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Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Meditation and Mindfulness

What Is Meditation and Mindfulness?

Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior. There are many types of meditation, but most have four elements in common: a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions); a focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); and an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them).

Mindfulness is a state of mind where you are fully present in the current moment. When you practice mindfulness, you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations and environment and accept them without judgment. 

Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - Meditation In Depth

Wellness Programs

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center offers a variety of wellness programs to support patients from diagnosis, through treatment and life after treatment. Most programs are offered free-of-charge. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Wellness classes are currently being offered online via Zoom. For more information including who qualifies for Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Wellness Programs & Classes and how to register, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5678. To view the full, up to date schedule of programs, see the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center calendar.

Finding the Light: Meditation in Challenging Times

A guided meditation that focuses on supporting the body and mind during this challenging time. By coming together in mutual support and sitting with ourselves and each other we can find the lightness and joy that surrounds us.

Schedule: Thursdays, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Meditation for Survivorship

Meditation can be used to calm the mind and put the body in a relaxed state.  Please join us as we practice this ancient practice of stress relaxation.

Schedule: Wednesdays, 7:00pm - 8:00pm.


Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Community Lectures | Meditation in Cancer Recovery: An Integrative Approach

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Wellness Instructor, Natalie Gutierrez, discusses the history of meditation, current research in healthcare and leads a guided meditation.

Recommended Apps

There are many meditation and relaxation apps available for your mobile device. The apps we've highlighted here are available for free though may have premium content that can be purchased in-app. Try out a few to see which works best for you.


UCLA Mindful by UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android

Through regular practice, taught through this app, you can develop a meditation practice and learn to bring more mindfulness into your daily life. This app offers basic meditations in both English and Spanish; wellness meditations for people suffering from challenging health conditions; informative videos; and weekly podcasts from UCLA's Hammer Museum-- a 30 minute meditation on different themes.



undefinedStop, Breathe & Think 
Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android
Free. Offers in app purchases for premium content. 

Stop, Breathe & Think is an award winning meditation and mindfulness app that helps you find peace anywhere. It allows you to check in with your emotions, and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel. Exercises are designed to help with stress, anxiety and depression, focus, compassion, sleep and much more.



Santa Barbara Community Resources

Mindful Heart Programs

Mindful Heart Programs provide free meditation to the Santa Barbara Community from licensed psychotherapists, educators, and ministers six days a week. Live meditations are offered via Zoom and recorded meditations are available for viewing at any time. 


Santa Barbara Bodhi Path Buddhist Center

The Santa Barbara Bodhi Path Buddhist Center offers a high quality curriculum of instruction in Buddhist meditation practice and philosophy. Programs include weekly teachings, meditation and discussions, book club and writing group. All programs are currently being offered online via Zoom.

These programs are not affiliated with Ridley-Tree Cancer Center or Sansum Clinic. 

Helpful Websites

Free Online Meditation Exercises

Materials at the Resource Library

These are just a few highlights from the Resource Library collection. Please click here to search our online catalog. For more information about the Resource Library and how to borrow materials, visit our website

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | |