The Mindful Coach



Get ready to hear inspiring stories, learn powerful coaching skills, stay updated on the latest technology, and gain insights from conscious marketing experts. Tune in to ‘The Mindful Coach’ podcast with host Brett Hill as he interviews an incredible lineup of coaches and helping professionals in the The Mindful Coach Association community.

Are you a coach or helping professionals who values mindfulness in life and work? Meet your colleagues in weekly meetings, list your services and who knows? You could be a guest on the show! Free membership.

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About this Episode:

In this pivotal episode of The Mindful Coach podcast, host Brett Hill is joined by Mark Leonard, Sustainability Practitioner and co-creator at the Oxford Mindfulness Center.

In a world where the impact of our actions has never been more apparent, the urgency of organizational transformation toward sustainability becomes undeniably pressing. Mark’s innovative and research-backed approach hinges on a crucial, often overlooked factor: social mindfulness.

Mark’s Insight About Social Mindfulness

With a background in traditional mindfulness training, Mark discovered that the power of social relationships in these trainings supported learning mindfulness more effectively than the course content! This prompted him to develop a unique curriculum centered around teaching mindfulness from a social and relational perspective.

In a bid to scale the advantages of his findings, Mark designed the “Mindfulness-Based Organizational Education” course, aiming to instill support and encourage better decision making to encourage sustainable practices at an organizational level through social mindfulness.

Mark’s groundbreaking work on ‘brief’ mindfulness practices, validated by peer-reviewed research, showcases the potency of social mindfulness in inciting systemic change and achieving sustainability. He highlights how mindful awareness allows individuals (and organizations) to better comprehend and integrate their experiences IN CONTEXT, opening the door to collaboratively alter social conditions and interconnected systems more effectively.

In this conversation, Mark accentuates the profound role social mindfulness can play in combating societal and environmental challenges, offering practical guidance on weaving mindfulness into the fabric of organizations.

The Calling

If you’re a mindfulness practitioner or trainer striving to enrich your practice or support others, this episode provides important insights into the future of mindfulness training and how you can have a role in supporting this important work.

Listen in if you’re seeking actionable strategies to nurture social mindfulness and catalyze positive change within your organization, and ultimately, across the broader society. This is not just a conversation—it’s a call to mindful, action towards a sustainable future.

Connect with Mark at Social Mindfulness

The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:00 – Introduction,

00:00:43 – Mindfulness-Based Organizational Education (Mboe),

00:07:58 – The Need for Social Mindfulness,

00:12:47 – The Role of Social Interactions,

00:15:59 – Organizations and Sustainability,

00:19:53 – The Power of Mindfulness Training,

00:23:55 – The Impact of Mindfulness in Veterinary Practices,

00:26:07 – Social Mindfulness and its Different Approaches,

00:29:09 – Mindfulness in NHS Hospital Staff,

00:32:22 – Creating a Better Future through Mindfulness,

00:40:01 – The Importance of Mindfulness Training in Workshops,

00:41:11 – Developing a Philosophical Understanding of Work,

00:42:47 – Connecting with Mark and Socialmindfulness Net,

00:43:44 – Collaborating and Building a Community,

00:46:37 – A Vision Beyond Words

If you’re a coach, therapist, or another professional that values mindfulness in your life and work, you’ll find a rich community of your peers meeting regularly at The Mindful Coach Association. Membership is free.


