Online Colloquium No° 43: Mindfulness and Politics

Date and time
2 Stunden

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

Jamie Bristow

Jamie Bristow is Director of The Mindfulness Initiative, a policy institute about mindfulness and compassion training that grew out of a programme of mindfulness teaching for politicians in the British Parliament.
The Mindfulness Initiative provides the secretariat to the UK Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group and helped politicians to publish the seminal Mindful Nation UK policy report. Jamie now works with politicians and other decision-makers around the world to help them make capacities of mind and heart serious considerations of public policy and has supported the introduction of mindfulness training in over 10 national parliaments. He is the author of several publications including Mindfulness: Developing Agency in Urgent Times.
Jamie was formerly Business Development Director for Headspace and has a background in climate change campaign communications and advertising.