Mindfulness as a means to decrease division polarization and increase healing processes within and between communities and societies

Effective deliberation in society is important for healthy democratic process and for societal wellbeing. However, current political and social discourse world-wide is characterized by severe divides and highly emotional conflicts between rival standpoints. The rise in negative feelings toward political opponents is leading to polarization and to increase in social divisions. Can mindfulness be relevant in this context? In a set of studies, we are studying how mindfulness can reduce negative perceptions of the out group, increase motivation for resolution, and enable more respectful and effective cross-partisan communication, instead of violent conflict.