Applications and uses of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is for everyone from all walks of life, young or old. There is no necessary religious component to mindfulness - anyone, with any belief system, can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness is now being used in the business, education, prisons, Court rooms and hospitals across the world.

Quick links:

Mindfulness in the workplace

Mindfulness in education

Mindfulness in Court rooms and prisons

Medical and theraputic uses of mindfulness



Mindfulness in the workplace


Mindfulness at work, mindfulness for leaders, coaching

Mindfulness is now being used in the workplace by a wide variety of people working at all levels, from Chief Executives to shop floor operatives. Mindfulness can help reduce workplace tensions, improve communications & teamwork and reduce workplace conflict. 



Mindfulness at the DAVOS world forum

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This page contains an overview of how mindfulness is being used in business by leaders and the workforce alike. This page contains case studies, links and video clips. As this page contains a high volume of information, use the "Quick Links" on the right of the screen to help you navigate round more quickly, or the "search" box at the top of the screen.

Mindfulness can help reduce workplace tensions. People who practice mindfulness at work report an improved ability to communicate clearly and more appropriate reactions to stressful situations. They also report a better ability to handle workplace conflict, Improved teamwork, a better ability to "think out of the box" and in some cases enhanced creativity. 

Using mindfulness in the workplace is highly beneficial to both businesses and their employees. Mindfulness can help businesses provide a higher standard of Customer Service by equipping their staff with the skills to respond more appropriately to their daily challenges.    Mindfulness can help employees respond more appropriately to managers and colleagues that they have previously found difficult. A few minutes of mindfulness at the start of a meeting usually leads to improved focus, clearer communication and improved decision making. Teams who practice mindfulness, even for a few minutes a day report improved team working and team relations.

The most widely documented use of mindfulness in the workplace is by Leaders and Executives. Modern business leaders are now asked to perform and thrive in a global environment that moves and changes at lightning speed. To become more adaptable and flexible in this environment, leaders need to move beyond familiar or habitual ways of seeing the world and open up to new ways of listening, leading, responding, and innovating.

While innovation can't be manufactured on demand, it can be cultivated both inwardly and outwardly through the practice of mindfulness. Cultivating attention and awareness through mindfulness provides a new way for leaders and their workforce to live all aspects of their lives with a greater sense of skill, connection, openness, and balance.

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Mindfulness for productivity at workMindful leadership overview

Business leaders today are being asked to perform and thrive in a global environment that moves and changes at an increasingly fast pace. To become more adaptable and flexible in this environment, leaders need to move beyond familiar or habitual ways of seeing the world and open up to new ways of listening, leading, responding, and innovating.

Studies of Mindfulness in a business context have shown that increases in mindfulness are associated with increased creativity and decreased burnout.  

Mindfulness Meditation quiets mental chatter and It lays the foundation for better decision-making and communication.  Mindfulness can be developed by attending mindfulness classes, or via 1:1 coaching from a mindfulness coach in the workplace.

Mindful leadership research

The Ashridge Journal: Mindful leadership: Exploring the value of a meditation practice; Spring 2011

The practice of meditation in the business world is increasingly moving from the fringe to the mainstream, and already features as a key part of a number of international management and organisation development programmes. Emma Dolman and Dave Bond review the impact that meditation practices have made, and report on a meditation research study conducted at  Ashridge.

Their preliminary findings suggest a significantly upwards shift in general levels of satisfaction for  individuals who commit to a period of mindfulness. This is a promising finding in relation to an  exploration of the beneficial impact of meditation for the workplace. 90%  of Group 1  (participants practicing mindfulness) noted benefi ts from having participated in the mindfulness  activities. 61% noted 'feeling of calm', 30% listed 'enjoyed leaving everything and having time to  themselves'. 22% of the items listed related to improved sleep, and 22% also cited 'having a different perspective'. By comparison, only 52% of Group 2 noted benefi cial value from their self-chosen non-meditation activities.

Their study provides early indications to support existing work in this field, which incorporates mindfulness and meditation in leadership development and sustainability.

more information mindfulness at work

Mindful leadership case studies

Case study 1: Mindful leadership at General Mills

In 2009, General Mills ranked No. 3 in Fortune magazine's listing of the Global Top Companies for Leaders; No. 7 in Training magazine's ranking of top companies; and No. 12 in BusinessWeek's listing of the Best Places to Launch a Career. One reason the company has consistently fared so well is because it has aggressively pioneered the use and development of cutting-edge leadership programs. One of the newest, most popular initiatives has been the Mindful Leadership Program series.

information on mindfulness at work

Case Study 2: Dave Jakubowski: Vice President United Online

Dave Jakubowski is vice-president of business development for Internet service provider United Online. Dave Jakubowski is no breathe-like-a-tree kind of guy. "I'm in business," he says, "and I need results." So he recently turned to a mat and 60 minutes of silence. "It's amazing," he says of his new mindfulness meditation practice. "I'm able to sort through work challenges in this state of calm much faster than trying to fight through it. And I make fewer mistakes."

from Zen and the Art of Corporate Productivity - an article that also references other companies who have engages with mindful leadership.

information on mindfulness at work


Case study 3: Joel Rubinstein MD; Associate Medical Director, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Harvard Pilgrim is a not-for-profit health plan that provides a variety of insurance plan options and self-funding arrangements to more than one million members in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Harvard Pilgrim currently has 1300 staff, and actively promotes a healthy balance of work and personal life. They were recently named as one of the Globes top 100 places to work.

Around 25% of staff have attended mindfulness training (MBSR) run in house by Tara Healey.

 information on mindfulness at work

Case study 4: Michael Forlenza, PhD, MPH, School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Michael is Assistant Dean in the School of Leadership.  His role is both strategic and operational. The School has an annual budget of approximately $4 million. Michael's primary focus is on the development, reorganization, and implementation of school-wide operations and academic programs, policies, procedures, and processes.

"Mindfulness supports my leadership practice at several different levels simultaneously.  First, on a personal level, I find the practice helps me deal with the stress of constant information overload and shifting demands and priorities.  It also helps as I manage my staff; I am more present, more thoughtful and deliberative in decision-making...."

information on mindfulness at work


Case study 5: Leaders who use mindfulness at work: Kristen Stancik: Client Service Manager:  Citizen Relations (PR)

Kristen is a busy Client Service Manager with global public relations firm Citizen Relations.

PR is the second most stressful industry, behind air-traffic controllers. "Mindfulness has been invaluable in all areas of my work: actively listening to my clients, developing wise and innovative strategies, fostering creativity"............

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Case study 6: If Insurance

A Mindfulness programme run within IF Insurance was independently evaluated by the Health Group in 2010.  The results, based on participant's self-assessment included:

88% of participant reporting "a highly increased ability to stay focussed"
76% of participant reporting "highly increased positive relationships within their teams".
68% of participant reporting "highly increased personal efficiency and productivity"
60% of participant reporting "highly increased ability to counteract stress"

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Mindful leadership websites


The Institute for mindful Leadership

Institute for mindful leadershipBased in the USA, The Institute for Mindful Leadership brings together a deep knowledge of mindfulness training and the actual, lived experience of senior business leaders. The work of the Institute began more than five years ago at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School through the collaboration efforts of Saki Santorelli and Janice Marturano and evolved to serve the increasing demand through the creation of this new non-profit institute. Today the Institute enables top executives in business, academia, non-profit and government sectors to fully realize their potential through Mindful Leadership training. Hundreds of leaders from organizations from around the world have participated in these unique programs. Its Executive Director, Janice Marturano, is a Vice President, Public Responsibility and Deputy General Counsel of General Mills, Inc. and an experienced mindfulness teacher.

The Institute offers an array of programs specifically designed to explore the intersection of mindfulness training and the qualities associated with leadership excellence.

