Testimonials / Gallery of Learning

I receive "letters of learning" every day from new graduates of the online course and this page shows some of those letters to demonstrate the profound results that are possible with dedicated practice and study. This collection of learnings, identified by place and date, also allows online graduates to have something of a sense of their fellow graduates, and reading a few of them can even serve as a "mini-refresher" of MBSR.

Below are excerpts from some of the 1500+ letters from new graduates that I've received over the past few years. You can see the entire letter corresponding to each of these excerpts, by clicking on "[more]", or go directly to the Gallery of Learning to flip through the entire gallery of letters. Also of interest may be the Map of Graduates, showing the cities with one or more online graduates, and the Map of Visitors, showing current visitors to the site, an indication where future graduates may be coming from.

[All excerpts and letters are included with permission and in some cases, sensitive and/or identifying information have been removed. The text used in the excerpts below comes directly from the corresponding letter of learning, but for readability there may be some minor editing.]
I can honestly say your on-line course has changed my life. Four years ago, when I turned 37, I met a therapist that was God-sent. I found out then that I had PTSD. It all made sense to me and explained problems I’ve had since I was 10, but I felt that I was missing some tools to finally be in control and at peace. I heard about MBSR then and found your on-line course. It was obvious to me that it was exactly what I needed. I have not had a single episode of depression or panic attack since completing the course three years ago...  [more]
- Farida A., France, December 2017
The year before taking MBSR, I became bed-ridden due to acute seizures caused from high amounts of stress, depression and anxiety. I was pessimistic, hopeless, and insecure about what I would learn from MBSR. To my surprise, in the first week, I recognized a huge shift in my abilities to complete tasks and comprehend my college coursework. Now, I've had a huge decrease in seizure activity and I am much more loving towards myself and others, compassionate, aware, and most importantly, less stressed about life’s ups and downs...  [more]
- Angelica A., Indiana, November 2017
The biggest thing I got out of this course was the realization, or maybe rediscovery that the world is a beautiful place. It is quite amazing. Paying attention and being in the moment makes that moment so much bigger and fuller and more wonderful. The most ordinary things become just delightful. The other thing I discovered was the concept of compassion towards myself, to not constantly try to improve or better myself. I have a long way to go on that one, but the idea that I might just be okay just as I am in this moment feels liberating. ..  [more]
- Gretchen H., Germany, October 2017
When I started the MBSR program, I had two initial goals, both of which were met abundantly, but I had a third major revelation which was completely unexpected, and very mysterious. I have arthritis in my spine, torn cartilage in both knees, and plantar fasciitis in both feet. I was used to feeling pain somewhere in my body all the time. It was just normal for me, and I didn’t even think of including pain reduction in my initial goals. But I am now pain free, and have been ever since Week 1. This program has changed my life for the better...  [more]
- Jean C., Nova Scotia, September 2017
I’m a psychotherapist working in an acute mental health hospital and private practice. Being a practitioner who has trained experientially I’ve invested a lot of time and energy in my own personal work and there was some resistance to “yet another discipline!!”, but the course has already had an impact on my practice, both at the hospital and in my private work. It’s also had a significant impact personally, leaving me keen to maintain and evolve a personal practice that supports my life and continues to give me the benefits I’ve been enjoying since starting the course...  [more]
- Nick R., United Kingdom, August 2017
I am a successful business woman with three graduate degrees and a type A personality and throughout my life I suffered with anxiety and occasional bouts of depression. I started the program with an open mind but did not expect significant changes. My anxiety has nearly disappeared and I have not been depressed for a while. I have become a nicer person - more accepting of others and myself. I have become more open minded and less judgmental. My life is the same, but my perception has changed...  [more]
- Marie F., New Jersey, July 2017
I have learned such valuable life skills I am not sure where to begin. I have learned many techniques over the years, but the tools learned in this course are by far the most practical, useful and applicable to everyday life, as well as stressful situations. I have learned that I can be gentle and loving as well as firm and strong. I have learned to remain calm amidst the chaos - like the Mountain that remains still. Above all, I will treasure this relationship I have developed with myself over the past 8 weeks...  [more]
