Building Bridges Not Walls
Mindfulness is a form of psychological training. It develops a persons’ awareness and ability to pay attention to the nature of the mind. To recognise the self-arising, self-displaying and self-liberating nature of internal and external experiences moment by moment without judgement.
Regular daily practice can develop a deeper understanding of oneself and others. This can bring about transformation of energy that perhaps in the past didn’t serve us so well.
Whilst mindfulness practice is an important part of most Buddhist traditions. The practice of Secular or what we describe as Inclusive mindfulness meditation is not exclusive to Buddhism nor any other religious faith.
Whilst many Western Organisations and Practitioners have adopted the term Secular Mindfulness as a way of sharing and delivering Mindfulness to a wider audience. At the Urban Mindfulness Foundation we encourage Inclusive Mindfulness where we embrace and acknowledge different faiths and cultures openly. We recognising the benefits of combining mindfulness practice alongside traditional religious practices and therefore welcome people of faith and no faith equally to practice.
We actively practice inclusive mindfulness to enhance awareness and acceptance of ourselves and others to improve cultural intelligence that builds bridges across communities.
We invite everyone from all faiths to come and practice mindfulness with us. We also welcome the opportunity to share our practice with any faith groups who are interested with the view to see how the practice can connect with ones faith.
Inclusive Mindfulness – A step beyond Secular Mindfulness
Whilst the concept of Secular Mindfulness as understood by us, means to practice free of any religious connotation or preference. We feel that for many people this may feel as though one needs to leave religion at the door when practising Secular mindfulness. However, at the Urban Mindfulness Foundation we believe that it is important to go a step further than the achievements of secular mindfulness and practice inclusive Mindfulness that welcomes everyone of any faith or none so we can practice in a natural community, examine how the practice can deepen ones faith, spirituality or generally well being.
Inclusive Mindfulness celebrates the unification of the essence of love, compassion, surrender and forgiveness that is normally the bed rock of all of the world’s most popular religions. In fact the intention of inclusive mindfulness is to enhance all such qualities and bridge the voids of separation that predominantly exists in the Urban environment.
The western world have introduced mindfulness based interventions since the 1970’s. Various medical professions throughout the world have also adopted the secular practice.
Now used for a range of mental and physical conditions, including reduction of stress, depression and the re- occurrence of depression, anxiety, drug addiction, pain and psoriasis to name just a few examples. The importance of this practice is gaining momentum.
Pioneered by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, there have been a multitude of studies that show mindfulness to temper physical pain and other forms of pain and anxiety.
Practising inclusive mindfulness skillfully, we can learn to bring communities together, by being curious and interested in others so that we can celebrate who and what we are collectively.
The Support for Mindfulness is Growing Fast
Please see the recent All Party, Parliamentary Group Report “Mindful Nation” for further information on mindfulness and the recommendations for the integration of mindfulness into key social institutions by government.
What Mindfulness is Not!
Mindfulness is not about making the mind go blank or going into some meditative blissful trance like state. There is nothing spooky or mystical about Mindfulness practices. We do not do any form of chanting, singing or dancing or other ritual based practices as part of our programmes and it is not Buddhism!
Whilst an established practice can help us to find inner freedom from many unhelpful habitual reactive thought patterns and behaviours. It is important not to over sell mindfulness as some kind of panacea. It certainly is not a quick fix solution to mental or physical health problems.
Mindfulness, develops slowly. As we develop the skills to observe the mind in a compassionate way, we come to understand ourselves better which leads to insight and wisdom we can call upon to liberate ourselves from suffering. Our courses are simply an introduction to what inclusive mindfulness can really do and we hope it is just the start of your mindfulness journey.
Commitment – Practice & Patience
The effects of mindfulness are also accumulative. This means there is at least some correlation between the amount of practice and the benefits. Likewise, some will find they have a positive experiences almost immediately. Others will need time to practice before they experience the positive effects of inclusive mindfulness. So it is important that we are patient and gentle with ourselves and this itself can only be a positive thing.
Inclusive Mindfulness Training Requires Commitment
However, once you feel the benefits of the practice, it is likely that you will want to sustain a practice for the rest of your life.
It is also possibly fair to say that only a sustained practice will reveal how and why mindfulness is beneficial to you. In his book “The Full Catastrophe Living” Jon Kabat Zinn suggests “you should sit in meditation like your life depends on it. He then goes on to say “because it probably truly does”.
For simplicity, we often use a very basic working definition of mindfulness which is:
Simply learning about how the mind works so we can work
more skillfully with it”.