Over the last two years around 120 members of the UK Parliament - in the House of Commons and House of Lords - have taken mindfulness courses. Some are also exploring how mindfulness can affect British society as a whole. They’ve formed an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) devoted to mindfulness, which has been holding meetings throughout this autumn. Several people from Triratna are involved.
Vishvapani writes: “It’s moving to see how deeply the parliamentarians have been affected by meditation and mindfulness; and it’s both exciting and daunting to see the scope for mindfulness and meditation to be taught within health, education and other parts of British society.
I contributed to a roundtable discussion in the Houses of Parliament on mindfulness and criminal justice, accompanying Rebecca Remigio, a mitra who is Head of Public Protection in Wales. We described our work using mindfulness with serious offenders on probation in Approved Premises, and I led meditation for a group of MPs and Lords who have completed mindfulness courses.
On 5th November Vidyamala spoke about Breathworks and its Mindfulness-Based Pain Management work at a meeting exploring the potential for mindfulness to contribute to field of physical healthcare. Taravandana, who trains senior NHS staff in compassionate leadership skills, also attended.
Later in November, Kamalagita, who is developing a teacher training project including mindfulness, attended the Mindfulness and Education roundtable. And Kulananda, Director of Mindfulness Works, contributed to the meeting on mindfulness in the workplace. Both Kulananda and Vidyamala also spoke at the APPG’s summer launch.
These evidence-gathering meetings aren’t open to the public. They will feed into the APPG’s report, ‘A Mindful Nation’, due to be published in June 2015. Supporting the APPG, and doing the research and writing, is a group of academics and other specialists called The Mindfulness Initiative. As an Associate I’m taking a leading role in editing the report.”