Working cross-culturally requires you to be reflective and open to the influence of culture, beliefs, assumptions in the professional space. While entering into a professional relationship with a person from a different culture with good intentions is good, it is not sufficient to culturally safe and effective practice.
Cultural Interface Theory acknowledges that the point of blending knowledge from two cultures it often contested, full of contradictions and unequal power relationships (Cooper, n.d.). This requires a fluidity in the consideration of other perspectives and space in which varying knowledges can co-exist without one being right and the other wrong (Nataka, 2002). In practice this means a coming together, a sharing and blending of knowledge’s so that together we can grow and develop, even if our perspectives differ or even contradict. It is the letting go of the need for a single truth, and the allowance for multiple truths and experiences that are of equal value.
What this means for your practice is for you to begin with an appreciation of the knowledge, values and needs of your client. Mindfulness is a very old practice, with roots in many cultures, so assuming that you hold the only knowledge and experience in the room is problematic. As above connecting with your clients and their existing knowledge prior to your classes/sessions can give you capacity to make connections between their existing knowledge and the knowledge that you have to share. Below is an example of how mindfulness is applied in culture, al be it by a different name.
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