The study and practice of mindfulness draws on a variety of wisdom traditions spanning across the ages. One of the most well-respected and researched mindfulness training programs, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), is taught across the globe as teachers and students hail from hundreds of countries — from Canada to Australia, Brazil to Japan, and South Africa to Ukraine.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being introduced to Valta, a mindfulness teacher from Ukraine, who has been collaborating with MBSR and other mindfulness teachers around the world and within Ukraine to find ways to share mindfulness with first responders, volunteers, refugees, children, soldiers, and everyday Ukrainians trying to live their lives, one day at a time, amid a brutal and terrifying war.

I asked Valta if he would share his thoughts on mindfulness and the ways he is introducing it to his community. Often in these columns, we consider mindfulness practices and insights as a vehicle for helping to bring clarity and calm out of conflict and chaos. We explore what it means to be more present for what arises and, in doing so, experience and contribute less suffering to the lives of others. Below are some questions Valta has generously taken the time to answer, which may further enrich our understanding of mindfulness with a big picture look at the promise it holds for finding a sense of stability and inner wellbeing amid the throes of a chaotic and unstable world.