Recently, a friend mentioned that in April this year there was a debate on Mindfulness in the UK parliament and some MP’s publicly acknowledged that the practice of mindfulness had made a great difference to their lives. I did some research and discovered that there has been an ongoing discussion about introducing mindfulness into all areas of UK Health and Education.
In December last year, Chris Ruane (Opposition Whip (Commons); Vale of Clwyd, Labour) spoke about mindfulness: “I wish to make a speech about mindfulness and unemployment. I have given up a lot to be here tonight according to my hon. Friend Thomas Docherty. I could have gone to the Irish ambassador’s Christmas party. That is how important my speech is. [Interruption] I think that my hon. Friend is going there now……. The World Health Organisation states that by 2030, mental health will be the biggest cause of burden out of all health conditions, including heart conditions and cancer. The term “burden” is not an emotive or pejorative term, but a scientific term that is measured in years of lost life due to early death or severe disability brought on by illness, in this case depression….”
To read the rest of the speech you can click on this link: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-12-04a.840.0&s=%22work+programme%22
This is intriguing and I applaud the people that are interested in creating a more mindful world. Can you imagine a world where we actually respond with peace rather than react with fear? It is definitely a world worth imagining.
Scientists have been treating mindfulness as a serious topic for the past 40 years. The American scientist, Jon Kabat-Zinn, began to research its impact on chronic pain in the 1970s and, thanks in part to his work, it is now used in hospitals all over the world – including in the NHS. It has also been recommended as a treatment for depression, and it is thought to improve public speaking, reduce overeating and promote clarity of thought. Mindfulness is combination of meditative practices (depending on the teacher and the student) that allows one to be deeply aware of the world we live in and how we are interacting with it.
Although mindfulness meditation is seen as a practice that emerged from Buddhism; meditation and self-reflection techniques are common in all ancient cultures and have been used for thousands of years to develop Spiritual Intelligence.
My concern is that in the present use of mindfulness, the focus is on cultivating mental-emotional intelligence. There is a degree of self-centredness in the western world’s use of mindfulness in, it is subtly being separated from its roots, its purpose, which was and is to realise the SELF, to recognise the compassionate Presence that is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. To help us become dynamic, powerful, peaceful servants of humanity. Although the watered down version of mindfulness is useful, and is bringing peace to thousands of people, it feels fitting to remind ourselves all of mindfulness’s true purpose and power lest we forget it.
We agree that the key emotional health is mindfulness or as we like to describe it, compassionate awareness. It is the ability to step back from the drama of life and take stock. This awareness helps us respond with compassionate confidence instead of reacting with anxiety, fear or frustration. In LiberatingTouch® we practise this using Meditative Inquiry, Unconditional Listening and Healing Touch. There is a mindfulness revolution taking place around the globe. Companies like Google, and public sector entities like Transport for London and the UK Home Office are providing mindfulness seminars to their staff. A well-publicised study by Transport for London concluded that days off for stress, anxiety and depression had fallen by 71%, whilst happiness at work had risen by 53% following a course of mindfulness. This of course has an impact on efficiency and performance. Recently a series of research studies showed that the number one trait of successful people was….conscientiousness. So the predominant trait of successful people was being fully present and conscious about the people and things around you.
When we discuss mindfulness, we want to make it very clear that its purpose is not to disengage from life, people, relationships, or problems, but to engage with life with greater awareness, care and compassion. Its true purpose is to help us serve humanity with dedication and so benefit everyone. In all ancient traditions there is a common unifying philosophy, master the mind (develop mindfulness, compassionate awareness), act from the compassionate Heart and experience the bliss of Truth and Love. We are living in exciting times, witnessing the birth of a mindful world, let us remind ourselves that we can use meditation, inquiry, LiberatingTouch, mindfulness not just to improve the quality of our lives, but to explore the nature of who we are, to realise the SELF (Absolute Love and Truth).