Research BlogsPHd EDI

Introducing my PhD on Equity Diversity and Inclusion in Mindfulness: A Decolonial Approach

By Josetta (they/them)

Introduction: what am I doing?!

Welcome to my first Mindfulness Association (MA) blog in which I introduce myself and my new PhD on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Mindfulness. It’s a part-time project alongside my equally soul-satisfying work as an EDI trainer, consultant and coach, and doing an indulgent amount of daily yoga, mindfulness and Tai Chi. I have a lot to be grateful for and gratitudes are an essential part of my daily practice.

Why me?

I have spent decades working with marginalised communities in the charity sector and teaching yoga and meditation to people who don’t usually access these types of wellbeing classes, e.g., POC, lesbian gay bisexual trans and queer (LGBTQ) people, trans and nonbinary people, disabled people and mental health service users. I am motivated by my own experiences of being part of all the above groups and feeling excluded or alienated from mainstream spaces or uncomfortable around others’ discomfort of difference. I have tried to address this inequity, as a specialist teacher/facilitator, participant, advocate, and as an EDI researcher, trainer, consultant and coach.

How did I get here?

Lockdown found me on a mindfulness MBLC course which I enjoyed so much I decided to join the MSc in Mindfulness Studies with the MA and University of Aberdeen. I loved the MSc too but was struck by the lack of diversity in western mindfulness approaches, spaces and curricula. I asked my tutors in late 2021 how I could go about doing a PhD on inclusion in mindfulness and here I am, living out one of my life ambitions to do a PhD on EDI in a wellbeing area. I give daily gratitudes that I can bring together my academic and professional work, lived experience, passion for social justice and mindfulness.

I am honoured and grateful for the inaugural Chloe Homewood Research Bursary for Inclusion in Mindfulness in memory of Chloe, a much-loved co-founder and Trustee of the TEP and an MA tutor. The bursary funds my fees, and I aim to do it justice. I am also endlessly grateful for the wisdom and support of my supervisors, Drs Graeme Nixon and Liz Curtis, the wider postgraduate team and fellow doctoral colleagues at the University of Aberdeen.

Next steps

A literature review to identify and critique the debates within mindfulness around EDI, to evidence why I want to prioritise EDI, and why this particular gap in the research is so important.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you via occasional blogs, and I would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions, so please feel free to contact me on:

Josetta (they/them), 31 January 2023