Vanee Songsiridej always possessed a desire to learn about meditation and it was during her medical school studies in Thailand that she had the opportunity to dive deeper into this practice. She quickly found that learning and practicing meditation was extremely helpful in living life with greater resilience, peace, and contentment. Vanee continued to study and practice as she felt the benefits of living with mindfulness was a helpful tool in her life, and eventually brought mindfulness techniques to her community in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
In 1992, Vanee learned about the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts and completed her first training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. In subsequent years, she returned for further professional training, reserved for those with extensive professional experience and a solid meditation practice. Following her initial training, she began to offer MBSR classes at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse in 1993 and did so up until 2004. During this time, she also began offering bi-monthly meetings for graduates of the MBSR program as well as those interested in learning about mindfulness practices and continues to offer this space for learning and discussion to this day.
Vanee says that she enjoys sharing the benefits of mindfulness meditation and MBSR to the general public and offers a variety of opportunities to her community. In addition to her ongoing mindfulness meditation meetings, she also leads groups to study and discuss books like “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach and “Emptiness” by Guy Armstrong. She loves being able to share these life-changing tools with others and says, “I found that for people who are interested in learning these skills, they can have life-transforming abilities that help them create more well-being for themselves and others regardless of what difficulty showed up in their lives.” Her goal at the end of the day is to offer tools for greater well-being for herself and others which creates a stronger, more resilient and peaceful community.
While Vanee continues to lead mindfulness practices and groups with patients, healthcare providers, and the general public, she ensures to dedicate time for her personal practice and study. Her commitment to ongoing study and practice is evident as she has pursued additional training at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is currently studying in a two-year program with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.
Her love for her community and world around her is also clear. When we asked what are three things she could not live without, she responded, “There are a lot of things I would hate to not have – good health, loved ones, and home are among the top things I don’t want to lose. I love the neighbors and the community I am in now. I am thankful to be in this country even with all the challenges that we are having.”
You can learn more about Vanee, her offerings, and schedule over on her website. We’re proud to walk alongside Vanee in this journey and would love the chance to be part of yours, too! Visit offeringtree.com to see how we can help take your health, wellness, or fitness professional practice to the next level.