Empowering Mindfulness for Women is centred around a a 5-day intensive mindfulness course attended by eight women from different backgrounds. The reader is invited to imagine they are actively participating in the teaching and learning moments and turning points encountered in teaching and learning mindfulness around themes such as making space for mindfulness, safeguarding mindfulness for women, engendering mindfulness, mindfulness dreaming and a mandala of wisdoms. Evocative accounts of experience bring to life the women’s growing awareness that mindfulness can be both a separate practice and a natural part of life and that it can help them to nurture what they have neglected in themselves by not tapping into the full spectrum of their experience. Each chapter provides useful follow-up activities and questions for individual or group reflection, journaling, sharing and conversation.
Empowering Mindfulness for Women is aimed at those who teach mindfulness to women in educational, community or clinical settings and at women who want to learn mindfulness in a manner that positions them as experts in their own learning.
Table of Contents
Chapter One. Polarity Mindedness. Chapter Two. Creating Space for Mindfulness. Chapter Three. Safeguarding Mindfulness for women. Chapter Four. Engendering Mindfulness. Chapter Five. Mindfulness Dreaming. Chapter Six. A Mandala of Wisdoms. Chapter Seven. Full Spectrum Mindfulness
Leigh Burrows is Senior Lecturer at the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, Flinders University. She has been teaching, researching and publishing on mindfulness for over a decade, but believes she was practising mindfulness from a young age without realising it. She has a particular interest in assisting women and men to access the empowering potential of a ‘full spectrum’ of mindfulness possibilities rather than being locked into limiting binaries of ‘masculine-feminine’, ‘east-west’, ‘spirit-nature’, mind-body and ‘active-passive’.
"Burrows’ rendition of mindfulness teaching and practice is remarkable in its close adherence to the original understanding (as conveyed, for instance, by Thich Nhat Hanh) while simultaneously contemporary in its sensitivity to the cultural context of mindfulness practice today . . . Facilitating, as a workshop facilitator or coursework teacher, as Burrows has been doing, such sharing with knowledge, wisdom, experience, and guidance, too, is integral to mindfulness practice. Unfortunately, we rarely see this done. Therein lies an immeasurable value of Burrows’ book under discussion here . . . Empowering Mindfulness for Women is an engaging read with its at-ease and flowing conversational style of writing, filled with the mindfulness workshop participants’ and Burrows’ dialogues, both online and in-person, as well as with reflective writings by the author and her students/participants."
Dr Heesoon Bai, Professor, Philosophy of Education, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia.
"This is much more than a mindfulness book. It’s a book about the inner life of women today: their struggles, dreams, and how they’ve come to find nourishment through Leigh Burrows’ meditative guidance. Centred on a mindfulness course taught by the author, the book challenges us to go to places where few mindfulness authors dare venture. It talks of wounds — individual and collective; the aggression and competitiveness which has taken over western civilisation and is killing us from within, both women and men. Burrows confronts our world and our psychic lives, as she gently guides the women she’s teaching to a place of healing which our world desperately needs"
Miguel Farias, Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Meditation, author of The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You.
"I have admired Leigh’s writing for some time now, and this book is her next gift to us as she takes us into her inner thoughts, lived experiences, teachings, celebrations, realisations and tensions of being a woman with a mindfulness practice. To truly be present is something we all work on and we are offered not only a glimpse as Leigh draws back the curtain on empowering mindfulness for women, but we are drawn into each thread, intersection, and binary. Thank you, Leigh, for writing this book in the creative way that you have. You draw us into how we can and are a teacher, co-learner and researcher of our embodied mindfulness practice. You reveal so much of the unsaid, hidden and evaded of mindfulness. And most importantly you remind us of the how essential it is to make physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual space for ourselves."
Dr Narelle Lemon, Associate Professor in Education, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
"A wonderful book to savour, chapter by chapter as the reader is taken into the experience of a mindfulness course taught by the author. Every chapter is unique and a virtual feast for the senses, like sitting down to a beautiful dinner and letting each delicious course (chapter) unfold. This book is long overdue in the field of mindfulness in exploring mindfulness from a yin-yang (feminine-masculine spectrum) and trauma informed perspective. This book challenges us to think about how to manage the destructive competitiveness in universities and everyday life while offering a smorgasbord of mindfulness practices for developing awareness and self-nourishment"
A/Professor Kathy Arthurson, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University of SA
"This book opens a new door to contemporary mindfulness practices. It is both original and highly accessible. The reader participates in a women’s mindfulness course facilitated by the author who, true to the text’s autoethnographic style, reveals her own considerable experience and wisdom as a long-term researcher and teacher of mindfulness. One link for example, leads to the ‘deep listening’ Dadirri of the Australian Aboriginal people, demonstrating that to listen deeply is to connect – to Nature, to something greater, to others, to oneself – is key to the awareness needed for reciprocal warming."
Gaylene Denford-Wood PhD, Former Senior Lecturer AUT University, NZ, and Director at The Mindfulness of Seminaria
"This rich and beautiful offering takes the reader on a journey deep into the nuances and subtleties of teaching mindfulness. It inspires exciting new ways to conceptualise the cultivation of loving presence, as well as a range of unique and moving approaches to mindfulness teaching that are grounded in a deep sensitivity and attunement. The book is a moving invitation to teach and practice mindfulness in a way that is intuitive and embodied and informed by the imaginal. It also highlights the importance of teaching from a place of critical awareness that acknowledges and honours gender and the social and political contexts we find ourselves in."
Dr Nadine Levy, Lecturer/Head of Health and Social Wellbeing, Nan Tien Institute