Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Mindfulness at risk of being 'turned into a free market commodity'
From The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood
"The mindfulness movement is in danger of being turned into a commodity, “a product to be bought and sold on the free market”, a Buddhist Society conference was told.
“People are becoming professionally mindful,” Steven Stanley, a social psychologist at Cardiff University, told an audience of Buddhists and secular mindfulness practitioners on Wednesday.
It was possible to make a living from mindfulness, with growing opportunities for research, teaching and speaking, he said, adding that it is becoming an “increasingly professionalised domain” with a tendency towards standardised instruction.
The conference, Mindfulness: Secular, Religious, Both or Neither?, heard that more than 500 scientific papers on mindfulness were being published every year, and that more than two dozen UK universities now offer mindfulness courses. Global corporations such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and American Express have introduced mindfulness training for their staff.
However, amid the extraordinary growth of the secular mindfulness movement, there was rising concern about lack of regulation of the training of meditation teachers, the conference heard..."
"...An all-party group of MPs last week urged the government to fund the training of 1,200 new mindfulness teachers over the next five years to meet sharply rising demand for the technique in both the public and private sectors. This number of teachers would cover 15% of the 580,000 adults at risk of recurrent depression every year, said their report, Mindful Nation UK.
“The training of teachers is critical,” it added. “There is considerable and justifiable concern about the quality of teachers and how to ensure integrity.”
An estimated 2,200 mindfulness teachers have been trained to minimum standards over the past 10 years, but only about 700 were both active and had professional clinical training that qualified them to teach mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to people with depression, said the report..."
Read it all here