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Mindfulness works


mindfulness works mindfulness at work trainingBased in the UK, Michael Chaskalson is the founder and Chief Executive of Mindfulness Works. Michael and his team coach senior people and deliver bespoke training.  Michael is the author of "The Mindful   Workplace" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), Michael is one of the world's foremost proponents of the use of mindfulness in workplace settings.

Having attended Michael's training, Mindfulnet.org can personally recommend Michael and the services he provides.   Testimonials include: "After the course I seem to get more done with less effort. I'm more grounded and have an increased self-belief. It's not that I feel protected from bad things happening but rather that whatever happens there's nothing to fear really. It's improved my relationships, especially the previously challenging ones at work!"


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The Potential project

the potential project corporate mindfulness trainingThe Potential Project has developed the Corporate-Based Mindfulness Training Program (CBMT) in order to meet the specific challenges corporate life has. CBMT is a tailor-made solution for busy people with little time and high ambitions. The Potential Project was initiated in Copenhagen, Denmark, around 2005. Now it is an international organization with a growing number of trainers in countries all over the world.

 visit mindfulness at work websites 


Articles on Mindfulness for leaders

Finding the space to lead by Janice Marturano. 

Excellent article about how mindfulness helps leaders see, hear, and think with greater clarity.....

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Knowledge Worker Productivity and The Practice of Self-Management By Jeremy Hunter, Ph.D., with J. Scott Scherer. 

A chapter from The Ducker Difference: What the World's Greatest Management Thinker Means to Today's Business Leaders published in 2009. The chapter features how to use mindfulness for self management  

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Learn to become a mindful leader By Ronald Alexander, Ph.D

This article was published in Psychology today on the January 13, 2010:  "A mindful leader leads from a position of mindful awareness, or what I call mindstrength, by knowing how to respond with awareness instead of reaction and how to make everyone on their team feel recognised, affirmed and valued."

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The slumbering giant stirs: Heed the need for mindful leadership  

"There's a growing sense of unrest-from the Arab spring, to the European austerity protests, to the TEA party, the Occupy movement, the 53 percenters, and the list goes on and on. What does it mean? And why bother writing about it on a leadership blog?

Here's what it means, a basic human yearning- to have a voice, to be heard, to be respected, to be connected, and to be known in ways that honor, explore, and unlock potential-has gone unaddressed in the world (and the world of work) for far too long."...... 

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Mindfulness: the leaders path during times of change. 

This article explores how leaders can become more mindful in times of change

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Mindfulness for Leaders

Michael Chaskalson's recent talk at Ashridge Renewal "Leaders need to learn to rebalance their neurological state to activate the parasympathetic area of the brain. This triggers hormones such as oxytocin, which governs bonding and engagement, care and concern, hope, optimism and elation. The immune system becomes enhanced and blood pressure falls. Old brain neurons expand and new neurons grow."

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Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart people Underperform Harvard Business Review article.

"Frenzied executives who fidget through meetings, miss appointments, and jab at the elevator's "door close" button aren't crazy-just crazed. They're suffering from a newly recognized neurological phenomenon called attention deficit trait (ADT). Marked by distractibility, inner frenzy, and impatience, ADT prevents managers from clarifying priorities, making smart decisions, and managing their time. This insidious condition turns otherwise talented performers into harried underachievers. And it's reaching epidemic proportions.

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An introduction to the Mind to Lead Model .

How one of Suzanne Kryder's coaching clients, Judith, used the three facets of mindfulness on the job.

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The value of deep thinking: Financial Times reports on the long-term value of deep thinking in troubled times

"Google also offers meditation. "It helps clarity of vision," the company says. "In the workplace it gives our employees the time and headspace to unwind in the midst of their busy days. If people feel refreshed, and can take part in something like this with a group of like-minded people, then who knows what innovation this might lead to?"

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Mindful leadership: Training the brain to lead by Michael Chaskalson

Michael Chaskalson talks about the neuroscience of mindfulness and how this can improve leadership. " Mindfulness training can help you to become happier -and it can make you a better leader."

more information mindfulness at work

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Mindfulness for leaders: media clips


The Mindful Leader, Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll, an experienced consultant and HR executive with many years of experience in both the corporate world and the world of Zen, draws attention to the benefits that can result from taking being more mindful in the workplace. Carroll addresses ways to enhance productivity when working, focusing on ways to open communication and break the limitations of routine. He talks about work as a source of identity and explains why mindfulness training is about training the mind. "Work is not an intrusion, its an invitation to live our lives". 


Jon Kabat Zinn discusses mindfulness in a leadership context Preview of a documentary on mindfulness and leadership with Jon Kabat-Zinn

 Leading @ Google: Mindful Leadership author Michael Carroll discusses his latest book A new generation of business leaders is turning to mindfulness as a cutting-edge leadership tool. Michael Carroll visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book "The Mindful Leader: Ten Principles for Bringing Out the Best in Ourselves and Others."

US Congress discuss Mindfulness Congressman Ryan Discusses Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius 9th June 2009. Although this clip is discussing the use of Mindfulness in a healthcare setting, It is featured in this section as it demonstrates how mainstream mindfulness has become and its growing acceptance by people in positions of power. Although this clip may be a bit painful to watch for those who have knowledge of mindfulness, its little step in the right direction.

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Mindfulness in the workplace

Mindfulness in the workplace: overview

Mindfulness is already well known for being effective in reducing stress and increasing wellbeing.  But what about its value in productivity, resilience or performance?

A wide range of recent studies have cited the specific business benefits of mindfulness within organisations, including:

    * Reduced costs of staff absenteeism and turnover
    * Improved cognitive function - (i.e. better concentration, memory and learning ability)
    * Improved productivity
    * Enhanced employer/employee and client relationships
    * Enhanced employee job satisfaction

Mindfulness in the workplace conference

Click here to find out more about the 2014 Mindfulness in the workplace conference

The cost of workplace stress

The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health in the US estimate that stress-related ailments cost companies about $200 billion a year in increased absenteeism, tardiness, and the loss of talented workers. Between 70% to 90% of employee hospital visits are linked to stress. And job tension is directly tied to a lack of productivity and loss of competitive edge.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK, echo these findings. In 2008/09 an estimated 415 000 workers in Britain, believed that they were experiencing work-related stress at a level that was making them ill. The 2009 Psychosocial Working Conditions (PWC) survey indicated that around 16.7% of all working individuals thought their job was very or extremely stressful. The annual incidence of work-related mental health problems in Britain in 2008 was approximately 5,126 new cases per year. However, this almost certainly underestimates the true incidence of these conditions in the British workforce. Estimates indicate that self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for an estimated 11.4 million lost working days in Britain in 2008/09. 

An increasing number of companies are using mindfulness to address workplace tension. Increasingly overstretched and overburdened  employees are using mindfulness to improve the quality of their lives. Many companies are offering free, on-site classes, partly due to compelling findings at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Massachusetts, and the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard University that mindfulness enhances the qualities companies need; such as increased brain-wave activity, enhanced intuition and better concentration.

Mindfulness has some high-profile corporate disciples, including Pacific Investment Management, Apple Computer, Yahoo!, Google, McKinsey, Deutsche Bank, Hughes Aircraft .Procter & Gamble, and Starbucks.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in the US offers mindfulness meditation courses aimed at energizing its 5,000 employees during and after marathon meetings.   AstraZeneca now fund research and support mindfulness programmes

In comparison to the cost of employee sickness, mindfulness programs are relatively inexpensive, and can aid employee motivation and retention, as employees often regard mindfulness programmes as a " job perk".


