The Urban Mindfulness Foundation
A Mindful Community of Practice Company Based in Newham East London that is commitment to embracing our differences and connecting through our common humanity.
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation aspires to be a leading and influential provider of social mindfulness teacher training that widens access for marginalised, underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Through this work, we are also committed to sharing a socially and culturally sensitive mindfulness practice that deepens relationality. The aim is to foster individual and collective resilience, wellness, and a sense of solidarity that promotes healing from the various identity-based harms such as racism, classism, and sexism as examples.
As we may know, these ‘isms’ can often result in harmful beliefs leading to discrimination and prejudices that are recognised as hate in UK Law.
To help address this, the Urban Mindfulness Foundation offer structured educational mindfulness and compassion-based trainings delivered through a social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion lens that we call JEDI work.
Additionally, we provide this online community of practice website to connections between people who are interested in the intersection of mindfulness, racial and social justice, health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
Check out the Membership Dashboard here
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation also provides training to existing mindfulness teachers and organisations wishing to enhance their skills and knowledge in creating inclusive and accountable mindfulness classrooms and spaces.
We consider this work to be crucial if we are to collectively promote and stimulate wider engagement across the field and the deepening of mindfulness practice through an anti-oppressive lens that allows for the social, cultural, and collective factors and determinants of health to be addressed collaboratively.
Through a provision of culturally informed and sensitive mindfulness trainings to grassroots communities and mindfulness teachers, we provide structured routes into authentic social mindfulness practice, training, and teaching.
Also, by uplifting and promoting cultural competencies, engagement, and support within the field that includes the voices of marginalized communities.
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation brings together diverse lived experience thorugh an online commmunity and network of existing mindfulness teachers, practitioners and organisations to foster a modern view of what an inclusive mindfulness culture looks like and how such a cultural can influence positive social change.
This means that whilst we centre the black African, Carribean, Asian and people of colour community, we are just as committed to supporting the wider population and field of mindfulness teachers, practitioners and training organisations whatever their origin, culture, ethnicity, faiths or beliefs etc.
We consider the work we do to be essential for all mindfulness teachers regardless of your identity. Especially if there is a wish to ensure your teaching practices are rooted in social justice and our collective social flourishing.
Growing our connections
Fully committed to 'JEDI' Work
“JEDI” stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and it is at the heart of everything we do!
As JEDI Warriors, it is important to note that inclusion is not just about identifying where exclusion and inclusion occur. As JEDI Warriors, we strive to actively promote happiness, joy, resilience, and stability by acknowledging and celebrating the beauty, wisdom, and importance of social, cultural, physical, and cognitive diversity.
This explicitly includes the diversity of individuals from African, Caribbean, Asian, Indigenous, and Global Majority heritages, who hold essential knowlege and wisdom required for our collective and long-term co-existence.
Unfortunately, we know these diverse heritages have been largely absent from the mindfulness classroom until now, and it is this that the Urban Mindfulness Foundation is committed to introducing as a mechanism for building an inclusive mindfulness culture that enriches the lived experience of UK life and wider society.
As JEDI warriors, we are also committed to following four key guiding JEDI contemplations as offered by W.E.B Dubois to facilitate change from the inside out. These include:
How does our integrity meet oppression?
How does our honesty meet deceptions?
How does our decency meet insult?
How does virtue meet the brute force?
When addressing identity based harms, these contemplations provide important insight into the core values of a JEDI warrior and what it means to be mindful in the world. Additionally, JEDI warriors spend the time to understand what it is that we are being included in, alongside what we ourselves are willing to include, exclude, create, and or co-create together in response.
We call the work we do JEDI Work and the people doing the work JEDI Warriors!
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation is an organisation that focuses on building mindfulness, compassion, insight, and wisdom through the maturation of a social mindfulness practice.
Founded and led by people of black, African, Caribbean and Asian discent, with a unique blend of cultural knowledge and wisdom from the global majority traditions. The Urban Mindfulness Foundation uniquely integrate Western education, culture, meditation, contemplation, and reflective practices in a way that welcomes all faith traditions and none to what is an inclusive socially engaged secular mindfulness practice. The offerings from the UMF therefore provide a uniquely inclusive vision of mindfulness that acknowledges the reality of our social and cultural differences and traditions and therefore the differences and nuances in mindful expressions that represent its beauty.
This unique perspective of mindfulness from the UMF offers a blend of knowledge, wisdom, and practices aimed to develop a socially and culturally informed mindfulness practioner that is rooted in compassionate equitable social actions that transpire uniquely for each person as their deepest sense of agency and purpose arises.
The Urban Mindfulness Foundations approach builds upon the standard mindfulness trainings by maturing them in ways that meet wider audiences. While traditional trainings have been successful in addressing individual mental health concerns particuarly, our work is focused on community and social health and wellness that bridges the recognisable social and cultural gaps in traditional mindfulness trainings that mean they don’t often incorporate awareness of the social determinants of health, nor how we might address them collectively.
Ultimately, the UMF seek to provide a more holistic, preventative social mindfulness practice that promotes health and well-being through collective inner and outer change and transformation.
Having created, delivered and researched our very own Mindfulness-Based Inclusion Training Program called (MBIT) or My-BIT, we introduce the subjects of equity, diversity and inclusion utilising mindfulness practice in key social and public sector contexts including the Health Care & Criminal Justice system, The Educational System, The Workplace and Community Settings.
Our Mindfulness Based Inclusion Training (MBIT)
We have developed the first Mindfulness-Based Inclusion Training programme in the UK that is specifically designed to address justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the field and wider society.
This award-winning programme is designed to enrich our relationships and sense of connection through deepening our social, cultural and emotional understanding.
