as well as Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.


Morning of Mindfulness, with Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT


Class Date: Saturday, June 29, 2019

Time: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Instructor: Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT

Location:UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care, 1807 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill NC 27514


Click here to Register!


Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT

Paula has worked as a professional in Health and Education services for over 40 years. Her experience in providing wellness services to both patients and students is vast. She has taught with UNC’s Program on Integrative Medicine, Mindfulness program for 10 years. 

Learning to Breathe: A Summer Mindfulness Experience for Middle School Teens (12-14 years old)


Class Dates: Monday, June 24 through Thursday, June 27, 2019

Time: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Instructor: Kate Murphy & Aviva Scully

TBD Location: Resurrection United Methodist Church, 4705 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707


Click here to Register!


Kate Murphy first studied meditation and yoga with John Orr over 20 years ago. She completed the Duke graduate MBSR course, is a nationally board-certified teacher, and since 2009, a certified yoga instructor. For 10 years, Kate taught stress reduction painting classes at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. Her work as a middle school counselor continues to inform and deepen her interest in mindfulness for teens.


Aviva Scully more information coming soon!


September 2019

Four Foundations of Mindfulness, with John Orr


There are four states of mind that support our mindfulness practice

and when experienced, allow us to feel light and flexible, open and concentrated at the same time.

They are: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

During this series of classes together, we will open to these

beautiful qualities of the heart, which are inherent to our being.

We will also explore what seems to block us from dwelling in these beautiful states of heart-mind.

It is often our fears that get in the way of our access to this loving heart.

Using mindfulness practice and guided meditations focused on

loving kindness, compassion, joy and forgiveness, we will make contact with this loving heart,

nurture it and manifest it in the many contexts of our daily lives

Class Dates: Wednesdays, September 11 through October 2, 2019

Time: 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Instructor: John Orr

Location: UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care, 1807 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill NC 27514

Click here to Register!


John Orr received Theravada Buddhist ordination and training for a period of eight years while living as a monk in the 1970’s in Thailand and India.

He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats around the country since 1980. John is the guiding teacher of the New Hope Sangha, which is a nondenominational

community located in Durham, North Carolina that respects the wisdom of various spiritual traditions.

Mindful Parenting, with Caroline Hexdall, Ph.D.


Class Dates: Fridays, September 13 through October 4, 2019

Time: 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.

Instructor: Caroline Hexdall, Ph.D.

Location: UNC Hospital Hillsborough Campus, 430 Waterstone Drive, Hillsborough NC 27278 [HBT 10011 Training Room]

Click here to Register!


Caroline Hexdall, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and owner of the Center for Mindful Development, PLLC in Hillsborough. After working at UNC’s Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and serving as the state consultant for school psychology, she returned to the rewards of clinical practice in 2013. At the Center for Mindful Development, she provides psychological services and mindfulness education, with a focus on mindful parenting.

Foundations of Mindfulness: Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress & Pain Management (MSPM), with Sasha Loring, M.Ed., LCSW


Class Dates: Fridays, September 20 through November 8, 2019

Instructor: Sasha Loring, M.Ed., LCSW

Time: 9:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Location: UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care, 1807 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill NC 27514

Click here to Register!


Sasha Loring, M.Ed., LCSW, is a psychotherapist and meditation teacher who has been leading mindfulness programs nationwide for over 30 years. She has taught the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at Duke and UNC, and the Mindfulness Training for Professionals programs at Duke Integrative Medicine. She has contributed to several mindfulness research projects, taught at Omega Institute, and is the author of the books Relief: Release Stress and Harmful Habits, and Awaken Your Best Self and Eating with Fierce Kindness: A Mindful and Compassionate Guide to Losing WeightSasha has spent considerable time in meditation retreats, the longest being for one year.