Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA

MARC was created to bring to a renowned mental health research institution the ancient art of mindful awareness, in a scientifically supported and rigorous form.

MARC is a new center in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute at UCLA. The center’s mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society.

Contemporary culture in the United States is marked by extraordinary advances in science and technology, yet coupled with these advances is an increasing sense of pressure, complexity and information overload. Individuals across the lifespan are feeling tremendous stress, which is contributing to a variety of mental and physical health problems and diseases.

Mindful awareness is a practice that comes from a variety of contemplative traditions throughout history. It invites people to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with their inner experience. There are many ways to bring mindfulness into one’s life, such as meditation, yoga, art, or time in nature. Mindfulness can be trained systematically, and can be implemented in daily life, by people of any age, profession or background.

In the last ten years, significant research has shown mindfulness to address health issues such as lower blood pressure and boost the immune system; increase attention and focus, including aid those suffering from ADHD; help with difficult mental states such as anxiety and depression, fostering well-being and less emotional reactivity; and thicken the brain in areas in charge of decision making, emotional flexibility, and empathy.

The center:

  • offers classes and workshops to the general public, teaching the skills of mindfulness across the lifespan
  • fosters and publicizes research to support the scientific benefits of mindful awareness
  • brings mindfulness to professionals through UCLA’s medical education program—including doctors, medical students, staff and faculty
  • offer mindfulness tools and classes to support mental health professionals
  • brings mindfulness into pre-K through grade 12 education via teacher training programs and mindful awareness classes in the school.

Visit marc.ucla.edu for more information.