Jamie Bristow, the Mindfulness Initiative
How might mindfulness help us heal our politics and meet the existential crises of the 21st Century?
Over the last eight years, 300 MPs and Members of the House of Lords in the British Parliament have received some mindfulness training. Similar teaching programmes have recently been established in other national parliaments. Many politicians have noticed a resulting shift in the tone of debate and nature of their cross-party relationships, enabling them to "disagree better". Empirical evidence is starting to back up their observations. What does this largely fringe interest in cultivating specific qualities of mind and heart have for mainstream politics and the way political decisions are made?
In the context of the climate crisis, mindfulness training is emerging as one of the most promising approaches for building important inner capacities and shifting mindsets. In addition to supporting elements associated with climate action, such as increased nature connection and pro-environmental attitudes, mindfulness works more broadly to help us reclaim and reorient attention towards what matters, reflect more wisely, and act from a place of collective purpose. In this session we will explore the work of the Mindfulness Initiative in politics and public policy and explore a three-fold model for understanding how mindfulness supports human agency that was proposed in Jamie’s recent discussion paper Mindfulness: Developing Agency in Urgent Times.
Paper by Jamie Bristow https://www.themindfulnessinitiative.org/agency-in-urgent-times