(Re)Inhabiting Awareness: Geography and Mindfulness

Mark Whitehead, Rachel Howell, Rhys Jones, Rachel Lilley, Jessica Pykett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper opens-up a dialogue between mindfulness and the discipline of geography. As a meditative practice that cultivates ‘present-centred non-judgmental awareness,’ we claim that the practices and insights of mindfulness have important implications for various forms of geographical enquiry. This paper argues that mindfulness can inform geographical practices in relation to epistemology and methodology, and contribute towards geographically informed critical psychological theory and action. More specifically, we claim that mindfulness could offer a practise-based context to support the study of affects, extend the application of psychoanalytical geographical methods beyond the therapeutic, and contribute to emerging geographical studies of behavioural power and empowerment. Analysis explores these sites of interaction through a series of reflections on the Mindfulness, Behaviour Change and Engagement in Public Policy programme that was developed and delivered by the authors. This more-than-therapeutic mindfulness programme has been delivered to approximately forty-seven civil servants working in the UK government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-573
Number of pages21
JournalSocial & cultural geography
Volume17
Issue number4
Early online date28 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Keywords

  • mindfulness
  • bare awareness
  • attention
  • habit
  • critical psychology

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