It is with great gratitude and a full heart that I sit down to write the first blog posting for the San Francisco Mindfulness Foundation! What started out as two friends and colleagues talking about the remarkable changes that a mindfulness practice has wrought in our personal and professional lives, grew into the expansion of our educational experiences into the various mindfulness-based therapies that have been developed [such as mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), stress reduction (MBSR), cognitive therapy (MBCT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)], and that in turn grew into a desire to share this knowledge with others. It led to the goal of bringing the highest quality mindfulness-based educational and therapeutic programs to practitioners of the healing arts and to the community and our patients.
Personally, what mindfulness has brought to me is a sense of peace and compassionate acceptance of myself and others, and a new ability to put distance or "spaciousness" between a thought and a reaction. I have gradually learned to be able to see thoughts and feeling as just thoughts and feelings, to observe them and let them go without identifying with them or giving into the urges to change or fix them -- this has been incredibly freeing. As a psychotherapist, I immediately saw (as others before me have)the potential of these practices to bring relief to sufferers of depression, anxiety, stress, interpersonal conflict, and addictions. The idea of being able to bring new tools and hope to patients who are in recovery from addictive behaviors was especially exciting to me. More and more, scientific research is confirming the effectiveness of these practices for many different populations, elevating them to evidence-based treatments (more on this in future posts!).
So stay tuned! As we continue to grow and offer more programming, we hope to meet many of you in person.
May you be well, may you be at peace, and may you be free of suffering.
Scott Lauzé MD