A while ago I walked into a particular publisher and saw every title of their upcoming books having “mindfulness” in the title and I was concerned that it was getting watered down. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As of today, mindfulness has evolved within America and has the potential to have a greater influence than we had ever imagined. Leaders around the country are implementing it in early child development, the military, education, politics, neuroscience, medicine, healthcare, business, the prisons, at-risk youth, and of course, psychotherapy. In this post I’m going to highlight a few key things that are happening that you may want to know about and how our culture is ripe for a second wave of mindfulness.
There’s a new magazine that just launched called Mindful that highlights all the latest people and developments around how this is changing our nation and the world as we know it. I highly recommend subscribing to this, there is a tremendous amount of credibility behind the team that is developing it.
There’s a movie that is coming out in summer 2013 called The Mindfulness Movie, by Paul Harrison, that puts together 35 of the world’s mindfulness leaders into one film looking at its effects in neuroscience, psychiatry, relationships, sports, psychology, and quantum physics. This also comes with a core training program.
Here is the current trailer:
Professor Joel Bakan wrote a book called The Corporation and in it he said if corporations were human, they’d be diagnosed as psychotic. Well, there may be a remedy for that. There has been a lot of talk about the integration of mindfulness in business and leaders like Janice Marturano, eMindful.com, among others are making it happen. Janice is Director of the Institute of Mindful Leadership and does live classes in companies such as General Mills and is making a big impact on leaders in corporations. eMindful is another company you want to know about that runs live online classes to the public and also directly into companies. Research on their 12-week Mindfulness at Work® program was published in the Journal on Occupational Health showing significant stress reduction for employees and also reduction in healthcare costs for companies. Further research has shown a return on investment of up to 25 to 1. Those are highly significant numbers impossible to ignore.
Elizabeth Stanley, Ph.D. runs the Mind Fitness Training Institute and they are currently part of a project training the U.S. Marine Corps in mindfulness. The boys at the Holistic Life Foundation are transforming inner city youth in Baltimore and have recently received significant funding to increase their efforts. Megan Cowen and her colleagues bring mindfulness into schools at Mindful Schools. My wife, Stefanie Goldstein, PhD and I recently started the CALM program – Connecting Adolescents to Learning Mindfulness and are seeing significant results. A number of others are bringing mindfulness to earlier education like Goldie Hawn, Daniel Siegel, Susan Kaiser Greenland, Amy Saltzman, Gina Biegel, among others.
What you see above isn’t even the half of it. We’d need many pages to list the mindful heroes and sheroes out there making a significant impact in their respective field. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan does a great job giving in overview in A Mindful Nation and there have even been many more who have cropped up since then.
Interest in mindfulness has also ignited scientific interest in compassion and self-compassion. In my opinion, these are two primary elements toward healing ourselves, our relationships, and potentially the world. If we can learn to see each other as people, instead of objects, with greater understanding, caring and inclination to help ourselves and one another, that is going to be powerful.
The field is wide open like never before and I am really looking forward to it.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Bonus: Here you’ll find some tips on how to weave mindfulness into your everyday life.