- Robyn S., South Africa, June 2017
I have been meditating on a daily basis for over a decade, have attended meditation retreats and classes, meditated with others, and have read A LOT about meditation.  MBSR was something different for me, and I can't really explain what it was.  I don't know if it was the connection to others who were also taking the course, or the readings and videos that were specifically chosen for me, the student, in mind. I feel like I now carry around inside of me a loving companion instead of a harsh critic and judge and I can feel my self-compassion activating a deeper level of compassion for others...  [more]
- Kathy B., Washington, May 2017
Before I started this class, I was full of fear, anxiety, bouts of depression, moodiness, anger, and sadness. My stress level was about a 9, completely self-induced and not caused by any one person or situation. With the continual reading and varied practices, I was able to begin to let go of the fear, the anxiety, and the stress to allow faith and trust to lead the way. I’ve learned to speak more kindly to myself and to others, which is such a gift. My life is completely different now, eight weeks later. The stress level that I started with has decreased to a 3. I’m grateful for this training...  [more]
- Mary F., Colorado, April 2017
I was living a good life, but sometimes I felt that I was walking in a dark cave.  I was not in depression, but I was struggling to find where I was and who I was. I learned that love, generosity, solidity, kindness, openness, all the qualities I have been looking for are actually already inside me... Mindfulness is becoming an important part of my life. Precisely speaking, it is not a ‘part’ but something lives with me. Staying in the present moment is very delicate practice and process with a lot of joy. It is like a continual unveiling, discovering a beautiful flower inside a flower...  [more]
- Bona Jaeun K., South Korea, March 2017
I also completed an in-person 8 week MBSR course and I can confidently say that I learned more from the Palouse Mindfulness program.  I have been amazed at the generosity and depth of this free online program.  I was in a car accident 2 years ago and found myself feeling quite defeated and frustrated by the residual pain.  This program helped me in numerous ways in dealing with these physical issues [as well as learning] how to deal with difficult emotions.  Meditation continues to be a daily, sometimes more than once a day, tool for me to stay centered, and to handle difficulties as they arise...  [more]
- Shelley H., Alberta, February 2017
[As a result of this course] I share mindfulness with my patients at a psychiatric hospital. I am sure they are benefiting from having a therapist who has become a better version of herself - calmer, more attentive, a better listener, etc. Within my family, mindfulness has brought me even closer to my teenagers and my husband. Being more aware, whether it’s of myself, of them, of a situation, etc. has led to more gratitude, more quality time and less distractibility. My house is even cleaner than it was a few months ago because mindfulness makes menial chores kind of enjoyable (I can’t believe I am saying that!)...  [more]
- Debra K., Pennsylvania, January 2017
I have been a serious meditator for almost 10 years now, but it was always a morning sitting session then forget about it until the next morning. This course helped me move in the direction of something I’ve been yearning to do and that is to extend my practice beyond the mat. To cultivate mindfulness in my whole life, not just when I’m on the meditation cushion... You’ve got quite a wealth of information and I’ve already told many of my ‘mindful’ friends about your website...  [more]
- Tommy B., Virginia, December 2016
The most freeing thought came on the seventh week: I don’t need to get anywhere else to be happy. I don’t need to be an elite athlete, I don’t need to be perfect. This was a huge finding for me. When I read through my pre-course notes about my goals from this course, I noticed all the goals were some kind of super-mind skills I wanted to learn: I wanted to get a better mind, so I could do everything better, so that I eventually could be happy...  [more]
- Riikka K., Finland, November 2016
My whole perspective of life has changed after taking the eight weeks of the Palouse Mindfulness Online MBSR course.  I recall lying in bed at night and my mind would never stop planning and reviewing the present, past and future.  Living in the moment with a still or quiet mind is so profound I cannot find the words to describe it. I experience pain pretty much all the time but I do not feel like I am suffering. I have found peace and stillness in a world that never stops talking. Thank you, Dave Potter. You saved another life....  [more]