Mindful working by Wise Brain: Free PDF


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Mindfulness in the workplace case studies


Case Study: Mindfulness at AOL Time Warner and Ebay

In 2006, AOL Time Warner Inc, reduced their sales and marketing group from 850 to 500 people. Mindfulness classes were incorporated to help employees deal with the new working arrangements. As well as helping employees function better at work, the classes were regarded by many as a gesture of thanks for a job well done.

Adapted from: Zen and the art of corporate productivity

Online auction site eBay encourage mindfulness amongst employees by providing two meditation rooms at its San Jose campus. Here, employees can sit in silence-in minimalist rooms decorated in earth tones, accented with cushy pillows, floor mats and fragrant flower buds-to catch a few critical moments of solitude and to decompress from the myriad stresses of a workday.

Adapted from: Mindfulness in the workplace by Jenny Lee

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Case study: Mindfulness training is helpful for the military

Abridged from an article by Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor, reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. 

A new study suggests mindfulness training can help high-stressed U.S. military groups prepare for deployment to Iraq.

The study found that the more time participants spent engaging in daily mindfulness exercises the better their mood and working memory, the cognitive term for complex thought, problem solving and cognitive control of emotions.

The program, called Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT™), aims to cultivate greater psychological resilience or "mental armor" by bolstering mindfulness.

The program covered topics of central relevance to the Marines, such as integrating skills to manage stress reactions, increase their resilience to future stressors and improve their unit's mission effectiveness. Thus, the program blended mindfulness skills training with concrete applications for the operational environment and information and skills about stress, trauma and resilience in the body.

"Our findings suggest that, just as daily physical exercise leads to physical fitness, engaging in mindfulness exercises on a regular basis may improve mind-fitness," Jha said.

Click here to read the full article

July 2010 update: 

Since this article was published, Mindfulnet have been contacted with an update on the project:

" The Marine study you posted has blossomed into a study being held right here on Oahu at Schofield Barracks. It is led by Anishi Jha out of the University of Pennsylvania. Here is the study's web site which includes pdf files on other completed the studiesby Amishi, including the 2007 Marine study.


The University of Pennsylvania is playing a key role in bringing programs that have a mindfulness component to the Army.Dr. Martin Seligman (unrelated to Amishi Jha's studies) has developed the Comprhensive Soldier Fitness Program for 1.1 million soldiers.

Alan Goldstien and Steve Flowers run a full virtual 8-week MBSR program for vetrans on Second Life

December 2010 update:

 Mindfulness Based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT) is conducting an on-going resilience study will help clarify which components of MMFT are most effective for building stress resilience.  The STRONG (Schofield Barracks Training and Research On Neurobehavioral Growth) study is sponsored by the U.S. Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. Read more



Mindfulness in the workplace: Articles and Links

Margaret Chapman mindfulness coachingMindfulness in the workplace: whats all the fuss about?

Margaret Chapman explores the shift from the marginal to the mainstream and implications for practitioners.  Article published in Counselling at Work, October 2011

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Mindfulness in the Workplace with Dr Atkinson

Mindfulness training is increasingly becoming an integral feature of international management and organisation development programmes.

Some of the world's leading companies including Google, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Apple Inc, Yahoo and KPMG have invested in mindfulness training for their employees. Why? because it is a effective and cost-effective way to improve performance and resilience

visit mindfulness at work websites

Building Fit minds under pressure Science Daily: 17th Feb 2010: A new generation of business leaders is turning to mindfulness as a cutting-edge leadership tool. Research suggests that the practice of mindfulness--a technique for learning to live in the present moment--can help individuals gain clarity, reduce stress, optimize performance, and develop a greater sense of well-being.

Effects of an 8 week clinical training programme on mindfulness on healthy employees "These findings demonstrate that a short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways"

In a Bad Spot? Try Mindfulness   Harvard Business Review article by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee.  An Interesting article about the importance of keeping calm in the midst of work chaos


Mindful marketing:  How does a mindful marker deal with new challenges?   Eight steps in mindful marketing

Meditation goes to work   A growing number of workers in the United States are employing Eastern philosophies and practices to handle the stresses of daily work and living. Increasingly, employers are making such alternative treatments available to their workers.

Mindfulness in the workplace Studies of Mindfulness in a business context have shown that increases in mindfulness are associated with increased creativity and decreased burnout. This article discusses mindfulness in the workplace and suggests some mindful exercises to try. Posted on 1st March 2010 on Stressless and Mindfulness.


Mindfulness in the workplace: Research paper by  Donald W. McCormick.  This paper examines the effects mindfulness has on people's work lives. Analysis of the interviews suggest that persons who practice mindfulness may have more external awareness at work; be more accepting of their work situation; have more modest,realistic work goals; be more selfless; be less concerned with material acquisition and wealth; have a more internal locus of evaluation; be more likely to derive meaning in life from more sources than just work; be better able to cope and remain calm in difficult work situations; be more likely to experience work difficulties as challenges than threats; enjoy their work more; be more adaptable at work; and have more positive interpersonal relations at work.


Perspectives on Mindfulness for Managers   By Ben Bryant; Jeanny Wildi
IMD, Vol 162, September, 2008 "At the centre of the hurricane of economic globalisation is the quiet space of mindfulness - a philosophy and practice which helps those exercising leadership to situate themselves calmly in the eye of the hurricane, where they are able to tap into the clarity and creativity necessary to ensure wisdom in decision-making, and focused, authentic leadership."  

Mindfulness and Mastery in the Workplace : 21 ways to reduce stress during the workday Saki Santorelli at Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society gives 21 invitation on how to cultivate mindfulness in the workplace

The effects of Low-Dose Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction on Working Adults This study assessed the effects of a shortened work-site MBSR intervention on indicators of stress in healthy working adults to determine if results similar to those obtained in traditional MBSR could be demonstrated. Significant reductions in perceived and increases in mindfulness were obtained only by the group practicing MBSR


The centre for contemplative mind in society  has Programs  dealing with mindfulness and other contemplative practices in higher education, business, law, and social justice.


The Construct of Mindfulness, Journal of Social Issues, Spring, 2000 by Ellen J. Langer & Mihnea Moldoveanu.  This paper details research of mindfulness in a business context

The neuroscience of mindfulness outlines some of the problems in teaching mindfulness to executives.  David Rock says "Speaking to an executive about mindfulness therefore can be a bit like speaking to a classical musician about jazz. It might look like they could play a little Coltrane, because they deal in sounds, but they don't really have the circuits for it. We don't take well to learning new skills, especially in later life, and any reason to not focus on a new skill, like it being linked to a religion other than yours, doesn't help".

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Mindfulness in the workplace: media clips

Featured Video: How Mindfulness Improved Business and Career.

Two business leaders talk about how Mindfulness has helped them in their business lives. Although the video is clearly a testimonial for Ronald Alexander, it provides some excellent examples of how mindfulness can help business leaders.


Mindfulness in coaching

Using mindfulness to dealing with emotions in coaching

Training Journal article published in December 2009: "In the last of our series looking at the emotions likely to be dealt with during coaching, Gladeana McMahon and Patrizia Collard focus on mindfulness"

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Being here: Mindfulness based cognitive coaching

Mindfulness-based cognitive coaching is a new intervention, but one that is delivering increased control and happiness in clients' lives, say Patrizia Collard and Gladeana McMahon

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Mindfulness for coaches course

The Mindfulness for Coaches Course is aimed at business coaches, consultants, trainers and other professionals who train clients to function effectively in high performance environments.

On this course particular attention is paid to the quality of present moment attention. You will learn to be with your clients and yourself in new and creative ways, discovering new ways of listening for and attending to the quieter intuitions of your heart and the vital sensory cues of your body. You will explore new ways of knowing and new ways of being - following your own moment to moment experience.