00:00:00 - Brett Hill

So welcome to this edition of the Mindful Coach podcast. I can't tell you how excited I am to have, as a guest in the show the I don't know how to describe this guy. There's so many adjectives. An amazing character, hysterical, funny, educated, brilliant, insightful, creative, entrepreneurial. I mean, this guy is Mark Leonard, is who I'm talking about. And let me just tell you a little bit about this and strap in for this because this is something, okay? Mark's really quite a character, and I can't tell you how excited I am to have him here. Mark is a sustainability practitioner. A sustainability practitioner. So it starts with that. And, like, where have you ever even heard that? And it comes from his insights that everything that we're doing in policy and governance and regulation and enforcement was not creating a sustainable future for human beings on the planet. He felt that there was a chance that making aspects of Buddhist insight and practice accessible to a larger audience had the chance of creating the systemic change that we need to facilitate sustainability. And this insight, that it was a systemic issue, led him on a path to create and establish one of the co creators of The Mindful Coach Association. And in doing that, he adapted MBCT therapy, mindfulness based cognitive therapy, to a workplace training. Now, in endeavoring to take that training and deliver it, he had a key inside himself, an observation that the social interactions in that group were as powerful or more powerful in helping the participants engage in learning mindfulness than the training itself. That obviously requires some adaptation, some revisiting the entire framework for delivering this training. And so in doing that, he created a mindfulness based organizational education to focus on these new insights and developed a training that has been formally recognized by the British and The Mindful Coach Association as the very first to practice, embrace, short guided meditations. Now, this mindfulness based organizational education, we'll call it Mboe, sometimes in this podcast is evidence based from trials that they ran with the National Health Service, with the hospital staff, and the results were published in a peer reviewed journal, Mindfulness. Now he's working on building an international team to help promote the mindfulness based education practices, policies, and the message. So welcome to the show, Mark Leonard. So happy to have you here. Did I get that right?

00:02:56 - Mark Leonard

Yeah, wonderful. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Brett, so much. And I'm kind of kind of calling the theoretical framework, if you like, social mindfulness. And the course itself is like, is Mboe. So it's a specific course. It means that the theory of social mindfulness is that its mindfulness is, as Evan Thompson described it in his closing keynote speech, or closing keynote for the International Symposium and Cognitive Science, I think it is. In 2016, he said mindfulness is a social embodied process. Well, he calls it he now says it's social embodied mindfulness. Evan thompson was one of the co authors of the seminal book The Embodied Mind by Francisco Varela, now published, actually published in the same year as John Cabotsin's Full Catastrophe Living.

00:04:02 - Brett Hill

Oh, wow. And we know how that ran in terms of like Jean Cabbage. His work is so mainstream. But still today, in my own work, I'm deeply aligned with your ideas around social mindfulness and my own coach training, I help coaches learn mindfulness in relationship to their clients and then help their clients learn mindfulness in relationship to their world. So I'm very much aligned with that. And I'm curious, what's your experience with the notion of social mindfulness in contrast to what you might call the John Cabbagen approach, or if there is such a thing as the John Cabbage approach, but what you might call traditional mindfulness training?

00:04:49 - Mark Leonard

Well, I think it's generally assumed. There's this very beautiful structure that John Cabot Zinn came up with and it clearly has all sorts of benefits for a number of people. And this has been adapted and trialed and there are now, well, I don't know how many hundreds of trials have been carried out and beneficial outcomes have been published on the benefits of the sort of standard eight week format with sometimes described as a semi intensive meditation training or an intensive meditation training. It asks about 60 hours of meditation, mindfulness meditation over eight weeks. So that's the standard kind of thinking, that this amount of mindfulness meditation has this effect?

00:05:47 - Brett Hill

Yeah, exactly.

00:05:49 - Mark Leonard

And I guess my view is that it's more about context, it's interactions, it's expectations, it's much more sophisticated. I mean, when somebody comes into a therapy, a therapeutic environment, they have all sorts of expectations and assumptions about how that's going to work out. And I think these really have a really powerful influence. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to help people deal with chronic pain and stress and depression and stuff, but from my point of view, chronic stress, depression, anxiety, these are really symptoms of something, a deeper problem. And I'm starting from a point where the first thing that I recognize is that stress, depression, anxiety are normal human responses to a maladapted society, to a maladapted, to an experience that drives people to do this. In the UK, 25% of people, this is 2014 figures, so we're going back nearly a decade. 25% of the population are said to have present with a mental health diagnosable mental health problem. There's something wrong there. 25% are presenting with that kind of level of that kind of level of mental health problems in society. We're talking like 75%, 80% of people are the walking wounded. A huge proportion of the rest of the people are walking wounded. People are coping at the moment. So the key idea is that we're going to try and use mindfulness to understand what's going wrong, not just in our own experience, but how we can use mindfulness to work together, to understand each other. To work together. To change the conditions, the social conditions change the way our lives work collectively to come up with ways of solving this deeper, systemic crisis. Another aspect of which is the way we are driving ourselves to what is geological time. Pretty rapid extinction. If we go on the way we are going, there's going to be billions who are going to die very unpleasant deaths this century.

