Graeme Armstrong on Mindfulness Teacher Supervision

 

Supervision
Mindful Supervision

For over 3 years, I’ve been engaging as a supervisee in mindful supervision. Every month, for 30 minutes, I get “supervised”.

But what is supervision in the context of mindfulness? The word “supervision” could be problematic, suggesting a model close to a therapeutic one (which it does have similarities to) and a possible hierarchical structure of being checked up on or policed. So for me, it was important to unpack not just what we mean by “supervision” but to reflect on the experience itself.

In the Mindfulness Association policy, it says: “[t]he use of the word supervision in this context is intended to convey a collaborative partnership. The intention is to create an alliance within the supervisory relationship which enables open and creative exploration both of personal practice and of how this interweaves with teaching practice and the integration of mindfulness in work.” This seems to resonate well with my experience. I find that it helps me promote and develop self-reflexivity in my practice, which in turn, enables me to open, deepen and grow. Supervision also has helped me link and integrate my thoughts (my thoughtening) to my emotional states, embodied sensations and to wider contexts. It feels exploratory, enabling and deeply collaborative. I often don’t get the answers my preference-based mind is wanting, but develop the practice of sitting with what arises in a gentler, inquiring and more open hearted manner.

In this sense, supervision is more akin to consultation and mindful inquiry, both personally and professionally, where it becomes a truly trusting and nourishing experience to promote development from.

I also find that supervision helps me ground my practice and teaching into a wider world-not just the world of teaching mindfulness, but contact and connection with further developments in mindfulness.

In 2015, I became a supervisor for the Mindfulness Association. As I reflect on my own experience of supervision and its value, I am motivated to carry this into my supervisor practice.

Are you a Mindfulness teacher who is interested in becoming a Supervisor? Or perhaps you would like a weekend of teaching supervision alongside practice in a community of Mindfulness teachers… The Mindfulness Association has a CPD weekend on Supervision on May 20-22nd/2016 at Samye Ling/Scotland. For more information, contact: info@mindfulnessassociation.net 

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1 Comment on "Graeme Armstrong on Mindfulness Teacher Supervision"

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Bill Paterson
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Thanks. A wonderful definition and articulation of mindfulness supervision. I’ll be sending this definition of supervision to my supervisor. I receive supervision via the NHS for my mindfulness teaching, but not enough of the supervision is focused on issues arising in my personal practice. I think the focus on the latter real emphasises self-reflexivity, and provokes greater insight about the self.This provides substance for supervision discussion, which highlights what is influencing teaching and mindful living.