AIMS: CONTEMPLATIVE PEACEBUILDING IN COLOMBIA
Since standardized meditation-based clinical programs have been designed to address the culture and needs of populations in the USA, we organized a Think Tank with support from the Mind and Life Institute in order to develop a contemplative practice-based curriculum for this specific context.
Over the next year, we will deliver this curriculum in Medellin, Colombia and use a combination of behavioral, qualitative, and physiological research measures to assess its efficacy for improving ex-combatant’s psychosocial well-being and to refine the curriculum content. Specifically, our aims are as follows:
To deliver our curriculum in Medellin, Colombia in order to improve ex-combatant’s psychosocial well-being and contribute to their success in the reintegration process.
To refine this curriculum through research on its effects in order to publish and disseminate our program manual for use in other Colombian regions and in other global peacebuilding contexts.
To integrate this curriculum as a core component of the Fundación Zen Montaña de Silencio's programming and to build partnerships with organizations in other Colombian cities to adapt this model for their use.
OUR RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Hypothesis 1. Improved psychological health: In comparison to control-group participants, program participants will show greater awareness of emotional and somatic states, as well as improved mindfulness, self-compassion, resilience, and emotional regulation skills which willresult in greater psychological well-being, mood, and reductions in stress.
Hypothesis 2. Improved social behaviors: In comparison to control-group participants, program participants will demonstrate greater motivation towards individual and community healing which will result in increased participation in personal psychological and professional development, community involvement, and a sense of belonging in society.
Hypothesis 3. Improved social cognition: In comparison to control-group participants, program participants will demonstrate a change in self-concept away from an isolated self-concept towards an interconnected self-concept which will facilitate greater self-compassion, and other directed compassion. Additionally, a greater sense of care from and for the natural world will contribute to a greater sense of belonging in society and life satisfaction.