00:08:24 - Brett Hill

Yeah. This ought to be, you would think, some kind of a wake up call.

00:08:32 - Mark Leonard


00:08:33 - Brett Hill

And so what do you think, though? Like, how do you get people to snap to the truth of their experience?

00:08:42 - Mark Leonard

Well, as I said, as you said in the introduction, your lovely introduction there, it's like I came to the conclusion that it was social interactions that were maybe having more impact than the actual mindfulness meditations themselves. And someone that was recommended many years ago by a great friend of mine who is also a bit of a radical in the Buddhist world within the Tratna order, he recommended me to read The Master in His Emissary by Ian McGilchrist, which is, if you haven't come across it, it's a must read. Or at least check out some of his talks on.

00:09:34 - Brett Hill

We'll put a link to it in.

00:09:35 - Mark Leonard

The show notes on YouTube, and he explains how the different two hemispheres of the brain are evolved in different ways. And if you like, in a continual conversation with these two hemispheres. One is grasping and defining and the other is open, context dependent. Sees the whole, the left sees the parts, and it controls our right hand. We grab things with it. And the right hemisphere is kind of open, awareness, contextual. It's not linguistic. In the same way that the left side of the brain, when we say we grasp something conceptually, that's literally to do with the fact that the left side of the left hemisphere controls the right hand and we use the right hand to grasp things. Okay, anyway, I've only got a couple of hundred pages in, but I got to just reading a couple of days. I mean, it's a great big fat book. I'm a bit slow at reading anyway because I'm a little bit dyslexic, but did you know that focus, it comes from a root word or the meaning of the word focus, from its Latin origins, is half. So we're talking about half? Yeah, we're talking about focus of attention all the time, right?

00:11:00 - Brett Hill

Yeah. That's the whole practice to begin with, is attention training. Watch your thoughts, come back to awareness. Got your thoughts come back to pay.

00:11:07 - Mark Leonard

Attention to the sensations in the body of the breath or whatever. Come back to that. And what's happening with what does half do socially? We sit round the fire. We're looking at the fire, but we are feeling part of a group. It's in the evening, we're relaxing, and that is for a long time. I've used that analogy to describe what we're trying to do with mindfulness practice is become able to reproduce that mind state, that physiological state of calmness and awareness that is produced when we would have in our evolution would have sat round the fire, looking at the flames, telling stories, feeling safe within an intimate group of people that we trust, know love, have lifelong, caring relationships with. And we're having to learn to do that in society today because we've lost the social structures, the social structures that would have satisfied our social and emotional needs in our evolution that would reduce this mind state naturally. That's why it's a natural when we're talking about mindfulness as a mind state, that's why we're talking about it as a natural thing because that's how we evolved. And we've just become more and more absorbed in this controlling, grasping, organizing, self improving functions of the left hemisphere. And we've become our capacity to pay, to switch attention from left hemisphere functioning to right hemisphere functioning has become terribly impaired. And we've got to go back to that. The systemic problems are largely because every time we do something we see it out of context and there are unintended consequences. So we've got to somehow see the whole and change out the way we interact with things to feel the whole. We can never conceptualize the whole. It's beyond our conception. We can just feel the whole. And I guess from a Buddhist point of view this is about going back to intentionality. It's like what is our deeper intention? Is it essentially compassionate? Is it essentially seeking the greatest good? Is it essentially seeking an outcome that is going to be wholesome and that's very hard to define what those things are and we have to adapt, do one thing, we get it wrong. Okay, that's made a mistake. How do we never conceive of the system of a series of actions that are going to produce that result because they're always only a very limited snapshot picture. Okay, I'm rambling on there but that's the broad picture. That's the broad picture. That's what we can do with social mindfulness because as individuals we may be able to change our experience and become more happy wholesome individuals and even have happier, more wholesome relationships. But until we actually come together to work together as individuals we got very little. We're largely disempowered in society. We can do small things but the kind of things that need to change have to be a movement of change and that has to be built on the way groups of us work together. And what are the big groups that we have in society today? They're organizations. How do organizations function? How do they engage in business? That is the route I see to the office hope creating because of the future, the money involved, et cetera, the number of people.

