What do you imagine would happen if the UK Government got interested in the application of Mindfulness? You no longer have to wonder. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness has just published its findings and presented them at the Palace of Westminster.
This is an historic moment. Not yet widely reported, I picked up on it after a friend sent me this link to a report in the Huffington Post. After reading the article I thought I had better do a little background research, not that I doubt the press, but the Huffington Post can be a little left field!
Mindful Nation UKis a report 2 years in the making that has just been published by the Mindfulness All Part Parliamentary Group (MAPPG). It has been supported by the Mindfulness Initiative, who appear to have involved many of the great and the good in the UK and beyond, in their organisation and the process. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Ruby Wax are their patrons.
The executive summary of the report (first few pages) is worth a read and in a wide ranging set of recommendations they have considered the application of Mindfulness in the National Health Service, education, the workplace and the Prison Service.
This is a fascinating and heartening development. We wait to see how the realities of implementing the recommendations in a current culture of reducing public spending pan out. As an eternal optimist I can imagine that the advocates of the report will highlight not only the potential for positive outcomes, but how those outcomes may save the government money.
It struck me that there may be some of you out there who may be curious about mindfulness and interested in learning more. So I thought I would share a few links to useful resources.
BeMindful.com offers an online course in developing mindfulness. This looks interesting and helpful. It costs £60 or $95 and can be done at any time, anywhere. I believe that you can start it for free, to see if it is for you, before committing to payment.
Other online courses are available. Perhaps one of the best known for meditation is Headspace, which also is available as an app and encourages you to meditate regularly at a time to suit you.
If you prefer face to face learning and are based in the UK then BeMindful.co.uk provide a search facility to find a Mindfulness teacher near you.
There are a wide range of links and resources available at the online magazine Mindful.org. The link here will take you to a collection for those just starting out
Alternatively if you are interested in the roots of Mindfulness then an understanding and enquiry into the Buddhist Dharma might be of interest. There are many online resources available. A simple internet search will reveal resources shared by individual teachers, teaching centres and many more. One of the largest resources is at Dhama Seed. A wide variety of teachers and talks are available for free, donations are encouraged.
Alternatively, you may prefer to visit a centre near you. There are many across the UK, USA and Canada. Again an internet search will reveal those in your country.