Elizabeth A. Stanley. “Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT): An Approach for Enhancing Performance and Building Resilience in High Stress Contexts,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness, Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, and Ellen J. Langer, Eds. (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), 964-985.
This chapter examines a novel approach to mindfulness training, optimized for high-stress contexts, called Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®. MMFT follows in the lineage of warrior traditions that train the body and mind to cultivate two foundational warrior qualities—wisdom and bravery. Wisdom is the ability to see clearly how things are right now and then use that information to make the most effective choice in the moment. Bravery is the ability to stay present with any experience, even an extremely difficult one, without needing for it to be different. Together, these two qualities are a pathway towards effective action in any sphere, but especially in high-stress environments. In line with this lineage, MMFT cultivates attentional control and tolerance for challenging experience—two capacities important for enhancing performance and building resilience in high-stress contexts. This chapter examines some possible mechanisms by which MMFT may enhance performance and build resilience, while ameliorating the detrimental effects of such environments. Next, it summarizes empirical research to date about MMFT and compares MMFT to other approaches for cultivating mindfulness.