Respond Mindfully: Training, Coaching and Consultation

Student Feedback


2020 Jan and Feb Health & Wellness Course

What I would like to remember...

"The thing I would like to remember is to slow down whether I am eating or in my interactions with people.  Another thing I would like to remember is to be more present, acknowledge what was before, what might come in the future but not dwell on it so much that it distracts me from the present."

"I would like to remember to notice how I'm feeling in the moment and to focus on responding but not reacting to stressful situations."

What have I learned about myself throughout this time?

"I have learned that I spend a lot of time worrying about things that I either can't control or won't effect me."

"I learned that sometimes I am not aware of my self critical thoughts and being mindful helps me practice self compassion and compassion for others."

"I tend to react to situations rather than responding.  I'm learning to listen to my body and to remember to breath and stay calm.  I have also learned that I am incredibly unkind to myself."

What did Oscar do well in this class?

"Oscar did a great job of sharing information and allowing us to share our ideas and experiences.  He is very knowledgeable and compassionate."

"Oscar - you have such a kind spirit  - people in the class see your kindness and non-judgemental attitude which makes participants feel safe."

"Oscar was very calm and he shared many of his own personal stories, which helped me see that I am not the only one who struggles."

October 2019 Stress Reduction Series at YogaSalinas

2 Most Important things you learned...

"The importance of self-compassion.  Also the feedback loop that stress has on the body is useful for understanding how negative behaviors can be self-perpetuating."

"Accept things are they are - without judgement.  I have the power to respond and not just react."

Has your concept of stress changed?

"Realizing that you can reduce stress by approaching a situation without judgement is very helpful.  Also, understanding how stress is physical and mental response is helpful."

"I have learned to recognize when my body is reacting to stress.  I have also learned to reflect and be aware of triggers."

What did the teacher do well?

"Oscar did a great job of leading meditations, transitioning between practices, and explaining the importance of each one."

"[He] is a great listener and was not judgemental."

 "Oscar made a lot of space for everyone to respond to each exercise and talk about its application."

"I have control of my own perception (of stress) and I have the power to respond vs. react in any moment.  I will carry that intention.

"I want to commit to expericing things without judgement.  I want to try to be more mindful of my experiences and work on challenging my rigidity so that I can enjoy more things in life."


MBSR Series with County of Monterey Wellness Program Jan and Feb, 2019


Learned about Myself:

  • “I learned that I may be able to do silent meditations on my own”
  • “...I learned to better recognize my stress level and that it will pass”
  • “I am not patient with myself. I judge myself harder than I do others.”
  • “I am easily distracted in almost everything I’m doing- I’m trying to focus on what task I’m working or what I need for myself. And when I’m starting to wander bring myself back.”

Concept of Stress

  • “...I am learning how to better control stress at work. Focus on one task at a time. Slow things down. Such as eating…”
  • “I didn’t realize sometimes when I was stressed until later thru body symptoms. I now realize it quicker and I have opportunity to respond calmly to change my thought patterns.”

Share with Others

  • “I have been sharing with my coworkers about the class, what I have learned as they says went on. I shared the exercises we have been doing and how it helped me to lower my stress level, being more aware, being mindful, being grounded in the present.”
  • “We all need this course for our lives especially if you are a Monterey County employee.”

What did teacher do well?

  • “Oscar did a great job engaging the class, teaching the concepts and doing the exercises together with us. I particularly enjoyed the communication/listening exercise.”
  • “Everything. Guided meditations. Enlightening thoughts about life. Encouraging us to be aware of our thoughts. Emails with links to meditations and mindful literature. Your honesty about being a person who has to practice mindfulness like the rest of us and about your stutter.”

County of Monterey Wellness Program MBSR Series - Late 2

"[If you're considering taking this course] do it. Invest in yourself.  Prioritize yourself.  As with any change - starting is hard.  But change, growth, and self-improvement is achievable."

"[My concept of stress has changed], I am more centered, more whole and more compassionate.  More accepting of experiences and sensations.  More aware of myself!!"

"Oscar is a brilliant teacher, a master really.  He recognized and provided a unique environment full of acceptance, humility, and understanding. "  

"My concept of stress has changed. In the past I always complained about stress but I never looked deeper at the root  or solutions to help me with my stress."

"I learned that in silence I find the answers to my own questions...[I learned to observe] without judgement and to be patient and kind with myself."