00:15:35 - Brett Hill

So what has to happen? Like how do you get the attention of those organizations to focus on this. What they're going to see I imagine as a nonprofit it's not a profit center for them. So how do you get them to recast themselves in a way where they become agents of sustainability?

00:15:59 - Mark Leonard

Well, I mean, you know, more and more organizations are concerned about sustainability and I mean it's only maybe four or five years ago that this whole model of what's called environment and social governance was coming into have an impact in the way that corporates were valued in terms of share value. And that's all about sustainability. It's trying to match share value with a kind of longer term value of an organization to fit in to United Nations sustainability goals and it's linking very much environmental sustainability with social sustainability and it's recognizing this systemic problem. And I'm saying I believe we've got to start with the way we understand ourselves and each other to change our sort of whole motivational framework. What feels good? What feels good is when we build trusting, understanding relationships and we do things together and we start to care what the outcome is because it starts to change our time spray our time frame from immediate trying to control things to get immediate results. There's ESG that's one thing. Now another thing ESG environment and social government governance and that's becoming more and more something that is impacting the way corporates are valued. Now I understand there are all sorts of failures with it and problems with it like all sorts of things but it's a step in the right direction. Another issue is to do with well being. Now everybody knows that well being is a problem. I don't expect there's a business out there that doesn't realize that time lost to sickness related absenteeism or mental health related absenteeism isn't costing them an awful lot of money. So they're getting to the point where they're realizing that they have to deal with this well being issues as a matter of business survival, competitiveness. It is very hard for boards to invest in something if they don't have a kind of quantitative measure that they can use to evaluate the impact of a particular you know, to look at the return on investment of any particular intervention and its costing. So there's a really interesting project started last year in an Oxford group called the World Well Being Movement who are really working towards creating a well being metric that is widely accepted in the corporate field. So when we get there are all sorts of ways to measure it but the point is in the end in the end somebody's got to create a standard and it's got to be industry wide accepted or recognized to be useful for people to use it. So that's another really exciting avenue whereby corporates are going to have to look beginning to create the tools that make it possible for boards to make financially sensible decisions about what the cost of a particular thing is and how to measure its value in terms of its output. So they can build it into strategy, the strategy and what they do in their organizations. Without that, you're never going to get anywhere. Really.

00:19:56 - Brett Hill

Yeah, I hear what you're saying. It's so powerful. Now, you have done quite a bit of work in terms of bringing mindfulness training of different kinds and different sorts into organizations. What have you seen firsthand in terms of the impact of that individually and collectively? What's your experience in that?

