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Contextualising Mindfulness: Between the Sacred and the Secular

Friday 10th October 2014 - Sunday 12th October 2014 at Sunley Conference Centre, Northampton

18th annual conference of the Transpersonal Section of the BPS

From being topics at the margins of psychology fifteen years ago, meditation and mindfulness have spectacularly entered the mainstream over recent years. In terms of research and applicability their rise has been exponential. For those of us who have had long-standing interest in spiritual practices, these developments are to be welcomed.

The question to be addressed in this conference, however, concerns the context of mindfulness practice within the spectrum from sacred to secular.

  • To what extent is mindfulness practice as promulgated in therapeutic and social contexts true to its roots in the spiritual traditions? Have the bounds of the term 'spiritual' become so elastic as to be of little value?
  • What impact is the widespread incorporation of what is at core a spiritual practice having on contemporary society?
  • And is the popularization of meditation practice leading to a distortion of the root traditions from which it has been extracted?

These are the kinds of questions that we believe to be critical as we move forwards beyond the mere acceptance of mindfulness and its health benefits towards a potential re-alignment of spiritual and transpersonal goals in contemporary society.

Call for Papers

Papers are invited that speak to this particular theme, or to the topic of transpersonal psychology more generally.

Papers may be on any aspect of transpersonal psychology (from theoretical to empirical, practice-based to original research). Non-members are welcome to submit papers for presentation at the conference although priority will be given to section members. The usual time allocated for each paper, including discussion, will be 45 minutes (up to 90 minutes for workshops or symposia). Speakers should aim to make papers readily understandable to a non-specialist audience and they should not simply read aloud an article intended for publication.

The extended deadline for the receipt of all submissions is Friday 25 July 2014. Submissions received after this date will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Submitters will be notified of the outcome by Saturday 9 August 2014. Abstracts of all accepted submissions other than workshops will be included in the convention booklet, provided that they are received before the deadline.

All submissions must be submitted electronically using the submission form. They should be emailed, as attachments, to the Chair of the Program Committee, Prof. Chris Roe at Authors who are not online or who for some other reason can not meet these requirements should contact the Programme Chair via the Psychology Division, The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Northampton NN2 7AL [tel. +44 (0) 1604 892623, fax. +44 (0) 1604 720636].

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224507.


Friday 10th October 2014

11:00Conference opening & Chair's Address
13:30Paper / Workshop
14:30Paper / Workshop
16:00Paper / Workshop
17:00Paper / Workshop

Saturday 11th October 2014

14:30Paper / Workshop
16:00Paper / Workshop
17:00Paper / Workshop

Sunday 12th October 2014

10:30Paper / Workshop
11:30AGM of the BPS TP Section

Speakers and Facilitators

Michael Chaskalson

Keynote Speaker
Michael is an honorary lecturer at Bangor University, where he is a member of the Core Teaching Team at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice in the School of Psychology. He is also on the faculty of the Executive Masters in Positive Leadership and Strategy at the IE Business School in Madrid. Michael is the founder and Chief Executive of Mindfulness Works, and is one of the world's foremost proponents of the use of mindfulness in workplace settings.

Dr Peter Malinowski

Keynote Speaker
Peter's research is concerned with the investigation of psychological and (neuro-) physiological mechanisms and effects of mindfulness and meditation practices. Towards this end he established an international network of collaborations, pursuing a multi-disciplinary, multi-method approach, including measurements of behavioural performance, self-report questionnaires, electrophysiological parameters (EEG) and a variety of physiological parameters. Much of this work is based on Dr Malinowski's extensive experience in experimental/cognitive psychology and expertise in EEG research.

Dr Tamara Russell

Keynote Speaker
Tamara is a clinical psychologist, neuroscientist, martial artist and mindfulness trainer. She works as an academic and clinician, exploring the use of mindfulness to help individuals respond more skilfully to challenging emotional material. She is the creator of the Body in Mind Training Framework, a body-based mindfulness training which allows individuals to become more in tune with bodily reactions and responses, increasing awareness and promoting mental and physical well-being. She has delivered Body In Mind Training across a number of NHS Trusts as well as to health care workers internationally. Her academic work focuses on the evaluation of adaptations of mindfulness for different clinical groups including eating disorders and bipolar illness and healthcare staff.

Professor Geoffrey Samuel

Keynote Speaker
Geoffrey is an Emeritus Professor in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University, Director of the Body, Health and Religion (BAHAR) Research Group, and an Honorary Associate of the Department of Indian Sub-Continental Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. From September 2012 to April 2013 he was Tung Lin Kok Yuen Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, in Canada. He is President of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM), and was until recently co-editor of IASTAM's journal Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity.


Sunley Conference Centre, Northampton

Sunley Conference Centre, Boughton Green Road, , Northampton, NN2 7AL

Additional Information

Click here to download further information.

PDFBPS Booking Terms and Conditions
PDFDirections to Sunley Conference Centre, Northampton
PDFProvisional Programme