The Mindfulness Initiative has published a new Fieldbook for Mindfulness Innovators; a wonderful document intended to support pioneers in the growing field of mindfulness training. 

Breathworks founder Vidyamala Burch was part of an online panel of mindfulness experts for the launch of the document, and spoke about the current state of mindfulness research and its evidence base.

With mindfulness occupying so prominent a place in the cultural zeitgeist, it is no surprise that there are organisations and individuals innovating programmes, courses, and delivery methods to teach mindfulness techniques in many new contexts and for many new purposes.

This is doubtless doing much to make mindfulness more accessible to many, yet this profusion of innovation does present some potential concerns. These, as The Mindfulness Initiative detail, include:

  • Innovations that are intended to widen access through short-form or ‘light-touch’ delivery may prevent participants from gaining access to deeper practices.

  • Because we cannot be sure that new innovations are effective or work in the same way as existing interventions, it’s misleading to promote them using the wider evidence-base.

  • Innovations can have unexpected or unhelpful consequences, and those making adaptations don’t always have enough experience to predict the impact of the changes they make.

  • If an innovation is shallow, ineffective or even harmful it will damage the reputation of the mindfulness training sector, compromising good work in the field.

The Fieldbook draws on expertise from across the mindfulness world to aid in the creation of high-quality innovations that are effective and sustainable. It covers the current state of mindfulness research, effective approaches to innovation, how to gather evidence and why it is important to do so, and how to scale and develop new approaches.

Vidyamala commented “I think the book is brilliant... I would have loved to have had this way back in 2000, on the very first courses I was trying to run.

Watch the launch of the event here, and download the fieldbook here.