00:20:23 - Mark Leonard

Okay, so the first big thing that I succeeded in running was when I adapted mindfulness based cognitive therapy to the workplace. I used the best selling self help book version, which is The Mindful Coach Association to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, written by Professor Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman, which was it was the self help book that really triggered the explosion in self help books. And I would guess is probably still, if not the best, it's definitely one of the best self help books on mindfulness ever written. And it's hard to do better than that from a self help perspective on how to manage stress in everyday stress. Now, I taught this adapted program using this book as a sort of course, resource book to staff from the largest corporate provider of veterinary services in the UK. I mean, I think it became the largest corporate provider of veterinary services in Europe, but it had 300 practices across the country and I taught about 30 of these programs. I set up a spin up company from Oxford, so it was an independent company. But to maintain that sort of connection with Oxford and the kind of direction that it was going in, it was sort of maintaining the provenance of mindfulness based cognitive therapy. I taught 30 of these programs, so it's about 10% of the staff of CVS Vets, this corporate provider of veterinary services. And I was beginning to hear more and more how not just people, obviously anyone that's taught mindfulness in any context, some people doesn't work for we don't know how to get it to work, or we still think it should work, but we don't know how to get it across. But I was getting some reMarkable results. We did do a trial, which had very good results. It wasn't publishable, but we definitely could see that there were possibly an indication that there were significant reductions in stress and improvements in mindfulness. But the kind of reports that were coming back, the anecdotal reports, were that the whole culture, the whole atmosphere in veterinary practices was changing as a result of because they're small practices. On the whole, between half a dozen and 25 people and two or three people maybe people otherwise that were a bit stressed and reactive and treating people in a way that were making everybody walk on edge cells beginning to change the way that they were responding reacting and understanding the impact that that was having. And that was changing the whole culture in these veterinary practices, which are, surprisingly enough, incredibly stressful environments. Veterinary surgeons got four times the national average of suicide rates.

00:23:55 - Brett Hill


00:23:55 - Mark Leonard

For example.

00:23:56 - Brett Hill

Wow. I mean, who knows that? I suppose if you step back and think about it, it makes some sense, but I don't think a lot of people do. So thank you for highlighting that.

00:24:08 - Mark Leonard

Yeah, I mean, they have incredibly pressurized training. They have to have higher grades to get into veterinary school and doctors, they have to learn about all sorts of different animals, not just one, and then they end up running small practices and they've got very little business training, so they've got no understanding or very little training in terms of social skills.

00:24:33 - Brett Hill

Right, that's what I was just thinking. Then you have people coming in under, extremely stressed with their beloved animal who's in life and death situations, and then there's the financial aspect of, like, can they actually afford I mean, it's obviously a complete formula for massive stress.

00:24:50 - Mark Leonard

And the culture in the industry was that stress was a kind of badge of honor. It was a kind of man up thing.

00:25:00 - Brett Hill

Man up, right, exactly.

00:25:02 - Mark Leonard

And the impact of those programs changed the whole way in which stress was regarded in the whole of the veterinary industry in the UK.

00:25:16 - Brett Hill


00:25:17 - Mark Leonard

It was like, we've got to reevaluate this, we've got to think carefully. The veterinary press was changing this attitude towards the man up thing. So it was at a time where it was one of the first sort of big examples of this shift from realizing that this man up thing was not going was not the right way to approach it. So that would have been 2012 1314. I did that work going back that far. So it had that level of impact in the veterinary profession and one of the first professions where this shift of recognizing that the man up to stress thing as a ban of badge of odda wasn't the right approach.

00:26:07 - Brett Hill

Wow. Amazing. So you created an entirely different not entirely different, but a refocus training towards the social aspects of mindfulness. And how does that differ from traditional mindfulness training?

