Vishvapani writes with an update on the state of play for Triratna Mindfulness-Based Projects - one of its major growth areas over the past few years. He says - “One of the biggest developments in the Triratna Buddhist Community over the last few years has been the growth of mindfulness-courses. This mirrors the rapid spread of mindfulness and meditation in healthcare settings such as the UK’s National Health Service.
Five years ago I wrote an article for Triratna News (then FWBO News) called Mindfulness for Everything, which remains a useful guide to what mindfulness-based approaches are and some of the issues they raise. That article also surveyed the various Triratna mindfulness projects of the time - since much has changed, here’s an update. These are all the projects I know about: as you can see there are lots of them and new ones are starting all the time, so sorry for any omissions: please let me know if I have left you out.
Triratna Mindfulness-Based Projects
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) & Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBSR was developed in the US by Jon Kabat Zinn while MBCT is an adaptation of MBCT by UK-based clinical psychologists, especially directed at avoiding relapse into depression. The other approach to mindfulness within the Triratna Community is Breathworks(see below).
Breathing Space (London Buddhist Centre). This is the most substantial Triratna mindfulness-based project. With a dedicated space at the LBC a dozen Order members run MBCT courses, focusing on depression relapse and recovery from addiction.
Cambridge Buddhist Centre: an experienced team offer a substantial programme of MBCT courses.Mindfulness Works Kulananda (whose working name is Michael Chaskalson) is the founder and director of this very successful business offering MBSR courses in London, telephone coaching, workplace training and mindfulness-based executive coaching. His latest book is The Mindful Workplace.
Brighton: MBCT courses are taught by Taravajra at the Evolution Arts and Natural Health Centre while other mindfulness based courses are taught at the Brighton Buddhist Centre. Taravajra and Karunavira both teach on Bangor University’s masters programme in mindfulness based approaches and have run training for NHS staff.
North London Buddhist Centre runs a full programme of mindfulness courses including MBCT, MBSR and Breathworks.
San Francisco Stress Reduction was founded by Suvarnaprabha and has offered courses, workshops and workplace training.
Mindfulness in Action MBSR courses, coaching and workplace training in Cardiff, South Wales and Bristol. The courses are mainly taught at the local Buddhist centres by Vishvapani. The Mindfulness in Action Website includes information about mindfulness and a blog.
Seed of Peace: Mindful communication (NVC) taught internationally and MBSR courses in Bristol taught by Shantigarbha and colleagues.
Mindful Conversations Sahajasiddhi is an educational psychologist and academic based in Leeds who is exploring the use of mindfulness in various settings. This project is aimed at health professionals and ‘offers ways in which the quality of our conversations can be developed.’
In addition, numerous individuals apply mindfulness-based approaches in their work as therapists, psychologists teachers etc.
My 2005 article included a full account of Breathworks up to 2007; other Triratna News features have charted further developments in their work with both chronic pain and stress. Breathworks activities include teacher training, local courses and online mindfulness training. The Breathworks website lists the following towns where Breathworks trainers (not all of them involved with the Triratna Community) offer courses.
UK: Birmingham | Bradford | Brighton | Cambridge | Cardiff | Cumbria | Dorchester | Glasgow | Leeds | London: East | London: North | London: South | London: West | Manchester | Newcastle | Newhaven, Sussex | Norwich | Oxford | Plymouth | Sheffield | Shrewsbury | Stroud | Worthing