We are being called upon to act
Our global crises of power, inequalities, marginalisation, dispossession and climate are all inter-connected. We are all being called upon to put into action the ethos of doing no harm and to create a better world for all. Our times require critical education and skills that rebuild our communities and transform our societies. Values of belonging, integration, caring for one another and the planet are all-important.
Mindfulness is associated with skills for our time
Contemplative traditions are larger than therapeutic techniques and coping skills. They are rooted in indigenous knowledges and wisdom traditions across the globe. Mindfulness offers a pathway to reconnecting with values that respect, dignity and belonging. It can help us overcome the social norms and values that create discrimination and exclusions.
Our actions can include learning about:
- how we may create a better world that values all lives
- solidarity and allowing those most affected by dispossession to lead
- our privileges and acknowledging and overcoming our biases. and
- not doing for others what they can do for themselves
- thinking critically and meeting challenges with curiosity and innovation
Mindfulness can contribute to a better world.
It can combine education and action and help us create inclusive, nurturing societies.
What are inclusive mindfulness practices?
Practices such as meditation can help us uncover social norms and patterns that feed inequalities. But they cannot on their own change systems that create divisions in the first place. When mindfulness names systems that cause isolation, depression and stress, that privilege some groups and exclude others, we can begin to see the ways in which differences are exploited by such systems. Such a mindfulness can help us as individuals and groups consider our internalised modes of sustaining such structural power and address how mindfulness serves some communities more than others.
Why our training appeals to yoga practitioners
Yoga, like mindfulness, is concerned with relationship: how we connect with and appraise ourselves, each other, events, all living beings, and the world at large.
Alongside body and breath training, yoga cultivates compassion and care for the well-being of all. It emphasises ‘doing no harm’ and transformation. Like mindfulness it encourages working kindly with the body to prepare us for personal and social change.
Grounded in working with the whole person in society, yoga practitioners encourage change. Mindfulness in tun supports both inner work and social transformation.
Why are we offering mindfulness to civic organisations, and to community and youth workers?
Moving forward, CMI is developing training that targets community and youth workers advocating for social justice. Recognising the trajectory of skewed provision of mindfulness in the West, we are keen to bring mindfulness into the service of communities and marginalised groups. We wish to understand how traditional knowledges may shape the mindfulness landscape and how training may become sympathetic to context.