00:26:26 - Mark Leonard

Well, first of all, there's this first shift, which is really if we're talking about traditional mindfulness training, I think we have to be quite clear about what we mean, because we might be talking about Buddhist mindfulness, which, again, is a totally different thing. But as we understand it, the mainstream that has most of the research has been done on is this standard eight week program with 40 minutes, half an hour, 40 minutes guided mindfulness meditations every day for eight weeks. Now, the frantic well course I taught to the vets, that was reducing it to 15 minutes a day, 1520 minutes, 10, 15, 20 minutes a day. So that's the first thing, is reducing it and explaining it much better and delivering it in a workshop workplace environment. So an interactive learning process that's familiar with the workplace so there's a shift in the way it's taught to be relevant to that context. Okay, so the next step then was to go take those sort of teaching approaches and say well, what am I really trying to do here? I'm really trying to change the culture in organizations to be more human, to create a well being, inclusive culture where teams can perform more effectively, to create a psychologically safe environment where people that produces well being, that produces innovation, produces exploration through creating more of a human environment in those teams. And I got this amazing opportunity to develop a program specifically to do that for NHS hospital staff. It was a well being program but it was recognized that what was important in teams and this was an orthopedic hospital with surgical teams, high pressure, incredibly complicated work dealing with hip replacements and things like this and across the organization that communication was really important in how teams worked. So there was an understanding that communication methods, the way people communicated in teams and well being were linked to performance and patient outcomes. So we were agreeing that these were our broad brush of objectives. And in the end the funding came from a charitable source in the hospital, the Royal Orthopedic Hospital in Birmingham that funded innovation that was to do with improving patient outcomes. So we had to justify that. But so I could create justify an approach that described social mindfulness or social embodied mindfulness in a way that enabled people to communicate better, to create psychologically safe relationships, understand each other self regulate and use that self regulation. And capacity for cognitive improvement. That self regulation. Affords to combine that with interpersonal emotional regulation to create a socially supported mindfulness mindful environment that could improve the culture and improve performance, improve outcomes.

00:30:13 - Brett Hill

Wow, so that's what you did. And how did that work?

00:30:18 - Mark Leonard

Well, yeah, we managed to organize a trial and we had really good results. Statistically significant reductions in self reported stress scores, the ones that are widely used in comparing that with other mindfulness based interventions used in therapy. We're using the same measures of stress and mindfulness so that we could have a comparison of how effective it was to compare it with the sort of mainstream mindfulness programs. And we used another measure called Basic Psychological Needs at Work Scale that has three elements of autonomy, competence and relatedness. And these are recognized as being key elements to human needs in psychological needs in a workplace environment or in any environment. They come from a body of theory called self determination theory. And we got statistically significant improvements in Basic Psychological Needs at Work scale scores as well. This is before and after a six week program and in a one month follow up. So it's kind of like this is publishable stuff we got right.

00:31:37 - Brett Hill

And you did in fact, publish.

00:31:38 - Mark Leonard

And we got it eventually published. It was published online in 2019 and then hard copy in the journal Mindfulness in 2020. And I don't know of any other mindfulness program that's done used that measure either.

00:31:59 - Brett Hill

So now you're involved with trying to get the word out to do this great work in a little bit broader scale. And so this is your mindfulness based mboe. Mindfulness based organizational education. Pardon me, mboe. And your objective is to I mean, what's your objective? What are you what are you trying to do with this new framework and this new point of view?

00:32:26 - Mark Leonard

Well, I mean, you know, my vision is is a future, a long term future for humanity.

00:32:34 - Brett Hill

Wait, no, that's a novel idea. Have a future.

00:32:39 - Mark Leonard

Yeah, because it doesn't look good.

00:32:42 - Brett Hill

Yeah, exactly.

00:32:43 - Mark Leonard

So and to be quite honest, I can't be bothered to get out of bed unless if I think it's all going to go to hell in a handcuff. I can't see the point of doing anything. Well, my children or my grandchildren are going to go have a very nasty life and a short and unpleasant end. I can't see the point in doing anything in this world apart from trying to create a better future for them and others and future generations. And we're not talking about tens of generations. We're talking about the generations that are alive, that are in their twenty s. Thirty s. Forty s. And I'm with.

00:33:30 - Brett Hill

You in the sense that it feels to me like there's a bit of fiddling while Rome burns going on here. Not a bit, but kind of massively. And it's like the house is on fire and people are trying to figure out what's on TV. And it's a little bit like, hey, we need to not treat business as usual here. There's an urgency here that matters. I share that sense of like, why am I doing this work and why am I talking to you? And why am I trying to promote your work and others? Because I feel like it's imperative and I don't know another way than to do whatever I can and to help coaches in the world and therapists in the world, help people connect to their senses in a way where it becomes actionable. Because your senses are going to tell you what to do if you just pay attention. That's my bias around this thing.