"I learned how to be here."

"[I would tell others] to take this class.  You won't regret it.  It will make you a more whole individual."

[Oscar] is very knowledgeable and provided great body scan and meditation exerises.  But I liked the most the group sharing and his observations."

"I learned that I can be in the moment and not worry about the past or future because these thoughts can take away from being in the moment."

"I learned that reacting is different from responding, and the more I practice [mindfulness meditation] the more comfortable I become."

"I learned that I cannot control many things, but I can decide how I react to them."

"[After the course], I want to commit to do a body scan at least twice a week.  I would like to mindfully eat a meal at least once a week.  I will also try to day dream less and enjoy the moment.  But I will commit to try to be mindful of the words that came out of me and to seek self-control, to minimize stress."

"[Oscar] made it understandable.  Personable.  Relatable and comfortable.  He made everyone feel validaded or heard.  I appreciate his story of overcoming public speaking/stutter and he did a great job in this class.  I feel motivated by his examples."

3 Part Series - Using Mindfulness to Deal with Negative Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions" - Sept 2018

"[I would tell other people interested in this class] to give themselves the opportunity and have a different perspective.  That this changes your life, in a positive way."

"I learned to name the emotion/feeling/thought, feel it, and release it."

"I learned to accept my feelings, and be okay with them, and not to be so hard on myself."  

"I learned the difference between responding and reacting to stressors."

"I want to commit to spend time in nature and practice mindfulness outdoors with my son."

"[I learned that] I need to be more responsive to myself and I do have the ability to make time to focus on my needs without feeling guilty for putting myself first for a change."

"I would like to remember that I am important, my feeling are also important and that I should be more mindful when reacting to negativity around me."

"[I learned that I] go too quickly.  I don't allow myself to slow down, breath, relax, and enjoy or take the day in.  I am too busy thinking and planning instead of just being and breathing."

"I want to [commit] to notice and be more present and available for my myself and my kids.  I don't want my kids to see their mom as someone that is always rushed or I don't have time for them."

YogaSalinas - July, 2018 - Full MBSR Series


“I often try to avoid thinking about my body because it causes negative feelings. The body scan [a mindfulness meditate practice] was therapeutic.”

“[Practicing mindfulness meditation] is worth the time commitment if you want to improve how you manage the stress of life and your own internal chatter.”

“[Oscar] was very receptive to our own feedback and [was] non-judgmental.”

“[I learned that] I create moments of silence through noisy distractions, such as mindlessly watching TV, playing games on my phone, and listening to music to block out external noises and internal chatter. I can use mindfulness meditation to achieve those moment of silence as well as balance…”"

“[I learned] to slow down and to take each day as it comes, to be mindful of my actions and reactions and to accept things or behaviors of others that I cannot change.”

“I am a person who feel comfortable when in control. To practice not being in control took me out of my conform zone. I have been in a better mental space, more mellow, and calming… I still have a long way to go in this endeavor but I feel like I am off to a good start.”

[My concept of stress has changed], I feel I am able to handle stress better by simply taking a moment and observing my reactions and behavior.”

“I think anyone who has the slightest bit of anxiety and stress in their lives, which is almost everyone, could benefit from this class [Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction]…”

“Oscar was observant of our various thoughts and feelings when we offered feedback after a specific practice module”

6 Week "New Years" Series at Yoga Salinas, Jan and Feb, 2019


"[I realized that]...I am human being and I can't control every situation.  It's okay for me to be in 'this' moment and give that moment 100% of me."

"Oscar did a great job in teaching every concept of this course and relating to us.  Even though I did a lot of research on meditation, in college, it's so much more beneficial learning it from someone who practices."

"[My concept of stress has changed] I see now that with this practice I am more in control than I thought I could be; it's about being aware."

"I tell everybody that this course is essential to life.  It helps you reflect and be more present."

County of Monterey Wellness Program Participants - MBSR Inspired 8 Week Series - August 2018

"[Oscar] displayed a sense of calm, openness, and vulnerability.  Was aware and accepting of where each person was in their process.  Good explanation of the course materials."

"[Participation in this class] requires a high level of commitment, encouragement, and attention, and when done with these things, will be life changing."

"[Oscar] explained things slowly and clearly and gave as many opportunities to practice mindfulness in the class."

"[Oscar was] engaging and kind, friendly, and talked about [relevant] personal experiences."