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Mindfulness in educationMindfulness in education, mindfulness in schools

Mindfulness is being used in schools, colleges and universities to help teachers, children, and students. Mindfulness helps children, students and teachers to improve their concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy. 

Mindfulness is being used in schools, colleges and universities to help teachers, children, and students. Mindfulness helps children, students and teachers to improve their concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy. 


What have youths said about learning Mindfulness?

"I love having mindfulness. It has made me feel a lot better, especially through hard times"

 "It feels so good. I need to teach it to my sister in high school because she is stressed out all the time."

"It helped keep me from using negative coping skills take cutting and drugs."

"With mindfulness I have been able to let go of things and move on from bad experiences."

- Quotes Courtesy of Mindful Schools and Stressed Teens


 mindfulness in schools

Mindfulness for school children

Mindfulness can be taught to children from a very young age. It is normally taught by specialist providers such as mindfulschools.org . Using short, interactive, child friendly exercises based on MBSR, children learn to be more mindful of their thoughts and actions. This usually results in improvements in concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy among students, building a calm climate in the classroom, and improving the overall school environment. 

Case Study: Tonbridge, Charterhouse & Hampton Schools: UK

In what is being described as a ground-breaking school curriculum addition, pupils at Tonbridge, Hampton and Charterhouse Schools, aged 14 and 15, took part in an 8 week mindfulness course taught during normal lesson time. The course was designed in collaboration with Oxford and Cambridge psychologists and is one of the first in the country.

Pupils claim benefits as diverse as helping them cope with exam stress and sleep, to improving their performance in work and sport.

Prof  Mark Williams, director of the Mindfulness Centre at Oxford, told the Times newspaper that Tonbridge was the first school to introduce a full meditation course in a practical rather than academic context.  "This is not about converting people to Buddhism, but showing there is scientific evidence that these practices are useful," he said. 


Click here to read the Times article

Click here to find out more about mindfulness at Tonbridge School

Mindfulness in schools by Richard Burnett, Tonbridge School, UK 

Case Study: Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, USA

During a five-week pilot program at Piedmont Avenue Elementary, Miss Megan, the "mindful" coach, visited every classroom twice a week, leading 15 minute sessions on how to have "gentle breaths and still bodies".

"I was losing at baseball and I was about to throw a bat," Alex Menton, 11, reported to his classmates one day. "The mindfulness really helped."

Tyran Williams defined mindfulness as "not hitting someone in the mouth." "He doesn't know what to do with his energy," his mother, Towana Thomas, said at a session for parents. "But one day after school he told me, 'I'm taking a moment.' If it works in a child's mind - with so much going on - there must be something to it." Read full article (PDF)

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Mindfulness in Schools Useful Links

Association for Mindfulness in Education is a collaborative association of organizations and individuals based in the USA who work together to provide support for mindfulness training as a component of K-12 education.

Mindfulness Foundation: Mindfulness in Schools Campaign
The Mindfulness Foundation has started a grassroots Mindfulness in Schools Campaign advocating and fundraising to make mindfulness education available to all 9 million UK school children by 2022. Its goal is to increase happiness and resilience in children while improving student outcomes. 

Developing Mindfulness

A UK - based network for people using mindfulness with children and adolescents

visit mindfulness training in schools

Mindful Schools  is a USA based organisation. Their mission is to empower and support young people to live happy and fulfilling lives by helping them fulfill their academic potential, be more emotionally aware, empathetic, and mindful of their thoughts and actions.

Mindfulness in Education Network  was established in 2001 to promote mindfulness as an antidote to the growing stress, conflict and confusion in educational settings as well as an invaluable gift to give students. The purpose of the network is to facilitate communication among all educators, parents, students

Mindfulness for schools is a UK based organisation that provides resources for schools in line with the National Healthy Schools Programme. The syllabus stands on its own as a teaching guide to Wellbeing; however it also has links with Science, PE, RE, Philosophy, Psychology, Art, English and Citizenship. "Understanding Mindfulness is a modern life skill as important as any curriculum subject. Learning how to live in the 'now' - learning to be more consciously aware - enables students to notice their thoughts and emotions, identify a difference between impulses and actions."

Mindfulness in schools by Richard Burnett, Tonbridge School, UK  Richard teaches mindfulness at Tonbridge school and has written this study.  It includes interviews with  fMark Williams, John Teasdale, Michael Chaskalson and other experts in the field.


Mindfulness in Schools Project is a UK based non-profit organisation whose aim is to encourage, support and research the teaching of secular mindfulness in schools. "For some, lessons in mindfulness are appreciated simply as a way to help them relax and be calm. However, for many the benefits extend well beyond this, helping them cope with exam stress, get to sleep, manage anger, deal with difficult relationships, improve their performance in sports, or simply handle the increasingly stressful pace and pressure of adolescence."

'Mindfulness' meditation being used in hospitals and schools US Today article published 6/8/2009 by Marilyn Elias " Preliminary research shows that Los Angeles preschoolers who were taught meditation improved in their ability to pay attention and focus."

Still Quiet Place  provides information and resources for children, parents and teachers

University of IOWA Health Care Offer "Mindfulness for Freshmen" and "Mindfulness for Medical/PA Students" to help them learn to care for themselves while caring for others as well as help them introduce patients to mindfulness as an effective intervention for patients

University of Massachusetts Centre for Mindfulness Mindfulness, Courage, and Reflection for Educators is an after-school program that  integrates the strengths of the renewal work of Courage to Teach® from Courage & Renewal Northeast at Wellesley College, together with mindfulness training as it is taught at the Center for Mindfulness(CFM) Stress Reduction Program at UMass Medical School. 

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Mindfulness in Schools: Video clips

Featured Video: Seeing Clearly

A segment from a documentary about the Inner Kids program broadcast by GoodTube.org. In this activity Susan Kaiser Greenland uses a jar of water with baking soda as a visual aid, and a jumping off point, to discuss how breath awareness can help us calm our thoughts and emotions so that we can see inner and outer experience more clearly. The video was taken in Los Angeles classrooms where the Inner Kids mindfulness program was taught.


Daniel J. Siegel: Applications of mindfulness in schools 18/10/09  Dr. Daniel Siegel explores the neural mechanisms beneath social and emotional intelligence and how these can be cultivated through reflective practices that focus on the inner nature of the mind. Daniel is a child psychiatrist, educator, and author of Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, Parenting from the Inside Out, and The Developing Mind

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Inner Kids Programme: clips from documentary directed by Alan Swyer

Classroom Teachers on Mindful Awareness A segment from a docuentary about the Inner Kids program

Melting Ice Activity  In this activity Gene Lushtak leads students in a Melting Ice activity where students learn to notice both a physical sensation and their reaction to it.. The video was taken in a Los Angeles classroom where the Inner Kids mindfulness program was taught.

Kids on Mindful Awareness  A segment from a documentary about the Inner Kids program broadcast by GoodTube.org. Los Angeles students participating in a school-based Inner Kids class talk about their experience.

Clip of Inner Kids mindful awareness class A segment from a documentary about the Inner Kids program

Rocking the Monkeys To Sleep With Your Breath  In this activity Susan Kaiser Greenland and Annaka Harris lead students in a breath awareness activity. The video was taken in Los Angeles classrooms where the Inner Kids mindfulness program was taught.

Oakland Public School Mindfulness programme

Mindful Schools testimonial by Erika Bloom  Erika Bloom is a MFT licensed therapist who works with Oakland public school children. She describes the beneficial effects mindfulness sessions have had on her students.

Mindful Schools Benefit  Testimonial from a teacher at Highlands School in Oakland for the Mindful Schools program. Students are taught meditation and mindfulness techniques during the 5 week sessions.