00:34:29 - Mark Leonard

And your senses. We're talking here from a human perspective as being primarily adapted to a social environment. It's our feelings we're talking about. How does it feel? And when we talk about that, we're talking about social emotions.

00:34:51 - Brett Hill


00:34:52 - Mark Leonard

And it's how we relate to those feelings that enables us to build relationships of trust and understanding where we can work together for collective good. And that's the only way we're going to deal with any of these problems. Because at the moment, we're disempowered as individuals. We're isolated, we're lonely, we're suffering. Mental health problems because of the stresses of this isolated life that we experience. All about self interest. Yeah.

00:35:26 - Brett Hill

I have another podcast that I do called The The Mindful Coach Association and it's about mindful communications. And it's a big part of it is how do we on purpose create connection moment to moment with other people? And not only that, our lives and ourselves. It's like, how do we live in because our minds are relationally oriented. We only have a sense of ourselves through our experience of the outer world, and we develop this map of what's it like to be me in a body in this space and time.

00:36:02 - Mark Leonard

It's more than our minds, Brettt. It's reality. And this is the point. It's helping us understand reality by reclaiming our connectedness. It's enabling us to comprehend reality, encounter reality, participate in reality, reclaiming our capacity to participate in reality, to work together to do something about the reality of the situation. That's the theory of how we're going to achieve this sustainable future.

00:36:42 - Brett Hill

So in your work, in your training, let's say I come to a workshop that you're running. What are you doing in the workshop that I'm not going to find with that kind of a focus and some other kind of a mindfulness, what is your actually, if you can give us an example perhaps of maybe one of the exercises or the focuses that you do with your workshop.

00:37:06 - Mark Leonard

Well, I'm glad you asked that question because it enables me to answer another question. Well, go back to the question of what am I trying to achieve? I said the vision. But there are goals here. And the first goal is to change the perception of mindfulness in the world of mindfulness and in wider society that it's understood as, okay, it's always going to be a stress management thing. But why mindfulness? It's like, why mindfulness, okay, can help us to cope with stress, can help us to manage stress. But I'm saying mindfulness much more than that. That today's need is about recreating, using mindfulness to understand how we work as social, emotional, relational beings. To work together to have an impact on the culture of organizations and communities that enables that empowers organizations and communities to adapt to the changes that we need to make in order to create a sustainable future for mankind and life on Earth. Okay, the next question is how do you do that? Which is what you're asking. How? Okay. Well, it's like I kind of told the story already. It's applying a practical approach to explaining how short mindfulness meditation practices work. Delivering that in the context of a workshop where people are learning. There's an educational element here. It's like what would happen if you went into a well run workplace workshop training. People are going to talk to each other, they're going to discuss ideas, they're going to do activities. And these are all educational activities that are having a dual purpose. They're. Understanding the theoretical function of mindfulness in many aspects, not just in its stress reduction, but in how it enables people to create cohesive, inclusive, adaptive, high performing teams. But those conversations and those activities are creating the conditions for social mindfulness because they are creating interest, developing listening skills, developing the skills to describe experience, developing the language to describe experience, developing the skills to listen without trying to give people advice and tell them what they should do or they shouldn't do. To bring curiosity into the relationship. To learn these skills through the workshops themselves. So it's doing both the theory and the experience through the workshop, which is what a good workshop workshop training should involve. And then it's using short mindfulness, mindfulness meditations as the practical element of the self inquiry, the self regulation, the communication elements as the interpersonal emotional regulation systems and explaining why these two things interact are the self regulation and the interpersonal regulation. How they create in a sense the mind of the team that begins to function by listening to different opinions, not necessarily trying to get it all right all the time, understanding that different perspectives are perhaps equally valid at different times. In the end we have to choose one, but doesn't mean it is the absolute right one that is fixed and true forever. It's just the one that we agree to follow for the time being because it seems to be make most sense. It's beginning to develop quite a deep philosophical understanding of the nature of things from understanding how the way we think, if you like. It's developing a theory of knowledge as well in the workplace to help people understand what they are actually doing with technical solution type related skills in a social process and making it as explicit as possible that this is what you're doing when you're telling people that you're teaching them to do it. You're not kind of like guru sitting there oozing some kind of magical wisdom that they can pick up. You're not trying to get them to in a therapeutic context. You're asking the therapy, the client or whatever to transfer some agency to the therapist and the therapist takes responsibility for that to enable you and you trust you're blindfolded and the therapist is going to help you put it right. It's not saying anything. I'm trying to create full autonomy here. I'm telling you how this works and I'm giving you the opportunity to learn how it works and empower you to use this to change the culture in your teams.