- Deborah S., Tennessee, October 2016
The Palouse Mindfulness course has definitely surpassed all my expectations. Each week offered life-changing insights that gently demolished my deeply rooted fears and illusions about me and others. The benefits from the course were multiple and interconnected and each one of them would have been worth going through the eight weeks of training. I was reminded how peaceful it is in the eye of the cyclone and that the only constant in this ever changing world is our inner essence...  [more]
- Danijela M., Italy, September 2016
Thank you for the gift of this course! I feel that I have achieved a deep personal goal, to be awake and listen to myself (body, mind, emotions) and the people around me. I actually enjoy my days more. I’ve noticed that I have “more time” but it’s the same time as always, the difference is that I am awake, I can live every day, with the lights and shadows of them, open to the learning and joy. I will recommend this extraordinary course to all the people that I meet, such a great gift for life!...  [more]
- Idalia S., Spain, August 2016
I have been teaching yoga and practicing meditating for many years and had some doubts about what I could learn from this Mindfulness course. I was feeling low and lacking motivation when I started the course due to changes in my life and I feel that I have found new inspiration about how to live my life more mindfully, more accepting of whatever is happening in my life, even if it is not what I want it to be. I look at the mature me with much more kindness and a considerable amount of emotional healing has taken place...  [more]
- Caroline B., Canary Islands, July 2016
MINDFULNESS... What a journey, finding my breath – feeling more engaged and less constricted - free again. Who knew that being mindful and being a scientist were congruent. I have observed that my sleep is deeper and refreshing, and I am seeing more openness, more engagement and more confidence. This journey has not been about the certificate, rather it is about my acquisition and application of NOW. My curiosity as a scientist is not only applicable, but the foundation of my practice as is my breath. My dear friend, Kathryn once said “Ros, breathe, just breathe.” ...and I am!!...  [more]
- Roslyn F., Florida, June 2016
I have thoroughly enjoyed this MBSR course and would go as far as to say it has changed my life! I am an Irish primary school teacher and since becoming immersed in the programme, I have become noticeably calmer, more level headed, grounded and best of all I have become a happier person. The course was particularly beneficial when my elderly mother was ill in hospital. Usually I would be stressed, upset and willing everything to be different. How liberating it was to just let things be as they were, without judging, to ask myself how I was and to be kind to myself while being aware of my emotions. My mother was the first to comment on how changed I was - in a good way!...  [more]
- Niamh K., Ireland, May 2016
I´ve discovered a real wide space inside me... it's like an Ocean inside me I have never experienced before... a touch of softness, of lovingkindness, attention on my feelings, my Body, my sensations... my Pain...  This course has encouraged me to cultivate self-confidence... to look at life, people and situations from a different point of view... I can appreciate the small details, the small things, the gestures and attitudes from others... and I see I can support myself more than I thought.  The way I managed my feelings, my fear, my confidence, my pain... it has changed after doing this course...  [more]
- Inmaculada M., Spain, April 2016
This course was recommended to me at a time when I was in my last year of Graduate school and had just been diagnosed with Lupus. I was dealing with severe joint pain, anxiety attacks, self-doubt around whether I’d make it to graduation, and struggling with an uninspiring 40 hour per week job. This course gave me the stress relief I needed to help manage my pain and anxiety. Along with medication, I have learned to better appreciate my life, to take advantage of the healing power within myself, to control how I respond to life and to appreciate the precious gift of time and space. I am less stressed, less agitated, and more aware...  [more]
- Shelly W., Virginia, March 2016
I am very grateful to Palouse Mindfulness for maintaining such a wonderful resource of materials and teachings and for offering a path to MBSR without the high fees charged for courses that do not have the same depth, quality, and quantity of teaching. I am a life-long learner and have always been drawn to self-development and mindfulness... [more]
- Jerry K., Ireland, February 2016
This was not my first encounter with meditation, but this approach to meditation and life resonated with me. Once during a sitting meditation I had a brief moment of understanding that there is nowhere to arrive, everything is there, the way it is, I am where I am, the way I am. At that moment these words were not just words but a feeling deep in my body, a bright moment of truth. The course helped me accept myself and people around, establish deeper connection, listen more mindfully and let the world be as it is... [more]
