Mindfulness is about being fully present in the here and now, being in touch with what is going on inside us and around us. It enables us to arrive in a place of centred awareness – able to be responsive and connected, to engage courageously and effectively in the world. On this training we seek to harness the empowering skills of mindfulness to values and action for social and ecological justice.
Mindfulness is about being fully present here and now, being in touch with what is going on inside us and around us. We can harness our attention and awareness to become more responsive and connected, and to engage courageously and effectively in the world. On this training you will learn to develop the empowering skills of mindfulness in service of values and action for social and ecological justice.
Using practices to train our minds and focus our attention, we build inner resources to become more balanced, energized and emotionally intelligent. In our fast-paced, stress laden, and complex world, Emotional awareness is crucial for being resilient in challenging times. It is central to mobilizing, engaging, communicating and influencing others, as well as thinking deeply, creatively and strategically. Harnessing mindfulness has never been more important in helping to bring about social change.
Mindfulness enables us to be aware of our thoughts, our feelings and our sensations. This makes us better able to take responsibility for our own mental states and reactions – enabling us to choose our responses, so they remain creative and helpful. Mindfulness also underpins our capacity to empathise and connect with others – to build mutually empowering relationships. It also helps us to pay attention to what is happening around us, to cut through assumptions and expectations, and to take account of the reality of our situation.
Secular mindfulness training has benefited from a great deal of research and study which show that these practices have direct material effect on the neuro-plasticity of the brain, effectively re-sculpting it for effectiveness, creativity and wellbeing. Embodied awareness is a key to emotional intelligence and raising levels of personal resilience. There is clear testimony that mindfulness training can enhance our focus and attention, increase self-awareness and the awareness of others, and strengthen cognitive effectiveness.
All of this can enable you to:
• find clarity and focus when it is required
• deepen your capacity to empathise
• direct your thinking where you need it
• listen and communicate more effectively
• be more emotionally alive and tuned in
• stay flexible and creative under stress
• remain energised and inspired
The integration and self-awareness that comes from mindfulness help us to stay true to ourselves and act out of authenticity. It can help us keep our vision bright and the ethical basis of our work transparent. It enables us to be worthy of and inspire others’ trust and confidence in us. It helps to shape our own sense of agency and that of those we work with.
We will locate the exploration of mindfulness and emotional intelligence on a foundation of values and ethical commitment to social and ecological justice. We will be asking how the benefits of mindfulness practice can be put in service to the embodiment and realisation of our values in the world.
This course offers tools and approaches which integrate personal transformation and practical skills for working with others to affect social and environmental change. It brings together a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and expertise from different traditions and a wide range of actors from activists and educators to spiritual, political and civil society leaders. It aims to facilitate personal and collective reflections on our roles in bringing about change.
This training covers:
• tools for deepening self-awareness and emotional intelligence
• inner resources for sustaining vision and engagement
• interpersonal skills for working well with others
• approaches for thinking creatively and strategically
• methods for using mindfulness to enhance our performance at work
The course will help individuals to learn and deepen mindfulness practice for developing inner resources of clarity, insight, patience, courage and emotional resilience. They will learn greater effectiveness in engaging, supporting, working with and influencing others. We will also take time to review and evaluate personal strategies for working to realise social change.
The course is suitable for those who are new to mindfulness or new to exploring secular mindfulness approaches (such as mindfulness based stress reduction/cognitive therapy) and how it can support being an effective agent of social change within groups, communities, movements or organisations.
Paula was INTRAC‘s Training Manager for more than 5 years. She was responsible for managing INTRAC’s broad range of training programmes including tailor-made, open, and blended courses. She has continued her work with INTRAC as an associate and trains on training of trainers, facilitation skills, M&E of training and managing roll outs effectively. She is a co-founding member of the Training Providers Forum which is an informal network of non-profit training providers working across the development and humanitarian sector. The forum has been running for five years, sharing best practices in training provision, forming collaborations, and offering yearly workshops to sector on key themes such as M&E of training and building the capacity of local training providers. Paula has also been exploring how inner practices can help to support social change work through building personal awareness, resilience and insight. She is training to be a mindfulness teacher and is a co-founding member of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network.
Based in Valencia since 2016, Didi has over 20 years experience facilitating learning about social justice and organising with others to take action in diverse settings – everything from the formal classroom to popular education-style beneath trees.
An activist since her teens, it was while working as a lecturer in Peace Studies in Japan that Did began to weave together her commitment to social justice with interest and love for teaching/learning. In Japan she worked with women’s rights groups organising and following up on the 1995 women’s conference in Beijing, ran trainings for humanitarian and development NGOs, and was involved in the Korean-Japanese Citizens’ Civil Rights movement . This community work led to doing human rights observation and accompaniment in the conflict zone in Chiapas (Mexico), and facilitating exchange visits between US and Mexican activists. After six years in Mexico, she moved to London where she worked for Quaker nonviolence training programme Turnning the Tide and other organisations both locally and internationally running courses and accompanying groups’ campaigns. Since 2016 she is part of the Ecodharma Ibérica team facilitating workshops about effective group-working and personal sustainability for grassroots groups based in the Spanish State and the Ulex Project. Didi also continues Zapatista solidarity work with the UK Zapatista Translation Service and the Don Durito Collective. She is passionate about the right to freedom of movement and urban food-growing. In Valencia she collaborates with Valencia Acoge, a local organisation doing migrant and refugee support work, and L’Horta el Cabanyal, a collective garden on reclaimed land.
Skills for building collective power
a community of practice
Agency, theory and strategy - a deep inquiry
1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.
2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.
3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.