Skip to main content Skip to search
Notice: The Mandala Sources site will be down for an update on Wednesday Feb. 8, 2023 from 6AM to 8AM EST.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5
The first structured 8-week program on mindfulness, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), was developed by Kabat-Zinn (1982) in a hospital linked to the University of Massachusetts. As is usual in private health systems, participants of these programs have to pay for them, making them less accessible to low-income individuals. Consequently, a large proportion of participants of mindfulness-based interventions have been high-income, white, Anglo-Saxon, and educated individuals actively seeking mindfulness training (Olano et al., 2015). Despite Kabat-Zinn's purported interest in offering mindfulness to low-income populations, few studies have investigated the efficacy and/or acceptability of these programs for individuals of low socioeconomic status (Roth and Creaser, 1997; Kabat-Zinn et al., 2016).Mindfulness programs are now taught in more than 50 countries worldwide (Kabat-Zinn et al., 2016), including Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Europe and the Americas (encompassed by the term “Latin” in this paper). Such Latin countries share obvious cultural influences and similarities—and during the implementation of mindfulness in these countries—Latin clinicians and researchers have observed that compared to non-Latin countries, there exist differences in how their patients learn and practice mindfulness (Demarzo et al., 2015). In this opinion paper, we briefly provide a preliminary conceptual framework for a culturally-syntonic approach to implementing mindfulness- and compassion-based (M and C) interventions in Latin societies. Furthermore, based on the authors' own clinical and teaching experiences, we offer recommendations for the effective teaching of M and C approaches in Latin countries.

Mindfulness-based interventions, in particular, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), have been implemented and disseminated globally, and their efficacy is supported by evidence from several recent meta-analyses. As MBSR and MBCT are being integrated into the mainstream of society, including the fields of medicine, health care, education and leadership, there is an increasing need to educate and train professionals to teach and deliver these approaches and interventions. However, as capacity needs increase, the central risk is that the quality and integrity of mindfulness-based interventions could be lost if prospective teachers are not adequately trained to deliver such interventions. To help minimise this risk, we argue that the education and training of future MBSR and MBCT teachers need to be carried out through structured and systematic training pathways that are founded in mindfulness practice and study and closely examined and attended to by senior teachers with many years of contemplative practice and teaching experience. Indeed, prominent people in the field argue that the ongoing formation of mindfulness-based teachers is critical to maintaining and protecting the quality and integrity of MBSR and MBCT. Committed to translating and integrating mindfulness into a twenty-first century context and lexicon—while honouring the universal essence and deep roots of mindfulness practice arising out of classical Buddhist meditation practices—modern scientific research has been conducted, education and professional training standards have been proposed and tools for assessment of mindfulness-based teaching competencies have been developed and applied, all in service of this implementation, dissemination and capacity building process.