- Katya K., Russia, January 2016
When I first began this course, I felt lost – desperate even – to feel connected and present in my everyday life. I felt like I was watching my life drift past me; like I was watching a movie of my life and not really participating in it. Since taking this course, I have learned to embrace and participate in the present. I have learned to love myself, despite my current circumstances, and my compassion for self and others increases with every meditation. I feel connected – to myself, to others, to life itself – in a way that I have not experienced before... [more]
- Chelci S., California, December 2015
After trying several different meditation courses, (all with fees) I found they didn't cover what I felt I needed at this point. When I found yours, I wasn't sure what to expect because it was free, but as soon as I read through week one, I knew this was the course for me. Your information is so thorough and so in-depth. Most courses offer very generic information. I really felt like I was able to bring my practice to the next level...This course has made my heart feel lighter, my mind open and my soul more at peace... [more]
- Erin D., Taiwan, November 2015
To say that this class is life-changing is an understatement! I have actually taken it twice. One of the many benefits is a heightened awareness of my, often critical, inner dialogue which has helped me decrease my feelings of anxiety tremendously. The meditations and yoga practices were like having a weight lifted off me. It’s hard to put into words how freeing it is. I found the readings and videos informative, motivating and insightful. The gifts I received from this class are priceless!... [more]
- Christine M., Virginia, October 2015
The last 8 weeks have been an amazing experience and have forever changed and enhaced my life. Although I have been a devout meditator for over 30 years now, I have always been frustrated with the activity of my inner mind, even after many courses and reading countless books on the topic… I have shared your site with countless friends and colleagues in the hope that they too can and will receive some of the amazing insights that I have gleaned from this simple, yet profound program... [more]
- Dr. Robert G., Tennessee, September 2015
I can't say enough about the MBSR course and the profound impact that it's had on me! I am a busy wife and mother of four children ranging in ages fourteen down to age three. I also work full time and have a seasonal job in the winter in addition to my regular job. I have often thought and felt that I am simply going through the motions of daily life without really taking time to be aware, to enjoy, and to breathe. Before I know it, my children will be grown and will have moved on with their adult lives. I will have been in the zone of survival mode rather than “thrival” mode. Some of the big "take aways" from this course are... [more]
- Ann A., Wisconsin, August 2015
As a psychotherapist, I had some experience with meditation and had read many of the books in your suggested reading list. However, this immersion into the actual practice on a very personal level was altogether different, exciting and life changing. Expanding my awareness exactly where it is, as it is, now, without an agenda seemed wildly different. Turns out, it became a ticket to freedom. I have now really learned to "inhabit my life"... [more]
- Gail G., California, July 2015
I am a certified yoga instructor and a certified Vipassana teacher and I started the MBSR program as an additive to my counseling practice.  Little did I realize the impact it would have.  Four weeks into the program, I stopped smoking (a 42-year habit – this had not been in my plan at all), decreased my coffee intake, and my sleep improved.  In following your format I have increased my own understanding and improved my life in ways I had not thought possible, after a lifetime of study... [more]
- Tony C., California, June 2015
Though I have had a contemplative education at Naropa, years of my own meditation and mindfulness cultivation, I have gained so much from these weeks of MBSR and deepened my practice in ways I had not imagined. I was unsure if I could really make or find time to incorporate this into the packed day of making meals, getting kids to activities, homework, working, cooking, cleaning, and the hectic pace of life. What I found was that I have had more patience, resilience, and joy in all that I do... [more]
- Deborah T., Pennsylvania, May 2015
I have suffered from anxiety and depression for many, many years and have previously tried a form of meditation but did not find it useful. I found your website through a general google search and I am so glad I did as I can truly say it has changed my life... I can now say I feel calm and in control. I don't think I have ever felt like this in my entire life... I feel as if I am in control of my mind, I can actually see things again and I feel connected which I have not felt for a very long time... [more]
