Mindfulness – commonly described as paying attention in the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude – is very topical. It is being sold to us as a panacea for the stress and ills of modern Western life across schools, universities and government organisations. So pervasive is Mindfulness that a UK All Party Parliamentary Mindfulness Group is investigating the benefits for public policy.
Speakers deliberated on the question of whether like medication, adopting mindfulness across schools and universities might be life saving for some but have side effects for others – drawing on their latest research findings to start the debate.
Dr Leigh Burrows (pictured) spoke about “From: ‘What happens when you close your eyes for a mindfulness meditation?’ To: ‘We don’t always know what they are experiencing’. A/Prof Kathy Arthurson’s talk posed questions about the implications of adopting mindfulness approaches with diverse socioeconomic and cultural groups along with access and equity and social justice issues. Dr Jessie Gunson, spoke about the ‘Embodied effects of Slow Scholarship’ in university workplaces.
Following this a lively Q & A panel took place – consisting of the three speakers, along with Matt Fisher from Southgate Institute, and Susan Cameron, Director Health and Well-being Centre, Royal Adelaide Hospital.