Mindful of authority: A snapshot of the meditation and contemplative practices of some Canadian Commissioned Police Officers
Research into the benefits of mindfulness training, meditation, and other contemplative practices for the workplace has grown dramatically. Within the context of Canadian policing, the wellness benefits of these mental practices are beginning to be understood. However, little is known about Canadian police officers’ current use of these practices. This information is important for future research exploring the effects of these practices over time, and for police agencies considering introducing mindfulness or meditation training programs into their organizations. This article shares initial findings from a broader, yet unpublished, qualitative study of a cohort of Commissioned Officers from a large Canadian police service who self-identified as having regular meditation practices. Invitations to participate in a study exploring the perceived influence of meditation on leadership were e-mailed to all 605 Commissioned Officers. Of the 13 individuals who responded, 11 met the study criteria. Qualitative content analysis of the data yielded the following results: Commissioned Officers in a wide variety of roles in this police service are engaged in a broad spectrum of contemplative practices; each participant engaged in multiple practices; and the most common reason for beginning to practice meditation was to assist in recovery from a psychological or physical injury. These findings suggest that police organizations introduce a variety of mental training practices early in officers’ service to ensure their career is more positive, resilient, and rewarding.
Copyright (c) 2023 Les Sylven
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