- Kathleen H., United Kingdom, April 2015
I have meditated intermittently for years. I have attended group sits in Seattle, taken classes in India, and spoken to my friends casually about meditation's positive effects. The potential power of this practice was not new to me, but this class seems to have had a more lasting and significant effect on my life than the prior experiences. I found myself looking forward to the videos and the readings. They inspired me to keep up the discipline of the practice. I ended up doing the class twice, a second time just to reinforce the lessons... [more]
- Frances C., Washington, March 2015
I've benefited enormously from this course. I am aware now of the connection between my mind, my body and my emotions and how I am not my mind and I can observe my thoughts without letting them control me. I am more at peace, and happier now than I have ever been. Despite my current health condition and a recent marriage break up I am now more positive about my life than I was when everything was going well and I was unhappy, stressed and searching, searching, searching. This MBSR course has profoundly changed my life and is assisting my recovery hugely... [more]
- Dianna B., New Zealand, February 2015
I could go on and on about how mindfulness has impacted my life over these past ten weeks. Spiritually, I feel more at peace, more connected with myself/others and a greater sense of joy/compassion. Physically, I feel more rested and the frequency-severity of the migraine headaches has significantly decreased. What I felt was “just one more thing to do” (ie meditation) has transformed into something that I look forward to doing, daily. I know that this is just the beginning of my journey and I am excited for all that I will learn, experience and grow... [more]
- A. H., Hawaii, February 2015
I've been practicing zazen for many years, sitting daily most of the time, alone or as part of a sangha. The reason I took your course was in the hope of broadening the ways in which I incorporate contemplative techniques into my practice as a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. Although much of the material in your course wasn't new to me, I enjoyed reading and listening and reconnecting to mindful eating, dealing with being stuck, anger and pain. Thank you again, for putting all this at the public's disposal, it's a blessing to be able to share this wisdom!... [more]
- Dr. E.B., Israel, January 2015
The course is very well structured and the range of supporting materials is top class. It was one of the best courses I've ever done and I find it hard to believe that it was actually free. I learned much more from the course than I had expected and already, it has made many positive differences in my life… I’m now much more aware of my body, my feelings and my emotions. This has made me feel more ‘alive’ and ‘in the moment’ rather than just passing along from one day to the next. I feel as though I am looking at things with new eyes and that I have a much better appreciation of life and living. I will continue to use my new eyes... [more]
- Alan R., Ireland, January 2015
I won’t lie; I can’t remember one night in 8 weeks that I looked forward to waking up early in the morning and meditating. I dreaded the new informal practice sheets that would appear each week. I quickly grew impatient with the lengthy articles and videos that seemed to grow longer and longer. In spite of these frustrations, I persisted with the course, waking every morning and conducting yet another 30 minute reflection, whilst diligently completing my practice sheets. For a long time though, I was ignoring my reality. I thought that, perhaps, by focusing on the pizza slice in my hand and writing about it later, I would somehow generate spiritual enlightenment akin to the Buddha’s. I was wrong. Mindfulness isn’t about crossing your legs and ohm-ing for hours every day, nor is it about finding ‘inner peace’, or some kind of tranquil balance with nature. For those first three weeks, my stereotypical assumptions blinded the actuality of what I was experiencing: a crunchy, yeast-risen piece of pizza. It was tasty, but it didn’t transform me into the 15th Dalai Lama. The answer to my egotistic question is, in fact, the root of the question itself: mindfulness. I was so sincerely frustrated with the apparent fruitlessness of my efforts, that I had completely forgotten the fundamental principles of mindfulness: AWARENESS OF THE PRESENT MOMENT. Through engaging and partaking in mindfulness, one hopes not to attain a state of higher being, nor even to transform into a calmer version of oneself. The goal (or at least my goal) in mindfulness is to develop a “greater sense of awareness” and compassion for myself and for others around me, as well as creating a tool to apply to stressful and anxious situations... [more]
- Millie R., Australia, August 2014