Our courses use the latest research and training methods to ensure a high quality and effective learning experience

Eric Nelson teaches all classes for Stress Management Solutions and has taught Mindfulness for over 20 years.

Eric received his BA and MA in Social Psychology and Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University, worked as a Program Officer at the Fetzer Institute for 22 years in mind-body health and contemplative science and received mindfulness training from:

  • University of Massachusetts Medical Center
  • Insight Dialogue, Metta Fondation
  • Insight Meditation Society
  • Chelsea Meditation
  • Dzogchen Center


Fall Courses 2018

*NEW COURSE!!  Intermediate Mindfulness 
A step-by-step practice system that combines the best of contemplative practice and neuroscience to train attention and mindfulness.  This system helps you deepen your practice and work through common meditation challenges i.e. distraction, mind wandering, sleepiness, dullness, restlessness, etc. Starts Tuesday September 25. Details below. Fee $200.
*8-Week Mindful Compassionate Living Course.
Learn to let go of your inner critic by extending kindness and compassion to yourself and others. Starts Monday October 1. Details below. Fee $270.

Fall 2018

 6-Week- Intermediate Mindfulness Course.  September 25-October 30, 7-9pm. Fee $200, includes full day Saturday retreat, TBA.

Click  here to Register

This course is for both beginner and intermediate meditators. The course is based on the 10-stage meditation practice described in the book The Mind Illuminated by lifelong meditator and neuroscientist John Yates. This mindfulness training system is one of the clearest road maps available for developing a successful and effective mindfulness practice.  Most mindfulness courses teach stage 1-3 and stop.  In this course you will learn stages 1-5 (for more advanced training you can take a follow-up course teaching stages 6-10).

By applying the practices learned in stages 1-5 you will dramatically increase both attention and mindful awareness. You will also learn skills to help you work through such difficulties as distraction (both subtle and gross), techniques to work with sleepiness and anxious mental states, learn to increase continuity of attention and reduce mind wandering and much more.

This Mindfulness training will help you see that when you resist life, by either grasping onto pleasant experiences or pushing away unpleasant experiences, you create stress and suffering.  You learn that by being mindfully present in your everyday life you can ride the ups and downs we all encounter and related to them with less stress, fear or anger.

What you learn:

  • Stage 1 – Establishing a Daily Practice by connecting to our motivation to practice
  • Stage 2 – Interrupted Continuity of Attention. Working with mind wandering.
  • Stage 3 – Extended Continuity of Attention. Mind wandering dramatically reduces.
  • Stage 4 – Uninterrupted Continuity of Attention. Gross distractions subside.
  • Stage 5 – Sustaining Full-minded Attention. Freedom from dullness with capacity to notice subtle distractions and let them go before become gross distraction.
Click  here to Register

Registration $200.   Includes workbook, guided practices and on-line resources.  If you have questions contact Eric Nelson @  1-269-553-6621 or email

Class Time and Location: 

Evening class: September 25-October 30,  7-9pm, Kazoo Books, 2413 Parkview Avenue, Kalamazoo. Park in rear of building.  Take Barnard Street just west of Kazoo Books, go 100 feet turn left on Book Alley and take second drive on left to parking lot.

Fall 2018

8-Week Mindful Compassionate Living Course 

Monday’s October 1-November 19, 2018.  Fee $270, includes full day Saturday retreat TBA.

Tired of being self-critical and judgmental?

8-Week Mindful Compassionate Living course

MCL is a mindfulness-based program that supports the development and training of (self-) compassion to enhance physical, emotional and relational health and well-being. It is grounded in science and integrates work of Paul Gilbert (Compassion Focused Therapy) and Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer (Mindful Self-Compassion) as well as elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology.

The training can be particularly supportive for individuals suffering from shame and self-criticism, social isolation, depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic pain or illness. It was originally developed in the mental health setting but the scope of its application extends much further. It can be helpful to anyone – care-seeker or care-giver – wishing to deepen mindfulness with ‘heartfulness’.

