A new collaboration between Mindful and colleagues in the mindfulness field, led by Sharon Hadley and Bryan Welch, the Mindful Directory promises increased accessibility to mindfulness for students, teachers, and organizations.
Hadley—who has held various leadership roles in building and supporting the mindfulness community, and currently serves as CEO of the University of Oxford, Mindfulness Centre—had observed the disconnect between leaders in the mindfulness field and the difficulty many people encounter when they want to find, for example, mindfulness teacher training, a retreat, or a conference: There wasn’t an online platform where information about events relating to mindfulness could be compiled, showing basic information on the teacher qualifications, and allowing any interested student to find what they were looking for in their location and within their timeframe.
“It’s often unclear what type of retreat is being offered, what’s in your local area, or what a teacher’s credentials are,” Hadley said. “So I was trying to bring all of these elements into one place, where people can search for exactly what they need and when.” To fill this gap, Hadley founded EventsList, which provided a web platform to organize and advertise events in mindfulness, list teacher credentials, and share information about the organizations working in the mindfulness field.
EventsList Becomes the Mindful Directory
EventsList flourished—in part. “There was no real difficulty engaging collaborators once I explained the concept and transparent approach. There was plenty of support for the initiative,” says Hadley. Still, it proved difficult to get the word out to teaching communities and would-be students that the platform existed.
“This new global directory is meant to provide teachers, coaches, events leaders, and students of mindfulness with the connections they need to cultivate their own mindfulness practice and to chart their own path toward higher levels of compassion, health, and peace of mind.”
When Mindful CEO Bryan Welch met Hadley at an event in Oxford in 2019, they experienced a moment of great minds thinking alike. Welch had been envisioning the creation of a broad directory of mindfulness teachers, and the vision shared much in common with EventsList. Welch and Hadley decided to reinvent EventsList with increased accessibility to include all those working in the mindfulness field, with a fresh new look and feel—and the Mindful Directory was born.
As Welch summarized, “This new global directory is meant to provide teachers, coaches, events leaders, and students of mindfulness with the connections they need to cultivate their own mindfulness practice and to chart their own path toward higher levels of compassion, health, and peace of mind.”
What You’ll Find in the Directory
The Mindful Directory has three main elements. First, it’s a place for practitioners (or aspiring practitioners) to browse and search for a mindfulness teacher—and a place for those teachers to advertise. Second, it offers a centralized guide to mindfulness events such as teacher trainings and retreats. Finally, it opens the door to collaborate with Mindful’s partner organizations as we collectively work to further strengthen the quality of what is on offer for mindfulness practitioners.
If you’re a mindfulness teacher, you can sign up and create a profile, so people can find you and you can help support their practice. The Mindful Directory offers a dedicated web page for each teacher, an advantage for teachers who may not already have their own online presence and a way for students to find them.
As the directory gradually establishes itself, Hadley says, the next phase is reaching out to partner organizations and joining forces to include directory membership with training programs and collaborate where there might be similar listings, in order to minimise confusion and provide an intuitive, transparent, and useful Mindful Directory to all.
The overall goal is less about creating a new business than facilitating international collaboration and connection. This is what both Hadley and her colleagues and Mindful understand as key to supporting the training organizations, teachers, and practitioners at all levels who seek to explore mindfulness teachers and events.