For books on Mindfulness in Education, visit our resource page

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mindfulness in higher educationMindfulness for further and higher education students

Many students develop imbalanced living habits as a result of the daily demands of being a full time student. These habits can lead to sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, lack of fitness, and a high degree of anxiety.

A 2008 survey of University of Minnesota students by Boynton Health Service found roughly 70 percent of students claim stress is an issue in their lives. In the same survey, one-third of students surveyed reported that stress negatively affects their academic performance. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase focus and concentration. Furthermore, a high proportion of people who learn mindfulness continue to practice it in the long term. One student who attended a mindfulness programme at their university commented: "Advice given on first year law school exams usually is: 'Don't freak out.'  Mindfulness teaches the 'how' in "how not to freak out."


Mindfulness for studentsMindfulness for students is a web resource developed especially for students.  Visit http://mindfulnessforstudents.co.uk/ to find out more.




Case Study: University of Minnesota Mindfulness club, USA

The University of Minnesota hold a Mindfulness club for students. The purpose of the club is to help students deal with stress skillfully and build self awareness through guided meditations, yoga, and qi gong. The club is non-religious affiliated, and is open to all students of all experience levels. Each week a local area mindfulness instructor leads the club in meditation, yoga, or qigong. The instruction emphasizes practical techniques for managing stress, lowering anxiety, and increasing concentration. Find out more...

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Mindfulness in Colleges and Universities: Useful Links

Examples of Mindfulness Programmes in UK Universities

Mindfulness at UEA, UK  The University of East Anglia, UK  offers students the opportunity to learn about dealing with stress through Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

UEA Mindfulness leaflet View PDF leaflet

Manchester University: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation   Manchester University run drop-in workshops for staff and students each term

Mindfulness at Buckingham University


Examples of Mindfulness Programmes in USA Universities

Be mindful: Stressed students, just breathe: Advice for University Students on the use of Mindfulness 

Antioch University Mindfulness programme  Antioch University New England is exploring how to incorporate opportunities for our graduate students in education to learn about and have a chance to practice mindfulness meditation.

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Mindfulness in Higher Education links

Toward the Integration of Meditation into Higher Education" A Review of Research a draft document prepared by Shauna L. Shapiro (Santa Clara University), Kirk Warren Brown (Virginia Commonwealth University), and John A. Astin (California Pacific Medical Center)

Research into the use of Mindfulness to help students cope with university life  This study builds on the promising results of a non-randomised wait-list controlled pilot study of Mindfulness-based coping with university life (MBCUL) which was conducted in early 2007.

Teaching Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to students: The effects of MBCT on the levels of Mindfulness and Subjective Well-Being  The research question was whether MBCT would increase participants' levels of Mindfulness and Satisfaction with Life and decrease participants' level of Negative Affect. Negative Affect significantly decreased; a strong trend in the data indicated an increase in participants' Satisfaction with Life

Mindfulness for Students: Video clips

Mindfulness for Students by a Student, Part 1  This is the first of a video series tailored specifically to help students deal with the stresses of being a college student, high school student, middle school student.

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Mindfulness in courts, mindfulness for lawyers and prisonersMindfulness in the Judicial system.


Mindfulness is now being used at both ends of the judicial system. 

Lawyers and Judges are using mindfulness to clarify their thought processes, and see facts more clearly. 

In prisons throughout the world, mindfulness is being used to reduce tension and violence, and teach prisoners a new way of dealing with their emotions and thought processes.

Mindfulness for Lawyers, Judges, and Prisoners

As this page contains a high volume of information, use the "Quick Links" on the right of the screen to help you navigate round more quickly, or the "search" box at the top of the screen.


mindfulness for lawyers, lawyer trainingMindfulness in courtrooms

Lawyers and Judges are becoming more interested in using mindfulness to clarify their thought processes, and see facts more clearly. In Jon Kabat-Zinn's book: Coming to our Senses (2008) he cites a great example of the use of mindfulness in courtrooms.

"There was a famous trial in Massachusetts a few years ago. After the jury had been selected, the judge delivered instructions on how to listen to evidence. It was pure mindfulness teaching: moment-to-moment, dispassionate, non-judgmental awareness - listening mind. The lawyer approached the judge later and asked, "Where the hell did you get that?" The judge replied "Oh, I'm taking the mindfulness stress reduction class at the U. Mass, Medical Center, and it seemed we could use a little more mindfulness in our judicial proceedings."

Mindfulness trains people to penetrate the clutter of their minds and surroundings. In a courtroom, legal professionals need to be adept at picking up clues, both verbal and nonverbal, so they can react to what's happening more productively. Mindfulness can help legal professions do this.

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Case Study: Mindfulness Law students at the University of Miami Law School

Mindfulness is also being taught to law students. To be an effective lawyer, it is important to be able to focus on the task at hand. Obsessing about the past or worrying about the future can diminish that focus and dilute effectiveness. Mindfulness helps reduce this "brain chatter" and can help legal professionals focus better on the task in hand.

The University of Miami Law School has introduced law students to mindfulness tools to enhance students' effectiveness at University, their well-being, and their success in the practice of law.

The University of Miami School of Law Schools mindfulness programme is called The mindful law student

In November 2009, The Florida Bar News published an article about this program entitled "Mindfulness program aims to help law students live in the moment":

Mindfulness in Court rooms: Useful Links

"A Conversation with Professor Leonard Riskin about Mindfulness, Dispute Resolution, and Mindfulness Resources for Mediators" (mediate.com)

"A Mindful Law Practice" by Steve Keeva (ABA Journal)

"A Mindful Practice Is A Sustainable Practice" by Stella Rabaut (The Complete Lawyer)

"At Roger Williams University, a 'mindful' class for trial lawyers" (The Providence Journal)

"Awareness and Ethics in Dispute Resolution and Law: Why Mindfulness Tends to Foster Ethical Behavior" by Leonard Riskin (South Texas Law Review) [pdf]

"Awareness in Lawyering: A Primer on Paying Attention" by Leonard Riskin (Affective Assistance of Counsel) [pdf]

"Become a Better Counselor Through Meditation" (New York Law Journal)

"Buddhism and the art of negotiation" (Harvard University Gazette Online)

"Can Saints Negotiate? A Brief Introduction to the Problems of Perfect Ethics in Bargaining" by Scott Peppet (Harvard Negotiation Law Review) [pdf]

"Commentary: Law, Buddhism and Social Change: A Conversation with the 14th Dalai Lama" Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper Series [pdf]

"Contemplative Practices in Law Schools" [pdf] by Leonard L. Riskin (prepared for a workshop at Association of American Law Schools conference)

"Economic Downturn Raising Suicide Risk Factors Among Attorneys" (National Law Journal) [mentions meditation]

"Enhancing the health of medical students: outcomes of an integrated mindfulness and lifestyle program" (Advances in Health Science Education) [pdf]

"Exercise Mind Hygiene On A Daily Basis" [link not working-Article in pdf] by Stephanie West Allen and Jeffrey Schwartz (The Complete Lawyer) 

"Experiencing Grade Anxiety? Mindfulness Offers Clarity" (on page 15) by Scott Rogers (Res Ipsa Loquitur of U of Miami School of Law) [pdf]

"Five Habits for Cross-Cultural Lawyering" by Sue Bryant & Jean Koh Peters [pdf]

"From 'The Art of War' to 'Being Peace': Mindfulness and Community Lawyering in a Neoliberal Age" by A.P. Harris, J. Selbin, and M. Lin (California Law Review)

"How Meditation, Yes Meditation, Can Improve Your Performance And Enhance Your Satisfaction With Work" - Interview of Leonard Riskin (The Complete Lawyer)

"In Court: Lawyers and judges who practice dharma" (Tricycle)

"Lawyers Turn to Meditation to Fight Stress and Improve Performance" by Craig Cormack (Canadian Lawyer)

