My name is Matt MacKinnon, MD and I am a psychiatric resident physician. When I created this site in medical school my wife asked a very poignant question: “Who are you and why should we listen to you?”
The short answer is: you shouldn’t. Don’t listen to me with the idea that I am an authority figure on the subject or that I have a profound mastery of mindfulness. Don’t listen to me because I have an MD abutting my last name or because I specialize in psychiatry.
Instead, walk with me for a while as I stumble, fall, and pick myself back up over and over again in the hope of experiencing the world in a mindful way.
I was first formally exposed to mindfulness as an undergraduate studying biological psychology. I was intrigued by the material and read everything I could get my hands on that related to mindfulness.
This website chronicles my journey since this first introduction. I considered naming my site “Mindful, MD” but decided that using the adjective version of the word would suggest that I myself, the modified subject, were mindful. This felt entirely too pompous and false in light of how I see myself. Instead I decided to name the site “Mindfulness, MD” and made the adjective mindful into a noun, a subject in and of itself. This noun form better represents what mindfulness means to me and what I hope to impart to the reader: mindfulness is something both within and without each one of us that we can learn from and with. It is important to remember that no one can tell you what mindfulness means to you. The best I can do as a writer is to provide an allegory with my evolving life story that allows you as a reader to investigate for yourself what it means to be mindful in your own life.
I feel like a quote from Rumi as translated by Coleman Barks nicely summarizes my intention behind this blog:
“Don’t turn your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”
Rūmī, Jalāl Al-Dīn, and Coleman Barks. The Essential Rumi. San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1995. Print.