Mindfulness - the bigger picture


There's a revolution that needs to happen and
it sits inside each one of us.
We need to wake up and fall in love with the earth.
           Our personal and collective happiness depends on it.

Thich Nhat Hahn


Mindfulness and the world

Many of us first come to a practice of mindfulness meditation to attend to our own stress or distress. And through some practice we discover that our relationship with this suffering changes. We discover that we can get less resistant and reactive to our experience leading to more equanimity. A greater sense of freedom can arise and it can liberate our innate human capacities for occupying our own authority, seeing things more clearly and finding our own wise action in response.

Our practice also seems to open us up to a more empathic, open-hearted inquiry in to the experience of the 'other' - whoever they may be in our lives and to see them, not as an instrument to be used but as a person to be honoured.  We recognise more vividly that we are all in the same boat - all stressed, all wanting to find a way to thrive and participate in life.  

And yet we face a dilemma. We live in a market economy largely (although not solely) driven by the profit motive. This has a number of benefits, not the least being the provision of many livelihoods which provide for the needs of people. However without awareness and consideration of the bigger picture, it can also lead to less than desirable outcomes, which ultimately also affect us all. For example, we live in a global environment and we have seen and continue to witness the problems that arise when one nation thrives at the expense of another, or a business thrives at the expense of its workforce, or a company thrives at the expense of the natural resources on which we all depend. The reality is that how we organise our workplaces, use our resources and structure our economy affects and depends on what is happening all over the globe. 'Business as usual' may not be a way forward.

And yet even thinking about these issues can feel overwhelming. How can we possibly add anything to our already busy lives? We all care about these things, but also can feel so pushed with all our responsibilities that we feel we don’t have any more capacity to do anything right now or don’t know how to start. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed bad, guilty, or irritated. We then usually avoid or defer these issues and want to attend to what is immediate and achievable here and now.

How do we begin to use our practice to widen our circle of concern to include others and to take different kinds of actions towards more equity in the world?

We are interested  in creating some community events that can help us turn towards these difficulties together in a way that we feel not just the overwhelm, but more nourished, connected and empowered to act in ways that make a difference and express our values together. 

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Mindfulness meditation not only changes the way we relate to thoughts and emotions on an individual basis; it has the capacity to change the way we relate to abstract values on a spreadsheet and revolutionise the way things are done.

Mark Leonard


What People Are Saying

I have learnt a lot about myself through the MBSR course. Coming from a place of feeling very disconnected to myself, I now feel I am engaged and listening to what I need, which then has allowed me to handle what life has to offer in a positive way.

Anonymous, 2018

Since doing your course (Living with Wisdom and Compassion) my major transformation has been in my daily work as a family doctor. Instead of being the best doctor I can so that patients will admire me and appreciate me I am aware that I am regularly “putting myself in my patients shoes.” I want their lives to be better and their suffering to diminish. Whether that is through my doctoring or something not related to me is not relevant.



Ingrid (GP), 2018

Understanding mindfulness has changed my life.



Lee-Anne , 2018

It was great to be able to explore the strength of compassion, both internally and externally, through Living with Wisdom and Compassion. This course builds on what MBSR began. While it had its challenging moments, I came away from it feeling stress-relief thanks to my heart softening yet strengthening. And from the ability to see that even though we are all unique individuals, and we may express ourselves in wildly different ways, we all have the same needs. The better I can get at understanding those needs the more effective I can be in helping myself and others. I highly recommend this course to everyone.

Lisa, 2018

Bravo Ingrid Jolley and Openground! Thank you for your soothing and strengthening MBSR course. I’m feeling grounded, curious and hopeful about the future. I have the tools I need to lead an authentic, fulfilling life. 


Roz , 2018