More than 150 military personnel and defence civil servants have come together in London for a day designed to teach them about mindfulness.
It is technique key to Buddhist practice, known as ‘Sati’, it may be one of the smaller religions in the British Armed Forces but there are around 4000 Buddhists currently serving.
This symposium at the Ministry of Defence was about how mindfulness as a secular concept could help the military.
Leading on from initiatives launched last year by the MoD and Prince Harry, the idea is to develop a form of mental resilience or fitness, teaching service personnel to be better equipped to deal with stress or pressure.
Trials have already taken place with officer cadets at Sandhurst, Dartmouth Royal Naval College and RAF Halton.
Sqn Ldr Andrea MacFarland says;
“What we’re trying to do is to normalise the culture where we can talk about mental wellbeing in the same way as we talk about physical wellbeing.
“And try to develop an inclusive culture where we’re all neurodiverse, we all have different reactions and days where we feel good or not so well, and that’s normal.”
Mindfulness may seem like the latest craze but the MoD say it is part of an attempt at changing the conversation around mental health.
Incorporating ancient concepts to build mental resilience for forces personnel.