(Re)Inhabiting Awareness: Geography and Mindfulness

Mark Whitehead, Rachel Lilley, Rachel Howell, Rhys Jones, Jessica Pykett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


This paper opens-up a dialogue between mindfulness and the discipline of geography. As a meditative practice that cultivates ‘present-centred non-judgmental awareness,’ we claim that the practices and insights of mindfulness have important implications for various forms of geographical enquiry. This paper argues that mindfulness can inform geographical practices in relation to epistemology and methodology, and contribute towards geographically informed critical psychological theory and action. More specifically, we claim that mindfulness could offer a practise-based context to support the study of affects, extend the application of psychoanalytical geographical methods beyond the therapeutic, and contribute to emerging geographical studies of behavioural power and empowerment. Analysis explores these sites of interaction through a series of reflections on the Mindfulness, Behaviour Change and Engagement in Public Policy programme that was developed and delivered by the authors. This more-than-therapeutic mindfulness programme has been delivered to approximately forty-seven civil servants working in the UK government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-573
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015


  • Mindfulness
  • Geography
  • Attention


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