Building a Research Community
A critical aspect in the field of mindfulness is furthering our understanding and appreciation of practice. One important way to do this is through research. Those of us who attended the mindfulness conference in Stellenbosch in September 2014 witnessed the value of rigorous research.
We are aware of the particularities of the society in which we are embedded and to which we have a commitment. We believe that context-driven and context-sensitive research will add to both the growing of the mindfulness-based knowledge base, and support the implementation, refinement, and dissemination of effective and relevant mindfulness-based programmes in diverse settings.
Through our networks, we are aware that research projects are being undertaken in various fields, both locally and internationally. Typically, these are within the disciplines of psychology, medicine, (and healthcare in general), neuroscience, education, and business/leadership. We are witnessing research initiatives across these disciplines, and reaching into new areas. We also recognize that there are a number of people who are considering focusing on mindfulness for their research.
There is no doubt that there is value in researchers collaborating with each other. This is not only to strengthen our individual endeavours, but also to build a community of researchers to further the field of mindfulness knowledge. Research can be a solitary and lonely process. Through initial informal conversations, there seems to be a general willingness of researchers to build this community locally. Through these conversations, we recognize that we have people with a variety of research skills, experience, and access to resources important for research.
To this end, we would like to cast the net beyond these initial informal conversations, and get a sense of the following:
- Is this proposed initiative something you would like to be a part of?
- If yes, what would you like to get from this community?
- How could you contribute to developing it?
- Are you currently engaged in mindfulness research, or are you thinking about it? If so, what field (s) / discipline (s)?
If this appeals to you please e-mail me the answers to these four questions.
Please also be so kind as to forward this to others who may be interested.
Once we get a sense of what the response is, we will get back to you with a proposed way forward.
With warm regards
David Lipschitz PhD
IMISA Research Initiative Coordinator
Internationally there is a huge amount being written and researched on the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions in the area of health. Over the last 10 years, the application of MBIs in healthcare worldwide has grown exponentially and is making a significant impact. High quality and substantial peer-reviewed research in these various interventions are yielding significant results in both health and non-health related sectors of society.
For updates on international research on MBIs, please visit www.mindfulexperience.org to access the Mindfulness Research Guide.
The Mindfulness Research Guide is a comprehensive electronic resource and publication database that provides information to researchers, practitioners, and the general public on the scientific study of mindfulness, including a database of research publications in the area of mindfulness measurement tools to operationalize mindfulness interventions incorporating mindfulness techniques, universities and centers conducting mindfulness research. It also publishes Mindfulness Research Monthly for the purpose of informing the latest advances in mindfulness research and practice.
We will be updating this section shortly with current and completed local research projects and published articles.
Watch this space!