Of Avatars and Virtual Yoga:
MBSR for Veterans in Second Life, A Pilot Project

Jacquelyn Ford Morie, MFA, PhD, Steven Hickman, PsyD, and I will be presenting    “Of Avatars and Virtual Yoga:
MBSR for Veterans in Second Life, A Pilot Project” Thursday March 31, 2011 at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society’s 9th Annual International Scientific Conference for Clinicians, Researchers and Educators, March 30-April 3, 2011.

Even with the seemingly explosive proliferation of mindfulness-based programs worldwide, there are still huge groups of people who could potentially benefit from such programs if barriers like geography, disability, culture and severe anxiety can be overcome. The purpose of this session is to describe a pilot project to deliver MBSR to veterans in the virtual world known as Second Life and to stimulate exploration of the myriad of issues surrounding such an adaptation. In the era of Facebook and Twitter, online virtual worlds (VWs) have also seen a huge rise in popularity. The graphic, immersive and (in some ways) highly personal nature of VWs poses tremendous opportunity for reaching and directly influencing many people with MBSR who were previously unable to take advantage of its benefits. The presentation will describe the development and implementation of the first MBSR classes in Second Life as part of a larger project entitled Coming Home intended to provide online support in virtual worlds to veterans returning from recent conflicts.

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