00:42:32 - Brett Hill

Wow, that's a big mission, that's a big vision. So if a coach is hearing this and they're interested or anyone is hearing this and they're interested in learning more about your work and what you're doing, how would they connect?

00:42:47 - Mark Leonard

Well, I guess the first thing is to check out socialmindfulness net which is trying to kind of put this together in a wider picture, trying to build this new stage in what I'm doing. There are contact forms that you can contact me through Socialmindfulness Net. My business website is The Mindful Coach Association, which is really in the process of being reformed to really just support Socialmindfulness Net. So I guess the next big stage is really this developing this international team beginning to train people internationally and build a network that is disseminating the ideas. I've got a couple of things in the pipeline that will kick start me. I'm looking really looking for seed funding to get this going and some initial to build an organization to organize all of this training stuff because I can't do it all myself. Partly because absolutely, I really don't like doing all of that stuff.

00:43:59 - Brett Hill

Well, right, exactly. A lot of us are in the same boat, but partly because it's a.

00:44:05 - Mark Leonard

Complete waste of my energy to do all of that.

00:44:07 - Brett Hill

Well, yeah, exactly. It's kind of like you have more important things to be doing, but that's got to be done too, right? Exactly.

00:44:14 - Mark Leonard

So I'm looking for collaborators, really.

00:44:17 - Brett Hill

There you go. And you need a community of folk to pull this off. And that's why I'm talking to you, because to what little degree The Mindful Coach Association can help further and amplify your work that's available to you as a resource. And then the people who are listening to this reach out, connect with Mark, get in touch with him, stay in, watch his feeds. He's always putting out great stuff on LinkedIn and other places.

00:44:44 - Mark Leonard

Yeah, connect with me on LinkedIn too.

00:44:47 - Brett Hill

Yeah, absolutely. And so thank you so much for having such a big vision and for sounding the alarm in a way like this matters and it's important and people need to be doing it can't be business as usual for the next 50 years. It's got to be something different. And I really appreciate your work in that regard.

00:45:09 - Mark Leonard

Oh, thank you, Brett. And it's a pleasure to always a pleasure to, whatever, shoot the crap with you.

00:45:21 - Brett Hill

Yeah, we're shooting crap. My experience with you is always such you just go so deep with this content, and you have such a big intellectual cognitive facility as well as an experience base and a capacity to put this together in a way that sort of like I feel like you're trying to describe a vision that is so big that it doesn't even fit into words. And so it's a struggle for it's almost like the metaphor about all the ten blind men with their hands on an elephant. It's a little bit like that. And in my conversations with you over the last several years, I think I'm getting a sense of the elephant. And you're always saying there's an elephant.

00:46:15 - Mark Leonard

Here in the end, reality. You can't put it into words. I mean, even the word reality isn't satisfactory because it suggests there's something that isn't reality.

00:46:27 - Brett Hill

So thank you so much for your work and your mission and your vision and let's do this again. I think we need to do another round of this at some point.

00:46:34 - Mark Leonard

That'd be lovely. Yeah, well, it's lovely to talk. Yeah.

00:46:37 - Brett Hill

Thank you.

00:46:37 - Mark Leonard

Now, take care.