Mindfulness Teaching. A Circle of 16 men convicted for Murder. What do you say?
Are you ready to be a Mindfulness teacher?
I recall in the early 1980s meeting weekly with a group of prisoners in Maidstone Prison, Kent, 60 kilometres south-east of London. All 16 prisoners were serving life imprisonment for murder. Mindfulness, listening and communication provided the backbone to the weekly group.
entrance to Maidstone Prison
During the early 1980s in the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher era, a public debate took place to bring back hanging of murderers. In one session, I asked the men their view on capital punishment. Twelve of the prisoners supported the reintroduction of capital punishment.
I stated the obvious as we sat in a circle of chairs. “You may not be sitting here if the law had the power at the time of your trial to impose capital punishment for murder.” All 12 inmates said the judge would not have ordered the death sentence in their situation.
Doors can open for a mindfulness teacher into people’s lives so different from our own.
How would you respond to men, who seriously uphold a view not in their personal interest?
A mindfulness teacher can expand their role into a range of environments far more than many other roles. Doctor and nurses primarily work in the environment of hospitals and clinics. Psychotherapists and psychologists meet their clients in a clinic in a one-to-one consultation or perhaps at home. Schoolteachers attend a class in the school while public servants mostly work in offices, public transport or outdoors.
Mindfulness teachers can work in a few places in the space of a couple of weeks sharing their teachings and practices in various environments. This requires ongoing dedication, administration and steadfast focus on the welfare of others.
If you become a mindfulness teacher, you will meet a range of people with a range of needs. You can draw upon your first-hand experience, talk about changes in your personal life and listen to their individual experiences during a class, workshop or course.
Some will come to you for the secular benefits of mindfulness, such as reducing stress through learning basic exercises to find peace of mind. Others are deeply committed to their religious faith and see mindfulness as a support alongside devotion, prayer and chanting. Others find themselves engaged in a spiritual quest and wish to apply mindfulness, meditation and reflection to their spiritual journey.
Mindfulness can accompany other forms of practices for wellbeing of mind-body, as well as stand on its own.
As a mindfulness teacher, you might need to find the language making clear in practical terms what you offer. The words you use may need to adapt to your audience. You do not need to restrict yourself to stress reduction and tie yourself down to a handful of methods and techniques. There is much more to mindfulness in terms of outreach.
Mindfulness teachers need a genuine empathy with others to bring about trust and change. Teachers serve the needs of others rather than view their work as running a business and self interest. This requires a commitment to a modest way of life.
Look at our mindfulness teacher training course website.
www.mindfulnesstrainingcourse.org provides an affordable, comprehensive outline of our 12 month course, primarily online with opportunity for in person meetings.
Become an agent of change. Bring an extra string to your violin.