Workshop Abstract

Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence & Micropractices


Kenneth Burgess & Erika Casperson.


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

The Problem: 

Mindfulness capacity is foundational to emotional intelligence, which can enhance performance, teaching, fulfillment, and resilience. Mindfulness capacity can be grown through mindfulness practice. The McMaster Program for Faculty Development has pioneered the teaching of mindfulness. Although there is some general awareness of the effectiveness of mindfulness education and practices, the reality is that the vast majority of people, whether or not they have been introduced formally to mindfulness, report that they are not able to find the time in their busy lives to meditate.  

There is a widespread misunderstanding of what meditation is, for example that it means sitting in silence for long periods of time “emptying the mind”. The traditional teaching of mindfulness has contributed to this misconception by emphasizing the importance of regular seated practice if benefits are to be experienced. If we change the definition of mindfulness practices to include “micropractices” and “background practice” there is no longer any reason for “I don’t have time”, since these practices can be integrated with our normal daily activities. Because of their general applicability and portablility, micropractices and background practices are increasingly subjects of research and the evidence to date supports a positive impact on behavioural, functional and neuroimaging outcomes similar to seated practices.

The Approach:

The approach to this workshop will be didactic plus experiential plus interactive. It is assumed that the participants embody a wide range of experiences and attitudes towards what mindfulness is, what it is not. Participants will learn by doing how to quickly and easily incorporate micro and background practices into daily life at work, at home, and play.

The Instructional Methods:

Participants will be polled and engaged from the beginning of the session though online tools such as Whiteboard Team and Mentimeter. The will be invited to participate in multiple brief micropractices scattered through the session. There will be some didactic material and time and space for Q&A and feedback. Participants will given follow-up  links to background materials and support.