Welcome to Mindful Connections

The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) is a participant-centred approach grounded in ancient contemplative traditions that have been informed by the latest findings in the medical, psychological, educational and business fields. It has been taught by Barbara Gerber and Janine Kirby since 2010.
Contact Us
Email: info@mindfulconnections.co.za
Phone: 043 735 4525


043 735 4525

East London, South Africa


Experience Mindfulness

Janine Kirby and Barbara Gerber have been teaching the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) in East London, South Africa since 2010. This is a participant-centred approach developed 40 years ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is grounded in ancient contemplative traditions that have been informed by latest findings in the medical, psychological, educational and business fields. It is the longest standing, most successful and well-researched stress reduction programme worldwide. The course is grounding and life-affirming. The teachers are accomplished and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging learning environment.


Mindfulness helps us to gather and integrate the scattered parts of ourselves, restore relationships with others and care for the earth.


It is the awareness of a sense of spaciousness that can hold all of our experiences whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.


The practice draws on the wisdom of the contemplative traditions, which have been validated by the latest findings of neuro-science.


Mindfulness is an intentional practice which while simple requires commitment and patience, helping us to notice and let go of old patterns and habits.


Mindfulness awakens our inherent wisdom and compassion, developing the capacity to rest in awareness so we see things as they are.


The practice of mindfulness helps us become aware of how often we are lost on automatic pilot, rehashing the past or rehearsing the future. It reminds us to be anchored in and present to each moment.

Meet the Facilitators


Dr Janine Kirby is qualified as both a specialist family practitioner and a homeopath. She has a passion for integrative medicine, helping her patients understand the intimate connection between physical sensations, thoughts and emotions. Janine is a director of IMISA

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Barbara Gerber is a registered counselling psychologist. At the heart of her therapeutic practice is the creation of a safe space, honouring each person’s inherent wisdom.  Barbara is on the teaching staff for the certificate programme in mindfulness through Stellenbosch University.

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Wake Up To Your Life

``Mindfulness as a Love Affair with Life`` An Interview with Jon Kabat Zinn



Barbara and Janine have been facilitating the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme (MBSR) since 2010. The MBSR originated at the University of Massachusetts medical school in 1979. Thousands of participants globally have benefited since its inception.



Janine and Barbara are both involved with supervising mindfulness facilitators. Barbara is part of the teaching team for the post-graduate certificate programme in mindfulness offered through the University of Stellenbosch. Janine is a director of the Institute of Mindfulness SA



Barbara and Janine are committed to supporting participants in deepening their practice through: Wednesday meditations at Nahoon Mouth Bowling Club from 07h30-08h15 during term times followed by qigong (mindful movement) from 08h20-09h00; a library of Mindfulness books at Janine’s practice; a monthly CPD-accredited reading group for health care practitioners.

What is mindfulness?

Learn how to ease your distress with MBSR.

Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) in 1979. His definition of mindfulness is “the awareness that arises from the practice of paying attention on purpose, in the present moment non-judgmentally in the service of self-understanding and wisdom”. The meditative cultivation of mindfulness, whether formally or informally, involves intentionally, as best we can, bringing an openhearted and affectionate attention to our experience.

The 8 week programme is taught globally and has been validated by an increasing number of studies showing its benefits in diverse areas, from lessening of physical complaints, to easing of psychological distress, to deepening compassion and wisdom.

Enhancing well-being

There are many scientifically proven benefits to the practice of Mindfulness, including:

Boosts working memory and the ability to stay focused

Less rumination or constantly thinking about negative experiences

An increased ability to relax

Greater energy and enthusiasm for life

Improved self-esteem and self-insight

An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations

Less emotional reactivity

Improved satisfaction in relationships

Easing of physical symptoms like chronic pain, skin rashes and serious illnesses. Numerous studies have shown that the immune function is enhanced

Reducing stress

Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?

Constantly feeling anxious and worried

Argumentative and defensive with friends and family

Sleeping too much or difficulty falling asleep

Low levels of energy, often waking up feeling tired

Restless and busy mind

Often self-critical and/or critical of others

Feeling down

Having difficulty concentrating

Clenching your jaw muscles and grinding your teeth at night

The practice of mindfulness reduces stress in part by helping people to tune into and care for their experiences and painful emotions, rather than ignore or push them away.

It works well together with psychotherapy, as this helps people get perspective on difficult situations and self-defeating thoughts. New, compassionate, more adaptive and creative ways of responding to stressful situations can then be cultivated.

Visitors’ Book

This has been a life-changing experience. It feels as if I have been given a new set of glasses; I’m seeing the same things but they look so different. Thank you for this gift.

It made me more aware of being in the moment, comfortable with spending time alone. The poems are beautiful; they are great soul openers.

I experienced a simultaneous empathetic connection with myself and others in a kind, loving, holding way; with a ‘knowing’ that we are all one and the same.

The noble silence of the retreat day was powerful. It allowed me the space to remember that I have the ability to let others take care of themselves.

I remain astonished at the power of such seemingly simple exercises.

The warmth from Barbara and Janine is palpable, radiating genuine care and deep listening. I am so thankful to both Janine and Barbara. They provide so much insight and understanding during facilitation.

The facilitation was conducted in a very compassionate and heartfelt manner. Janine and Barbara are both excellent facilitators, friendly, empathetic and extremely knowledgeable about the material.

I was blown away by the lack of attention I have given to my body – I exist despite it. I have learnt to start listening to it.

To my surprise, I have noticed that I have lost my negative mind talk. Talking myself down did not serve me well, it tempered my interactions with others in a negative way.

I am better able to fully participate in my life, a huge breakthrough for me. I was in the habit of shutting off in order to cope with my stress from past events and future fears.

I cannot emphasise enough how much I appreciated being in a safe, accepting environment where I could be honest with myself and other people – a first for me.