There are just a few days to join the Mindfulness Summit, a whole month of online interviews and practical exercises from mindfulness experts. Its purpose is to spread the word about the the meditation-based approach to life. On Saturday there is the chance to join a livestream with Jon Kabat-Zinn, credited with bringing mindfulness to Western culture. It is illuminating just how broad the practice has become and how many facets of life can be helped by it. Psychologist and science journalist Dan Goleman believes that it will be really important in the social-emotional development of children, and that it has a big role to play in education.
“The real mainstream…will come when our educational systems recognise that a child’s ability to pay attention in class is fundamental to the mission of the school, to helping the child learning…what we call mindfulness is one form of attention training,” he explains. Linking mindfulness with kindness creates a better world, he asserts.
There are moves afoot to bring mindfulness programmes and practices into schools in the UK, including the .b mindfulness range of courses for school children. With its roots in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, this is low-intensity, secular-based teaching to introduce children to mindfulness. There is a growing base of evidence to show how children can benefit, by learning to manage stress and improve performance.