"Look Inward, Attorney" by James H. Johnston (Legal Times) [pdf]

"Meditating Lawyer No Oxymoron" [pdf] by Matt Masich (Law Week Colorado)

"Meditation for Professionals" by Jennifer Holder (Shambala Times Community News Magazine)

"Meditation great way to ease stress" by John Starzynski (The Lawyers Weekly)

"Mindfulness Meditation: The Cultivation of Awareness, Mediator Neutrality, and the Possibility of Justice" by Evan M. Rock (Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution) [pdf]

"Mindfulness program aims to help law students live in the moment" by Mark Killian (The Florida Bar News)

"Mindfulness, Neuroscience & the Lawyer's Brain" by Scott L. Rogers (Global Negotiation Insight Institute)

"Mindfulness: Foundational Training for Dispute Resolution" by Leonard L. Riskin (Journal of Legal Education) [pdf]

"Move From Being a Mindless Lawyer To a Mindful Lawyer" by Stephanie West Allen (The Complete Lawyer) Article in pdf

"Practicing From the Inside Out" by Steven W. Keeva (Harvard Negotiation Law Review) [pdf]

"President's Message: A call for mindfulness in our profession" by Edward W. McIntyre (Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal) [pdf]

"Promoting Truthfulness in Negotiation: A Mindful Approach" by Van M. Pounds (Willamette Law Review) [pdf]

"Some Attorneys See Meditation as Relief From Stress of Law Practice" by Thomas Adcock (New York Law Journal) [pdf]

"Stressed Out by Law Practice? Meditation May Do the Trick" (New York Law Journal)

"Teaching lawyers to be in the now" by John Starzynski (The Lawyer's Weekly) Or pdf (begins on page 23)

"The Contemplative Lawyer: On the Potential Contributions of Mindfulness to Law Students, Lawyers, and their Clients" by Leonard L. Riskin (Harvard Negotiation Law Review) [pdf] Or download at SSRN.

"The Mindful Lawyer and the Challenges of Diversity: The Benefits of Mindfulness in Differently Diverse Practice Settings" by Rhonda V. Magee (Center for Contemplative Mind in Society) [pdf]

"The Mindful Lawyer" by Robert Zeglovitch (ABA's GP/Solo)

"The Mindful Lawyer: Mindfulness Meditation and Law Practice" by J. Patton Hyman (The Vermont Bar Journal) [pdf]

"Try a Course in Meditation After Other Law School Classes" by Amanda Bronstad (National Law Journal)

"Who's minding the mediator? Mindfulness in mediation" by Tom Fisher (ADR Bulletin)

"ZEN and the art of lawyering: Legal eagles find meditation a stress solution" (San Francisco Chronicle)

Audio on "Mindfulness for Lawyers" by Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Audios of six talks given by Zoketsu Norman Fischer at lawyers' retreats in 2008 sponsored by the Contemplative Mind in Society (go about halfway down the page to find them)

Charles Halpern on Empathy, Meditation, and the Practice of Law (video from Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy, University at Buffalo Law)

Four audio talks related to lawyers (Dharmaseed.org) Also here

Institute for Mindfulness Studies (specializing in the practice of law)

Legal Ease: Mindfulness in the Practice of Law (Shambala SunSpace blog)

Leonard Riskin speaking on  "Awareness in Dispute Resolution and Law" (The Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at UNLV Boyd School of Law)

Links to overviews of several talks on contemplative practices and programs given at past conferences of Association of American Law Schools

Meditation goes to work" by H.J. Cummins (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Notes from a presentation by Thomas Fisher: "Bringing Peace into the Room: The Mindful Mediator" [pdf]

The Centre for Mindfulness and Justice The Center for Mindfulness & Justice provides non-sectarian mindfulness instruction, keynote presentations, and organizational consulting and training for criminal justice professionals and employees in all arenas.

The Law Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

The Meditation Guide for Successful Lawyers

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Mindfulness in Courtrooms: video clips

Featured video: Neuroscience and Mindfulness, Neurons and Thoughts: A Metaphor

Extract from "Mindfulness and Neuroscience: Enhancing Stress Reduction and Lawyer Effectiveness"

Video of Scott Rogers guides a law student through a mindfulness exercise

Video 1 of Professor Leonard Riskin talking about the value of mindfulness meditation for lawyers   

Video 2 of Leonard Riskin talking about the value of mindfulness meditation for lawyers

Scott Rogers on mindfulness based methods lawyers can use to become present and connected March 2009 (part 1) (parts 2- 5 can be accessed via You Tube)


Mindfulness in prisons

mindfulness for prisoners, mindfulness in prisonsAt HMP Brixton in the UK a "Mind/Body workout group" was set up to teach mindfulness to inmates.   

The group offers 'take away' practices for men to cultivate their own daily, cell-based mindfulness practice. Daily meditations are also broadcast each lunchtime via the prison radio station.

Similar programmes and variations on this theme are being run in prisons throughout the world.

Evaluation assessments often demonstrate highly significant pre- to post-course including reducing hostility, improving self-esteem, and reducing mood disturbance.


Heart mountain mindful prisoners training


Heart mountain Project       

The Heart Mountain Project (HMP) provides mindfulness classes free of charge at men's, women's and juvenile correctional facilities. They currently teach mindfulness in Santa Fe Minimum security prison, Grants Womens Prison, Santa Rosa's Mens prison and Grants Mens prison.  They have introduced meditation pods into a number of prisons.

Mindfulnet asked HMP's Executive Director, Doug Booth: 

What were the specific issues, problems or behaviours you hoped the project would address?

"Addictions and addictive behavior, violence, the predatory behavior often found in prison. Alienation, loneliness, hopelessness, among others."

How do you teach mindfulness in prisons?

HMP have produced an inmate's meditation manual, "Doing Your Time with Peace of Mind: A Meditation Manual for Prisoners."  This is published in English and Spanish and distributed free of charge to prisoners nationwide. Over 6,500 inmates have received their manuals to date, including many in solitary confinement and those awaiting execution on death row.

What barriers were faced, and how were they overcome?

" The challenges from the prison administration were our toughest challenges. Having allies on the staff was a great help"

What were the outcomes?

"Many inmates who have been through our programs are out of prison and drug/alcohol free and doing very well."

The programmes have been well received by Prison staff as well: 

"To Whom It May Concern:

It is my pleasure to provide a letter that expresses our support of our Meditation/Stress Reduction program. Since its implementation, we have experienced many positive things… that include: A reduction in misconduct reports and activity; a calmer atmosphere for both staff and inmates (both noise level and electronic interference); a cleaner, more sanitized living environment; [and] improved communications among staff and inmates… The program has been a voluntary program that has already created a waiting list since its implementation that indicates that inmates are seeking a more passive atmosphere during their individual incarceration time."

Carl ToersBijns, Deputy Warden, Western New Mexico Correctional Facility

See "An Evaluation of Mindfulness-Based Meditation Programs in New Mexico Prison Facilities" below 


visit mindfulness website 

Upaya in Action : Prison Outreach Project

Upaya in Action seeks to how to help prison residents create changes in their behavior that are sustainable upon release, that promote a positive lifestyle, and decrease the likelihood of return to addiction or prison.  They argue that without tools for changing their lives, it is unrealistic to expect that prison inmates, after years of incarceration will behave any differently when released than they did when first imprisoned.

They offer mindfulness practices as an effective way to help prison residents deal with their feelings and develop "emotional intelligence" and self-regulation. Through these practices prison residents learn how to examine and eventually transform the unhealthy thought and behavioral habit patterns that have governed their lives. Out of these practices comes the ability to effectively manage the stress of prison chaos, the separation from family, and the anger that attends incarceration.

