By Barbara Ibinarriaga Soltero.
Being Mindful of Our World offers a way for people to learn about mindfulness, meditation and contemplative practices and to find out about creative responses to critical debates on the social context of mindfulness, especially regarding its use in educational and workplace settings. The website provides resources for being mindful of our working and studying lives and is offered as an aid to developing critical thinking, and new approaches for navigating contemporary institutions, such as universities and workplaces.
Mindfulness is often understood as a therapeutic technique and has been found to help people who suffer from stress, anxiety and depression. The resources present the voices of leading figures in the field of mindfulness who are rethinking mindfulness beyond a solely therapeutic focus. We make publicly available the voices of 16 leading mindfulness teachers and researchers from 6 different countries. Each is developing new perspectives and practices which address our lives as social beings.
Our unique work has been conducted in a participatory way, collaboratively between staff and postgraduate researchers. This ‘teaching-led’ project is an example of a distinctive approach to active learning; aiming to help students, researchers, practitioners understand and practice social mindfulness, as a way of ‘waking up’ to how everyday life is produced as being ‘normal’ in various settings – at home, university, and in public places – by subtly ‘breaching’ taken-for-granted ways of living. This style of active learning challenges people to learn in new and unfamiliar ways. Social mindfulness may encourage civic engagement and the ability to critically and personally reflect on life, both inside and outside of the university or workplace, whilst also supporting people to take care of themselves and each other in the process.
Members of the team at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University:
Barbara Ibinarriaga Soltero, Verena Stein and Grace Krause, PhD Researchers
Steven Stanley, Senior Lecturer
Hannah O’Brien, Learning Technologist