When you think of the places where you’re likely to encounter meditation—like a yoga studio or a temple or a serene health retreat—British Parliament is probably the last place you would think of.
With a highly charged atmosphere that sometimes even erupts in shouting matches on the debate floor, it’s hard to imagine any kind of mindful practice taking place in Westminster.
But last week, the British Parliament launched an all-party group given the task of exploring the uses of meditation in healthcare, education, and the criminal justice system.
To mark the beginning of the group’s efforts, prominent politicians and public figures like former ministers Lord Haworth and Jim Fitzpatrick came together with advocates of meditation, such as comedian Ruby Wax, to experience the benefits of meditation for themselves.
Meditation In Parliament:
Not A One-Time ThingThough this high-profile meditation session seems to be a one-time event, many of the attendees are no stranger to meditation.
In fact, meditation has been a fixture in Parliament for more than a year—so much so that some members joke that it’s becoming a ‘cult’.
More than 95 MPs and parliament staff meet regularly for meditation courses taught within parliament, and from the sound of it, the effect these courses have been having are pretty substantial.
At last week’s high profile event, several politicians spoke publicly about how these meditation courses have changed their lives for the better.
Lord Andrew Stone, who was assigned to meet with Egypt’s military leadership earlier this year, told the audience that meditation helped him be compassionate towards all sides of the country’s deeply troubled political factions.
“I didn’t know how to cope,” he explained, “but these practices made a massive difference.”