Current Prison Classes include Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility and  Penitentiary of New Mexico


visit mindfulness website 



Mindfulness in Prisons: Useful Links

An evaluation of Mindfulness based meditation programmes in New Mexico Prisons Facilities This research evaluates the effects that mindfulness-based meditation programs are having on the lives of participants. These programs are designed to provide inmates with a tool to handle some of the difficult emotional states common to the prison experience.

MBCT applications in correctional settings by Neva Hagedorn

MBSR in Massachusetts Prisons  Mindfulness-based stress-reduction courses were offered in drug units in six Massachusetts Department of Corrections prisons. A total of 1,350 inmates completed the 113 courses. Evaluation assessments were held before and after each course, and highly significant pre- to post-course improvements were found on widely accepted self-report measures of hostility, self-esteem, and mood disturbance.

Programmes in Correctional settings: Innovative State and Local programmes

Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. June 1998 report See page 64 for details of a mindfulness programme run for over 100 inmates.

The freedom project

Excellent website giving examples of work in prisons. Comments from inmates include: "If I had had this training earlier in life, I'd still be married and probably not be an offender."  

Upaya Institutes Prison Outreach Project  The Prison Outreach project helps prison residents create changes in their behaviour that are sustainable upon release, that promote a positive lifestyle, and decrease the likelihood of return to addiction or prison.

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Experiences of prisoners practicing mindfulness:

The Prison Dharma network works with prisoners and has a great range of articles, including prisoners writing about their experiences of using mindfulness. Here is a selection of prisoners experiences:

Ex Prisoner Douglas Ray talks about his experiences of being mindful in prisons

Prisoner Michael Kelly Roberts talks about his reprieve from death row

Prisoner Ricky Jones talks about taking things "one moment at a time"

Prisoner Ron Barnes talks about the problems of practicing mindfulness in prison

Prisoner Tommy Morris talks about how he uses meditation to change his reaction to anger

Prisoner Tommy Morris talks about mindfulness

Prisoner Tommy Morris talks about using mindfulness to deal with painful memories


Experiences of teaching mindfulness in prisons:

Diana Lion talks about her experience of teaching mindfulness in prisons

Jeanie Kerins talks about her experience of teaching mindfulness in prisons

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Mindfulness in Prisons: video clips

Featured Video: Isha Judd brings Consciousness to Prisoners.

On the 17th of October 2007, Isha Judd was invited by the directors of the Reclusorio del Oriente high security prison in Mexico City to teach the her System to more than 950 inmates.

Fleet Maull talks about Prison Dharma

Fleet Maull: founder of The Peacemaker Institute and Prison Dharma Network Leader of non-violence retreats in Auschwitz and American prisons, Fleet shows that peace doesn't mean avoiding society's shadow side.

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Mindfulness in hospitals and other therapeutic settingsmindfulness in medicine, medical and theraputic mindfulness


Mindfulness is widely used to treat patients with stress and chronic pain related problems using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and depression and anxiety related problems using Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT has recently been approved by NICE as a "treatment of choice" for recurrent depression. Mindfulness programmes are now being run in many hospitals to assist patients with a wide range of conditions ranging from cancer to smoking cessation. 


Medical & Theraputic uses of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is now widely used to treat patients with stress and chronic pain related problems using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and depression and anxiety related problems using Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) In addition mindfulness programmes are now being run in many hospitals to assist patients with a wide range of conditions.


Integrating, Hypnosis, NLP and Mindfulness

Matthew Ferguson  teaches Mindfulness as part  of Motivation Training's accredited Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, NLP & Coaching.  He has written a paper on integrating hypnosis, NLP and mindfulness.  He says " It is possible to create a protocol of treatment with a structure that uses the skills of hypnosis, NLP, Mindfulness and other modern techniques..... By harnessing the above skills we raise awareness, the ability to make the changes we desire and thus raising the happiness quotient".

Click here to read more

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

The MBSR program started in the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 and is now offered many hospitals, medical centers, clinics and therapeutic settings around the world. Classes are taught by physicians, nurses, social workers, and psychologists, as well as other health professionals.


Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is based on MBSR, but also includes information about depression as well as cognitive therapy-based exercises linking thinking and its resulting impact on feeling. MBCT helps participants to work better with their thoughts and feelings when depression threatens to overwhelm them, and how to recognise depressive moods that can bring on negative thought patterns.

The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence NICE has now endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse of depression. Research has shown that people who have been clinically depressed 3 or more times (sometimes for twenty years or more) find that mindfulness considerably helps to reduce their chances that depression will return. The evidence from two randomised clinical trials of MBCT indicates that it reduces rates of relapse by 50% among patients who suffer from recurrent depression. It is claimed by some scientists that the use of MBCT techniques is more effective in treating depression than taking anti depressants.

Research demonstrates that MBSR and MBCT are both highly effective in teaching participants to become more responsible in the management of their own health, energy and healing. Over twenty years of published research indicates that the majority of people who complete the MBSR Program report lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms.  Studies report that many participants report lasting benefits, such as:

  • Developing more effective skills in managing stress coupled with a greater capacity for relaxation
  • Dramatic reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • More self-confidence and improved self-esteem
  • An increased ability to handle with both short and long-term stressful situations
  • More energy and enthusiasm

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 Mindfulness for health

Integrating, Hypnosis, NLP and Mindfulness

Matthew Ferguson  teaches Mindfulness as part  of Motivation Training's accredited Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, NLP & Coaching.  He has written a paper on integrating hypnosis, NLP and mindfulness.  He says " It is possible to create a protocol of treatment with a structure that uses the skills of hypnosis, NLP, Mindfulness and other modern techniques..... By harnessing the above skills we raise awareness, the ability to make the changes we desire and thus raising the happiness quotient".

Click here to read more

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Other clinical applications of Mindfulness

In addition to stress, chronic pain, depression and anxiety, mindfulness programmes are now being run in many hospitals to assist patients with a wide range of conditions including:

  • Brain Injuries
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heat Disease
  • Hepatitis / HIV
  • Hypertension (Blood Pressure)
  • Immune system related illnesses
  • Insomnia
  • Organ Transplants
  • Pregnancy
  • Psoriasis
  • Smoking cessation
  • Tinnitus

See the Research page for research on the use of mindfulness meditation to treat these and other conditions.

Mindfulness Questions and Answers for GPS is a leaflet with frequently asked questions and answers aimed at GPS, produced by Be Mindful.

Mindfulness Meditation Slows Progression Of HIV: Article detailing how Mindfulness researchers at UCLA  have found that the practice of mindfulness meditation stopped the decline of CD4 T cells in HIV-positive patients suffering from stress, slowing the progression of the disease.


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Medical Case Studies

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust offers adults aged 65 or over and carers of any age who care for an older person free 'mindfulness' courses.   The courses aim to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. The course consists of eight weekly sessions and daily home practice to help participants relate differently to their thoughts and feelings. The course is taught by a Clinical Psychologist, who has been teaching mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) for many years.

Adapted from: Lancashire Care NHS, UK Free mindfulness training for over 65's

Princess Margaret Hospital, Canada

Princess Margaret Hospital offer mindfulness training to patients with cancer or their family members. The programme is based on the Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and is intended to help those diagnosed with cancer to better manage the stress and anxiety that comes with illness. It also helps patient's better cope with cancer pain. The program takes a "hands on approach"; there will be much opportunity to practice the various techniques in the group. Participants are encouraged to discuss their experiences, but are free to disclose as much or as little of their cancer experience as they feel comfortable.

Adapted from: Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada mindfulness for cancer patients


Testimonial from a patient who attended a Mindfulness Course at Lehigh Valley Health Network

Shelly Goldberg learned to take one thing at a time, reducing her stress because of a Mindfulness class. Shelly has four children and has been managing and running her own shop for more than 20 years. She also volunteers as a librarian at a special needs school. Shelly was used to doing "10 things at once", but since experiencing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), she's learned to focus on one task at a time and let go of her stresses.

