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Several Triratna Order members and mitras were at the UK parliament on Tuesday 20th October for the launch of the “Mindful Nation UK” report, along with members of parliament, government ministers and experts on mindfulness. Triratna has been well represented throughout the process, as Vishapani reports. Having been part of the team editing the report, he writes:
“The report is the work of the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG) and the Mindfulness Initiative, which supports it, following 18 months of research and consultation. (I’m an Associate of the Mindfulness Initiative.) The report asks how mindfulness practice could benefit Britain and how the government could support this.
Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, Tracy Crouch, Minister for Culture & Sport and Alistair Burt, a health minister, all spoke enthusiastically about the potential of mindfulness. Tracy Crouch and members of the MAPPG spoke about their personal experience of taking mindfulness courses in Parliament and described how it had helped them manage stress and mental health problems.
The report looks at four key policy areas - health, education, criminal justice and the workplace - and considers how mindfulness training can help in each. It concludes that though the evidence is of varying reliability, it does show that mindfulness is effective in many areas.
A key recommendation is improved provision of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, which is already offered by the UK’s National Health Service for people with recurrent depression. Other recommendations include definitively identifying other health conditions where mindfulness can help; supporting the spread of mindfulness practice through the education system; researching how it can help in the criminal justice system; and identifying good practice for workplace teaching. It also considers the challenge of offering mindfulness teaching on a much wider scale while maintaining standards and integrity.
Several Triratna Order members and mitras participated in the research and consultation, including Vidyamala, founder of Breathworks, who contributed to the MAPPG’s session on physical health; Kulananda, who contributed to the workplace strand; and Rebecca Remigio, a mitra with a senior role in the Probation Service in Wales, who spoke in the session on criminal justice, where I also contributed.
This is the first time that a major legislative body has looked seriously at the role of mindfulness and meditation, and the first time that members of the UK government have engaged seriously with it. The next question is whether their enthusiasm is backed up by action!”