Exercises include in course:

Soothing breathing rhythm, compassionate imagery (safe place, compassionate companion, embodying compassion); compassionately relating to resistance, desire and inner patterns; loving kindness towards ourselves and others; compassionate breathing; a compassionate bodyscan; walking and moving with kindness; compassionate letter writing; practicing sympathetic joy, gratitude, forgiveness and equanimity; informal practices in daily life.

During the course, relevant scientific insights underpinning compassion training will be interwoven in the teaching.

Course learning objectives:

  • Week 1 – Explore three emotional regulations systems: threat, drive and soothing
  • Week 2 – Stress Reduction and Self-Compassion
  • Week 3 – Inner destructive emotional, thought patterns and finding balance
  • Week 4 – Cultivating Self-Compassion and forgiveness
  • Week 5 – Compassion for Self and Other
  • Week 6 – Connecting to our common humanity i.e. life is challenging for everyone, I am not alone
  • Week 7 – Cultivating Compassion in Everyday Life
  • Week 8 – The healing power of compassion

Click here to Register 

Registration $270.  Includes workbook, guided practices and on-line resources. If you have questions contact Eric Nelson @  1-269-553-6621 or email

Class Time and Locations: 

Monday evening class: October 1-November 19, 7-9pm, (plus 1/2 day retreat TBA, 9:30-2:30pm) Kazoo Books, 2413 Parkview Avenue, Kalamazoo. Park in rear of building.  Take Barnard Street just west of Kazoo Books, go 100 feet turn left on Book Alley and take second drive on left to parking lot. If you need to reach me the day of call Eric @ 269-254-0771.

Retreat time and location:

TBA. Saturday 9:30 to 2:30pm. If you need to reach me the day of call Eric @ 269-254-0771.



8-Week Course- Mindful Emotional Balance. TBA  @ Kazoo Books. Fee $270.

Our eight-week course is based on the practices and research from the fields of contemplative science, secular mindfulness and compassion practice, emotional intelligence and neuroscience.  And uses emotion theory and mindfulness-based techniques to help you manage difficult and challenging thoughts and feelings that can cause pain and suffering in your life.

You’ll learn to approach your thoughts and emotions with less judgement, understand their sources and learn to be more forgiving and kind toward yourself and others. Instead of trying to bury difficult thoughts and emotions or lashing out and hurting relationships, you’ll learn to cultivate emotional balance through the practices described in this workbook. Each 2 hour class uses presentations, experiential activities, group discussions and home practice assignments to support your learning experience.

Register Today

Skills you learn:

  • Mindfulness of thoughts, emotions and body
  • Emotional awareness, balance and resilience
  • Compassion and forgiveness for self and others
  • Anger and fear management


  • Reduced self-criticism
  • Improved attention and concentration
  • Increased kindness toward oneself and others
  • Reduced occupational stress and burnout
  • Greater emotional resilience
  • Less anxiety and depression

Register Today

Registration was $260, now $235.  Includes workbook, guided practices and on-line resources. If you have questions contact Eric Nelson @  1-269-553-6621 or mail


Kazoo Books, 2413 Parkview Avenue, Kalamazoo. Park in rear of building.  Take Barnard Street just west of Kazoo Books, go 100 feet turn left on Book Alley and take second drive on left to parking lot. If you need to reach me the day of call Eric @ 269-254-0771.


Spring  2019

Mini-Retreat in Kalamazoo TBA

If you’re a beginning meditator wanting to learn the fundamentals or a seasoned meditator wanting to tune-up your practice.

For those of you who are new to mindfulness practice, mindfulness is defined as the capacity to be aware of our moment to moment experience with less judgment, fear and grasping. Instead of unconsciously reacting to life based on past habits and conditioning we learn to consciously respond to life with greater curiosity, openness, acceptance, and kindness. Cultivating mindfulness results in many benefits for mental and physical health, wellbeing, and happiness.

