Skillfully Aware is secular meditation and mindfulness instruction specifically designed to relieve stress and stress-related illnesses. Dr. Mark Pirtle created Skillfully Aware programming by blending neuroscience, living systems theory, cognitive behavioral theory, and mindfulness meditation into an evidence-based recovery model. His curriculum initially served as the instructive foundation for the Pain Program at Sierra Tucson (2007). Pirtle has since updated the science and techniques. The current programming and practices work for all stress-related conditions, not just pain.

Modern life is complicated. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by stress. Indeed, 80-90% of all doctors’ visits are the result of stress-related illnesses. The list of stress illnesses includes insomnia, obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders, ADD, PTSD, OCD, autoimmune diseases, many cancers, a plethora of chronic pain conditions, and much more. Learning to monitor and modify one's triggers, thoughts, and sensations enables skillful stress management.

Dr. Pirtle teaches mindful stress management through his Skillfully Aware programming. Students learn to track triggers, thoughts, and sensations, with increasing concentration, clarity, and composure. Beyond skillful awareness, Pirtle encourages students to reorient their lives towards the transformative powers of beauty, truth, and goodness. In this way, becoming skillfully aware fosters health, happiness, and resilience.

Skillfully Aware programming is available through online classes, home audio programs, online forums, "office hours" web meetings, internet one-on-one consultations, and live multi-day workshops.

Dr. Mark Pirtle is a pioneer in integral thinking in stress relief and recovery. He is a clinician, teacher,  author, public speaker, filmmaker, and true “innerpreneur.” Pirtle connects the dots between science, wellness, and spirituality. He tirelessly updates his understanding of the latest science to help others change and heal. After completing his doctorate in physical therapy, he became deeply interested in Buddhist psychology as it applies to stress-related illnesses. Pirtle has since practiced mindfulness meditation for nearly two decades under the guidance of his teachers, John Yates, Ph.D. (Culadasa) and Shinzen Young. Pirtle is a faculty member of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program. Currently, he is writing and producing a feature-length documentary film titled: Is Your Story Making You Sick?  The film is fully funded, shot, and is currently in post-production. The projected release is late first quarter 2017.