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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

Hi it's Laurie,

I’d like to invite you to pause for a moment and consider what brought you to my website. What is in your mind, heart and body that caused you to think about taking a Mindful Based Stress Reduction Class? You might take 10 or 20 seconds to pause, take a breath and get a clear awareness of what led you here. Perhaps you saw the words “stress reduction” and thought a class or individual instruction in reducing stress could help you in life. Or are there events in your life that cause you to suffer in some way, physically, emotionally or spiritually?


Among the difficulties people report when they come to our mindfulness classes are such things as:

• Chronic pain

• Stress

• Anxiety and worry

• Chronic or life-threatening medical illnesses

• Depression

• Relationship difficulties

• Problems with substances

• Sleep disturbance

• Hypertension

• Headaches

• Grief and loss


Now, take a moment to step back from your definition of any problem or problems you may be experiencing and notice that you have an awareness of the level of difficulty of the issues that brought you here, to this website, right now. You might say you have become interested in working with life’s challenges in a different way. Changing the habits and patterns of behavior that many of us have adhered to for years. Perhaps your “inner voice” is seeking peace, balance, equanimity or a sense of control. The awareness you may be experiencing can be thought of in many ways, but we like to consider it your inner wisdom. You may have had that sense that you want or even need to change your life’s patterns. Even though there have probably been times when you could not hear it, or you ignored or misunderstood it, your inner voice may continue to tap you on the shoulder to encourage change. That inner wisdom knows the fundamental principle upon which the foundation of mindfulness programs are built, that there is more right with you than wrong with you.


Our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course (and other mindfulness programs) are unlike other programs you may have encountered. We help you to cultivate a different relationship between you and the things that challenge you in your life. Specifically, mindfulness helps you access the ability to be non-judgmental, compassionate, patient, present and aware. All these tools are already within you. We just help you access them. Although you have the inner wisdom and resources to change your relationship with stressful events in life, does not mean that you routinely use them. Most of us are on “auto-pilot” much of the day and tend to react without much thought much more than we mindfully respond to the decisions and situations we face. Our courses are intended to develop the innate ability to cultivate mindfulness over “mindlessness”, with which we are all familiar. Quite frequently, the moments of mindlessness contribute to much of our suffering.


Just a few examples are: eating foods that we know cause our bodies distress later; engaging with people that cause us great difficulty or emotional pain; or participating in activities that are inherently stressful, harmful or unnecessarily distracting to our well-being. Mindfulness-based groups have a large and growing body of scientific research supporting their usefulness to address the kinds of problems we have described.


MBSR is an opportunity to rediscover yourself and to access the innate strength you possess. Take a moment right now to become aware of your surroundings, any sensations in your body, the thoughts in your mind and the feelings in your heart. Are you feeling curious, excited, skeptical, nervous, hopeful or bored? Are you aware of physical sensations of tension, pain, warmth or numbness? Can you hold all of the amazing and varied things in your awareness for a moment without having to change them, extinguish them or get lost in them? Can you experience this very moment for the precious, fleeting and beautiful thing that it is? I hope you are inspired to continue your mindfulness journey with Minding the Waves.


We welcome you explore to your inner strength through mindfulness.

Upcoming Classes

Upcoming Events

Meet the Instructors of the Virtual MBSR Class

Laurie Hallihan

Laurie Hallihan has been practicing mediation for over 30 years as a way to deal with crippling  depression, fibromyalgia and hip dysplasia. She now leads a pain-free and fulfilling life complete with hiking (one of her favorite pastimes). For more than 30 years as an owner of a small business insurance firm, she has worked to help with people manage stressful and traumatic experiences with compassion and care. Such experiences have informed her current mindfulness teaching. She has been trained as a mindfulness expert at the University of California, San Diego and her greatest joy is teaching others MBSR, mindfulness, and how to lead a happier, healthier life.

Other Instructors that co-teach with Laurie, but are not affiliated with Minding the Waves:

Dana Rose Garfin, PhD is a Professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of California Irvine. She has been researching stress and trauma for over 13 years and currently is Principal Investigator of a clinical trial examining MBSR for trauma in women and several studies examining the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated stressors on our health. She is a mindfulness expert trained at the University of California, San Diego Center for Mindfulness and has studied mediation and yoga at various ashrams and centers in India. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. She has authored over 40 scientific papers and her work has been covered in domestic and international outlets including the BBC, NBC, Psychology Today, The New York Times, US News and World Reports, Salon, the Observer, Parade, Inverse, Better Homes and Garden, Health Day, Voice of America, Orange Coast, Life Hacker, Men’s Health, and Breitbart.





Ruth Dease MPH, MCHES, CDCCES is a bilingual Senior Learning Consultant and Certified Diabetes Educator for the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. Her most recent venture has been becoming a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor through the University of California San Diego, Center for Mindfulness. She has over 15 years of experience working in the field of health education, facilitating in-person and virtual workshops. Ruth’s interest in different parenting approaches led her to mindfulness 10 years ago. She finds that practicing mindfulness makes her calmer, less reactive, and better able to self-reflect. Due to our current times, Ruth has integrated mindfulness practices in her workshops. Participants have experienced greater awareness through their experiences. Ruth also volunteers her time offering drop-in guided meditations as an internal resource for her company’s employees.

In addition to her regular home practice, Ruth attends yearly meditation retreats that deepen her practice through self-contemplation, opening of the heart and self-compassion.

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