police officer meditating from The Mindfulness Movement

Officer White Meditating 2: Officer Eric White of the Emeryville, California Police Department, meditates as part of a mindfulness program instituted by Chief Jennifer Tejada in order to help officers process trauma and increase positive outcomes with the public.

 

The Mainstreaming of Mindfulness

The coronavirus has affected all of us in ways we never imagined. Many of us face overwhelming emotions and thoughts and in need of tools as we navigate into the unknown future. There seems to be no better time to develop or deepen mindfulness practices. The Mindfulness Movement, a documentary by Director Rob Beemer and Executive Producers Deepak Chopra and Jewel, explores the spread of mindfulness from its roots in the Buddhist tradition and into the mainstream world as a secular contemplative practice.

Producers of the documentary film The MIindful Movement

Producers Deepak Rob Leigh Poonacha: A behind the scenes photo of (from left to right) Producer/Director Rob Beemer, and Executive Producers Leigh Koechner, Deepak Chopra and Poonacha Machaiah.

Busting the Myths of Mindfulness

Although mindfulness is becoming more well-known around the world, there are still misconceptions about the nature of practice and its practical value. The film clears out myths and provides an immense amount of information regarding the practice and its benefits. These include mindfulness’ scientifically-proven ability to rewire and restructure the brain, reduce stress, restore balance, and improve sleep as well as its ability to strengthen our resiliency.

People meditating in the mindfulness movement

etna mindfulness class: Aetna employees meditate during a class in the Mindfulness Center at Aetna’s corporate office in Hartford, Connecticut.

Alongside the research, it becomes clear that mindfulness works as the film tracks its application with specific groups, including the Mindfulness Warrior Project, an organization guiding veterans with PTSD. Following the development of the movement over the past decades, The film interweaves the personal journeys of four individuals. These are: Dan Harris, co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America; Sharon Salzberg, a pioneer of mindfulness in the West and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society; singer-songwriter Jewel; and George Mumford, a leading mindfulness teacher who taught NBA legends Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal.

Jewel with teens in The Mindfulness Movement

Jewel with foundation teens: Jewel works with the co-founder of the Inspiring Children Foundation, Ryan Wolfington (who is a Co-Executive Producer of the film) as they lead at-risk teens in Las Vegas through the mindfulness-based Jewel Never Broken program.

The Transformation of Mindfulness

Their stories showcase the power of mindfulness to transform. And the film continues to show the movement’s spread in all areas of life – from schools, prisons, police forces, and workplaces. We also see how mindfulness has infiltrated daily life and our smartphones with apps and technology products. The viewer is also invited to participate in two short mindfulness practices with leading teachers and experience the potential it has to offer first-hand.

The Mindfulness Movement Movie Poster

At a time in which we consume so much information and content that can be overwhelming and ignite fear, The Mindfulness Movement is a refreshing antidote. The film’s message that mindfulness is a practice that everybody can do is an important one. The diverse group of people featured in the film offer a convincing set of benefits to convince those who may be still reluctant to try meditation. Although seasoned practitioners might find the information here familiar, the film can inspire all of us to share the practice of mindfulness with others in order to contribute to positive social change.

Watch and Share The Mindfulness Movement

The Mindfulness Movement is available online for rent or purchase beginning on April 10: themindfulnessmovement.com