The MBIT training programme was awarded for its innovation as part of the 2022 Mindfulness Innovations Awards from the Mindfulness Initiative and Hart Knowe Trust due to its creativity in meeting real world needs. MBIT consists of a unique blend of educational-based mindfulness training designed for beginners, experienced mindfulness teachers, practitioners and Organisations serious about addressing the equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion gaps in society and in the field.
The MBIT programme draws on both traditional and somatic techniques of learning and experiencing that shift the historical traumas of identity-based harm in a way that invites change through deeper social and cultural intelligence.
By inviting the subjects of equity, equality, diversity and inclusion into our contemplations and reflections, we invite new and embodied insights into how our social and cultural conditioning distorts how we see ourselves and each other. Ultimately, MBIT is about developing wise discernment, critical thinking and the maturation of compassionate and courageous beings willing to act from this embodied space of awareness.
Click HERE for more detailed info on the MBIT programme.
What do previous participants say about our work?
FOR THE ‘BIG UP YOUR CHESS’ 2023 /24
YOUNG PEOPLES MINDFULNESS PROJECT!
Free scholarships are now available to join this unique and culturally informed mindfulness-based community health and wellbeing programme for 18 to 24-year-olds from the Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and people of colour communities. The courses are funded by East London NHS Foundation Trust and offered to promote health, wellbeing and positive social relationships that avoids or reduces the need for statutory health care interventions.
One 8 week course to be offered to youug people in each of the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Hackney.
The Big Up Your CHESS programme for youth and young adults uses a play on the cultural phrase “Big up your chest” but replaces the word chest with the acronym CHESS, which stands for:
C – Choosing Community collaboration
H – Health
E – Education and
S – Strategic
S – Solidarity
This project is fully funded and supported by:
13th January 2024
Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre
The Big Up Your CHESS project is designed to communicate an important positive message about all young people who actively choose health, education and strategic solidarity for both personal and collective wellness. The project includes a fully funded face-to-face course for young people aged 18 to 24 from the Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and people of colour communities for each of the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
Not only are the courses FREE, but each person will recieve a gift on completion of the course and be invited to explore mindful activities such as roller skating, ice skating. The courses are funded by the East London (NHS) Foundation Trust (ELFT) with the support of Compass Wellbeing and delivered and designed by the Urban Mindfulness Foundation, a mindfulness innovations award winner in the provision of culturally relevant mindfulness for black African Caribbean Asian and people of colour interested in collective health and community wellbeing that is rooted in social justice.
We’re published… and trending!
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for our time: A curriculum that is up to the task.
Global Advances in Health and Medicine and a resource document to help Mindfulness teachers ensure Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction fits our current time and is a curriculum that is up to the task!
You can download the published artical here and the resource paper here
Drop in sessions
for Black, African, Caribbean, Asian, and People of Colour
Free Online BAPOC-only Sessions
Every last Monday evening of the month
7.30 pm to 8.45 pm
This is an online BAPOC-only community solidarity gathering and practice session for people aged 18+, all existing MBIT alumni, and the wider BAPOC community across Newham, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets who are from the black, African, Caribbean, Asian, indeginous and people of colour community. The sessions will offer an intergenerational opportunity to engage with formal mindfulness practice to help settle the nervous system, release trauma, and ground the mind and body in the present moment as a process of creating the conditions for new insights relating to our personal and collective healing and flourishing to arise naturally.
Free in person BAPOC-only Sessions
Every last Saturday morning of the month
11.00 am to 1 pm
Arrive when you can, leave when you must
Each in person session will also include a formal mindfulness practice to help settle the nervous system, release trauma, and ground the mind and body in the present moment as a process of creating the conditions for new insights relating to our personal and collective healing and flourishing to arise naturally.
Inclusive drop-in sessions
where everyone is welcome to join
Every last Monday evening of the month
6.00 pm to 7.15 pm
These online sessions are also designed to develop an understanding of a bigger sense of self and belonging to a wider mindful community of practice that spans generations, demographic, cultural, ethnic, and racial groups that represent our deep and truly interconnected nature.
In Person Sessions
Every last Saturday of the month
1.30 pm to 2.30 pm
A free face-to-face, inclusive, multicultural mindfulness practice session will be offered. In this multicultural space, we will together explore what working cross-culturally and with other social justice allies from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors might look like. These sessions will include a full mindfulness meditation practice and some time for mindful dialogue on the commitments, benefits, and challenges we face in choosing health, education, and strategic solidarity.
Drastic times require DRASIC measures – A successful 2022 project that now informs all the work we do!
> PROJECT DRASIC <
Covid-19 Mindfulness Resources
Important Mindfulness reading for a reflective practice
- > Can mindfulness help us midst covid 19 and beyond?
- > Time for new thinking about mindfulness and social change
- > Social mindfulness as a force for change
- > Mindfulness and It’s Limitations in a Neoliberal Society
- > The mindfulness conspiracy, capitalist-spirituality
- > The Myth of McMindfulness.
- > Moving mindfulness from ‘me’ to ‘we’
All of our drop-in sessions are currently fully funded and offered freely.
However, we do welcome any donations from those who can afford it. A donation of £3 to £5 per session is suggested to help us continue offering our services for free to those who can’t afford to access mindfulness training.
Alternatively, please donate whatever you can, whenever you can, using the link below!
Support Our Cause
Help our organisation by donating today! All donations go directly to making a difference for our cause.
You can also make a donation using Paypal
So please help us to keep our service accessible and free to those who are unable to afford mindfulness or self-development training elsewhere.
Every donation makes a vital diffeerence to our work continuing so please donate what you can or wish and follow the suggested donations of £3 to 5 per session where possible.