Shelly recognised that she frequently ran on auto pilot. "When I came to the store, I'd turn on the radio and computer, make phone calls and coffee - all while waiting on customers. "I still do those things, but I'm also able to connect with my customers and give them my undivided attention," Shelly says.  She started practicing mindfulness by attending a course, and as a result has experienced an unexpected lifestyle change. She appreciates even the simplicity of taking a shower. "Before when I showered, my mind was already in the car on my way to work," she says. "Now I actually focus on shampooing my hair. I enjoy every moment and really appreciate them."

Adapted from: Lehigh Valley Health Network Mindfulness Success Stories

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Medical and theraputic uses of mindfulness: Useful Links

Examples of hospitals who offer patients Mindfulness training

In the UK

Avon & Wiltshire NHS  Mindfulness course provides a space for patients to take some time out to learn and practice a range of simple relaxation and mindfulness techniques.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Plan to run mindfulness courses from April 2010 aimed at people who are out of work, on statutory sick leave, managing a return to work or struggling to maintain work.

Dorset NHS Use Mindfulness as a core component of their Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for borderline personality disorders. Their website also supplies patients with a number of mindfulness resources.

Gloucestershire Foundation Trust NHS Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an integral part of the psychological therapy services provided by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust throughout Gloucestershire.

Lanarkshire NHS Offer Mindfulness training to a wide range of qualified staff working within both Primary Care and Mental Health Settings

Norfolk and Waveney PCT  Have produced a Mindfulness leaflet for patients

Plymouth NHS  Teaches and promotes mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). They have taught mindfulness to staff in the Primary Care Mental Health Services and other departments within the mental health services of their provider arm. They have two staff trained to Masters Standards. They also train clients in groups and on a   one to one therapy basis. They report that demand for mindfulness training is increasing.

Capio Nightingale Hospital, London "Instead of using energy and stress in the struggle to get rid of our difficulties and uncomfortable feelings, we learn how to relate to them differently and to be more accepting of our direct experience, as it is. This shift in awareness and attitude can enable us to respond to problems with renewed focus, wisdom and confidence."

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In the USA

Beaumont Hospitals "Learning to cultivate these "wisdom skills" can lower the production of the stress hormone cortisol while enhancing health and wellness."

Lehigh Valley Health Network Offer mindfulness classes to help patients manage pain, anxiety, chronic illness and everyday stress more effectively. They also offer it to help patients during pregnancy, and birthing

Mount Sinia Hospital  run MBSR group programs for patients with HIV-Related Concerns. 

New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Centre offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) to patients d to teach them how to reduce stress by systematically and intentionally cultivating mindfulness

Stanford Hospital & Clinics  offer a Mindfulness Program to teach mind and body awareness techniques for coping with physical or psychological symptoms from stress and stress-related illnesses.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals offer basic and advanced mindfulness programmes for the public, professional training in teaching MBSR for medical and mental health professionals, and programs to apply the benefits of mindfulness to leadership and organizational change in corporations and not-for-profits.

University of IOWA Health Care Offer patients MBSR for stress, chronic pain/illness, anxiety, low moods, sleep disturbance, desire for self-care and wellness & MBCT for preventing depression relapse and continuing mindfulness Classes to deepen practice. In addition they offer "Mindfulness for Freshmen" and Mindfulness for Medical/PA Students-learning to care for yourself while caring for others; introduction to effective intervention for patients, cognitive, psychological and physical benefits of mindfulness

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority  Offer patients Introductory Mindfulness Courses, Mindfulness Graduate Courses as well as Individual Patient Consultation

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Other useful links

Society for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation is a dynamic, inclusive organization committed to the advancement of theory, philosophy, practice, and research in mindfulness- and meditation-based approaches to mental health. Personal growth, mental health, education, organizational development, political/social change, and the fine and performing arts are all included within the broad scope of mindfulness and meditation.

The Society provides a forum for networking with others who hold similar interests, and membership in the Society helps members stay abreast of current research and best practices. Our membership directory also allows the public to connect with mental health professionals who utilize mindfulness and meditation in their practices.

Impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction in supporting smoking cessation: results of a non-randomised, controlled trial

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Quick reference guide on adult depression PDF Published October 2009. Recommends Mindfulness as a treatment of choice for recurrent depression. See pages 5 and 23

'Mindfulness' meditation being used in hospitals and schools US Today article published 6/8/2009 "A government survey in 2007 found that about 1 out of 11 Americans, more than 20 million, meditated in the past year. And a growing number of medical centers are teaching meditation to patients for relief of pain and stress."

National Pain Foundation Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction by Jim Mascolo. "One such study conducted by Jefferson University Hospital and reported in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry noted patients reduced their chronic pain, anxiety and depression, in addition to increasing their overall sense of vitality, using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques."

Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Program Nancy Bardacke, a Certified Nurse-Midwife and mindfulness teacher has taught mindfulness skills to thousands of expectant families through workshops and the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Education Program.

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Mindfulness for clinicians and therapists: video clips

Featured video: Professor Mark Williams on MBCT

Professor Mark Williams, who co-developed Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), talks about mindfulness meditation as an alternative treatment for depression.

 Drug Addiction and Mindfulness Dr. Richard Fields discusses the use of Mindfulness for Drug and Alcohol addiction. 

Mental Health Foundation - Mindfulness Video (2) - Jonty Heaversedge GP and TV celebrity Jonty Heaversedge talks about the awareness of "Mindfulness" amongst GPs and the availability of the treatment on the NHS.

Mental Health Foundation - Mindfulness Video (3) Andrew McCulloch Dr Andrew McCulloch, CEO of the Mental Health Foundation, talk about the research that his Foundation has undertaken around Mindfulness as a treatment for recurrent depression and the campaign to increase availability of mindfulness treatments on the NHS.

Mindfulness Intervention in Chronic Illness (Part 1/5) Mindfulness Intervention in Chronic Illness was presented by Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral research clinician, Steven D. Hickman at the Marion Brodie Symposium held in La Jolla, CA on September 13th, 2007. Steven D. Dr. Hickman's specialty is teaching courses in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Parts 2-5 can be located on You Tube.

Staying in the Now: Mental Health Through Mindfulness: The science of the mind: How the brain works to regulate mood, emotion, Stress and sleep Feb 2010. Dr. Stuart Eisendrath, director of the UCSF Depression Center, explores mindfulness as a technique for maintaining mental health.

THE ART & SCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D. Extract from The art & science of Mindfulness presented by Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D. presented in Seattle, Oct 2009 at the FACES Conferences. In this extract Dr Shapiro discusses potential ways of integrating mindfulness and meditation into psychotherapy and the helping professions.

US Congress discuss Mindfulness. 9th June 2009. In this clip, Congressman Tim Ryan discusses the use of Mindfulness with Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It demonstrates how mainstream mindfulness has become and its growing acceptance by people in positions of power. Although this clip may be a bit painful to watch for those who have knowledge of mindfulness, its little step in the right direction.

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Mindfulness from a Patient's perspective: Video clips

Featured Video: Kathy Andrews talks about how mindfulness helped her beat depression

Kathy Andrews suffered from depression and was referred by her cognitive behavioural therapist to a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course. She finds mindfulness to be the "piece that was missing from other kinds of therapy", which allows her to "deal with what is going on in the present moment."

Mental Health Foundation - Mindfulness Video (4) - Ed Halliwell Ed Halliwell talks about his experience of mindfulness and how it helped him to slow down and pay attention when he was struggling to cope with depression. "Mindfulness, for me, is a way of training the mind to be healthy."

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