Sri Lanka occupies a singular position in the mindfulness landscape, as both the first developing country to consider mindfulness in politics, and the first Buddhist country to adopt western-influenced secular mindfulness at a national level.
In February 2018 Jamie Bristow gave the keynote at the Global Mindfulness Summit at the invitation of secular training organisation the Sati Pasala Foundation. Jamie also visited Parliament, presenting to President Maithripala Sirisena, government ministers, cross-party politicians, and staff and spoke on national TV, press, and radio.
[President Maithripala Sirisena (second on the right) with cabinet ministers Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Champika Ranawaka hear about the potential for mindfulness in politics.]
President Sirisena said how impressed he was by the UK politicians undertaking training in mindfulness. MPs took part in a mindfulness taster session including mindful walking outside Parliament.
The Global Mindfulness Summit was the first we are aware of to have been attended by a Head of State, a reflection of the investment made by the Sri Lankan Government in learning about mindfulness. It was a unique opportunity to encourage politicians to initiate mindfulness training programmes in their areas of responsibility. One exciting example of this was the Minister of Prison Reforms giving the green light to a mindfulness programme for offenders.
You can watch Jamie talking about mindfulness on Sri Lankan TV here.