I am a board-certified neurologist, and as of 2006 also subspecialty certified in headache medicine, practicing for over 25 years. In the early 1990's I was introduced to Full Catastrophe Living and have been practicing mindfulness meditation since then. On a daily basis I encounter patients in my medical practice whom I feel could greatly benefit from mindfulness practice. For several years, offering these patients information on mindfulness practice has been limited to a brief explanation, a handout on meditation and a suggestion to read Full Catastrophe Living. While a few patients have been able to develop a useful mindfulness practice self-taught, most have found self-teaching too challenging to incorporate mindfulness practice into their lives in a meaningful way. My goal then became to establish a formal teaching program for mindfulness meditation in the South King County/Tacoma region.
In 2004 I attended two professional training retreats: a seven-day professional retreat on mindfulness meditation led by Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleague, Saki Santorelli; and a nine-day intensive professional retreat, led by Florence Meyer and Melissa Blacker, teaching coordinators at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical Center. These retreats underscored the value and the importance of group learning -- not only from the instructors, but also, and just as importantly, interactive learning among the participants. This experience has led to the formation of the Pacific Center for Mindfulness, dedicated to teaching others the ways of mindful living.