Workshop learning objectives:

  • Introduction to  the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Practice i.e., working with body, feelings, thoughts/emotions and mind states, plus simple practices you can use during your day i.e. 3-minute breathing space (working with difficult emotions) and R.A.I.N. technique.
  • Working with the 5 major challenges to meditation i.e., agitation/restlessness, greed/addiction, anger, dullness/sleepiness, wanting quick results.
  • 4 Part mindful walking
  • Mindful Yoga
  • Mindful eating

Together these practices are scientifically shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, helping to move you beyond fear, uncertainty, and attachment.

Registration $35, includes: 17 pg. instruction manual on the Four-Foundations of Mindfulness Practices.

Click here to register

What to bring: water bottle, a bag lunch, blanket, yoga mat and pillow (optional), a cover up just in case you get cold (coffee and tea provided).

What to wear: comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and lying down comfortably and walking outside if you choose.

Workshop Location:  Unitarian Univeralist Community Church, 10441 Shaver Road, Portage, MI.

For additional information or questions, call Eric Nelson @ 1-269-553-6621 or email

Weekend Compassionate Living Workshop Summer 2019, TBA. Friday evening and all day Saturday. 

Compassion Practices are essential to living a happy and healthy life and complement Mindfulness Practice. When practiced together we nurture both heath and mind resulting in improved health, well-being and enhanced interpersonal communications.

Every human being has a capacity for compassion. It is a universal human quality, inherently present in everyone, but, for many reasons, often not fully cultivated. Fortunately compassion can be developed and deepened through practice, and this is the aim of compassion training.

Workshop learning objectives:

  • Introduce Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living Principles
  • Understanding emotional regulation systems – drive, threat, calming
  • Learning core practices: Loving Kindness, Self-Compassion and Forgiveness

Registration $30, includes handouts on compassion practices.

What to bring: water bottle, a bag lunch, blanket, yoga mat and pillow (optional), a cover up just in case you get cold (coffee and tea provided).

What to wear: comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and lying down comfortably and walking outside if you choose.

Workshop Location:  TBA.

For additional information or questions, call Eric Nelson @ 1-269-553-6621 or email 


Joins us any day this week to experience a variety of mindfulness and compassion practices.  Classes include: 1) Mindfulness Fundamentals, 2) Mindfulness & Emotional Balance and  3) Self-Compassion, details below (free will donation, $10 suggested). The class teacher, Eric Nelson, has worked in the mind-body health field for 28 years, at the Fetzer Institute and as an independent teacher/trainer. His mindfulness training is through the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Chelsea Meditation.

  • Monday- Mindfulness Basics I: Breath & Body Awareness. Introduction to the theory and practice of mindfulness.
  • Wednesday – Mindfulness II: Working with Difficult Emotions. Understanding how to accept and heal difficult emotions i.e., anxiety, fear and anger. 
  • Friday – Mindfulness & Self-Compassion III: Taming Your Inner Bully.  Understanding the emotional brain and how it influences self image and practices to support self-compassion and friendliness.  

Interpersonal Mindfulness. TBA

interpersonal communication mindfulness
This class deepens the skills learned in the Mindfulness l  course  by teaching a diverse set of experiential skills in interpersonal mindfulness practice, which you can apply at work and home.

Healthy relationships depend on healthy communication which is essential to our overall well-being and happiness. Unfortunately most of us suffer from a variety of communication challenges that negatively impact our relationships.   The good news is Interpersonal Mindfulness is highly effective in fostering healthy, meaningful and sustainable relationships, by improving self-awareness, emotional intelligence, compassion, authentic speaking and listening. Whether at home or the workplace or in a helping profession, Interpersonal Mindfulness supports healthy, authentic and caring relationships. The 9 session, 8-week course is highly experiential.

Learning Objectives:

  • To begin or deepen our solitary mindfulness meditation practice.
  • To learn guidelines for increasing awareness and patience in our interactions.
  • To recognize habitual ways we react to stress and anxiety in relationship.
  • To cultivate wholesome, and release unwholesome, mind states, emotions and behaviors.
  • To learn to listen to oneself and others with curiosity, patience and empathy.
  • To deepen skills in empathy and compassion for oneself and others.

The class consists of 9 sessions, held weekly for approximately 2-hours per session, plus a half-day retreat. Course fee for public course is $260, includes workbook and handouts.