MARA ○ Mindfully Experiencing Life, a non-profit organization with a charitable purpose was founded in Dezember 2020 and is based in Vienna, Austria. The reason for its becoming was an international collaborative project Mindfulness for Austria, in 2019, which has since been developed step by step. At first Mindfulness for Austria took up residence at the language school Sphinx Lingua in Vienna.
Mindfulness is at the core of Mindfulness for Austria. That is why the project moved from the language school Sphinx Lingua to the nonprofit MARA in 2021. Mindfulness for Austria swas the reason for the foundation of MARA. At this point we would like to thank Sphinx Lingua for paving the way for the project Mindfulness for Austria and for making all this possible.
Vision of MARA
All people have trust in life
In order to advance towards this vision, it is important to gain access to emotions, and to deal with one‘s own emotional life in a healthy way. By healthy we mean to bring the emotional life in line with one’s actions, so as to not harm oneself nor others. As far as our experience goes mindfulness exercises are helpful. For this reason our first step represents the provision & distribution of simple exercises, especially for people who tend to have an intense emotional life.
With an internalized mindful attitude one can gain access to and develop a sense of basic trust, in the case it is buried or never had an opportunity to be formed. In turn this process promotes basic trust in life. It does not mean that problems will be played down nor will stay undetected. But from experience, this facilitates a solution-oriented approach to complex problems.
The cornerstone for MARA was laid in the last few years, when we noticed the enormity of psychological strain on people worldwide who experienced war and flight. In Austria as well as from an international perspective, we experience flight & migration as a highly complex issue. In order to find effective solutions, a cross-disciplinary collaboration among different disciplines is an essential prerequisite. For us, an internalized attitude as described above, is helpful to face an extremely complex issue in a constructive manner. From this perspective, the nonprofit MARA can also be understood as a platform for solution oriented collaboration.
Further details on the nonprofit MARA can be found under bylaws
Stance of MARA
Our stance is an internalized attitude of mindfulness as an opportunity to respect life
Thereby we align ourselves with a definition by Jon Kabat‐Zinn:
"[Mindfulness is] the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally“
An unconditional humane attitude is the foundation. This doesn’t mean that we are indifferent to people’s behaviour. It is rather about valuing people due to the fact that they are human beings. We acknowledge a person‘s current behaviour as part of life at the present moment. This belief is also being described as non-alignment, in the sense of non-judgementally.
At this point misunderstandings happen: Even with a non-judgmental attitude we realize when people’s conduct causes harm. Non-alignment, in combination with a kind attitude, only enables us to acknowledge the already occurred damage as part of life. Thereby the cycle of emotion is largely interrupted and it can instantly lead to a solution oriented approach.
We take a stance for Non-knowledge. We assume that people don’t represent the absolute truth. We are aware that experiences on the same subject can vary, based on different prior knowledge, attitude, approach and individual skills. This is where we see a chance for progress: If a communication on equal terms is successful, a genuine interest for the experiences of others can develop. Both sides may be able to expand their perspective. This is an ideal prerequisite for a shared approach.
We see the world from a holistic view, and we are aware of our shared responsibility. We respect our boundaries, and we learn to pause for a moment and to act. We cultivate curiosity, work with fantasy & creativity while expanding our communication skills, in order to learn and to be open to the new.
If we succeed to actually live this attitude, we can continue to confront highly complex issues in a constructive and solution oriented way. But of course, it might still not always work out for us :-)
Aforementioned description relates to our personal experience with mindfulness.