Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation Practice at WorkMindfulness Meditation in the Work Place 

So often we have a one track mind when it comes to our understanding of various matters, and mindfulness meditation is no exception. Meditation in general is thought by most people to be something you do sitting cross legged on the floor concentrating on a candle or an icon or making strange noises. Very few people realize that it is something that can be integrated into their everyday lives, not only in the home and leisure time but also in the workplace. In fact meditation in the workplace has the potential to change peoples lives,  particularly their health, for the good. The following excerpt describing what is happening amongst some Google employees will further explain what I mean.

“For as long as I can remember, I have had a desire to do something big and  important for humanity,” says Chade-Meng Tan. “In 2004, the door of opportunity opened up for me. One August day that year, I suddenly had real money.”

Google employees like Meng spend one day in five working on whatever inspires them, regardless of profit potential. So he didn’t need to get rich to start a meditation program at Google. But achieving financial freedom somehow enabled Meng to think big about what he could do for the world—sadly not always the first thought of those who strike it rich. For Meng and the many collaborators he has brought together, SIY is more than a corporate meditation program. Just as Google’s founders saw their search engine as a way to influence how people work with information altogether, the SIY designers see it as a working model for how to bring mindfulness and peace to work, a place where people spend vast amounts of time. If they develop mindfulness there, it will spill over into the rest of their lives and influence all those around them….

The idea that meditation practice started in the workplace, could actually have a positive effect on somebody's personal life, is very impressive. Once people see how it can impact on their professional life it is inevitable that they will see the benefits of transferring those skills and results to other areas of their lives

Meng’s first foray into marrying meditation and Google was Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, but it didn’t attract much attention. “Stress reduction didn’t really fly here,” he told me. The hiring process at Google, Meng pointed out, is designed to draw out high achievers and idealists who have done something a little different, like hiking in Patagonia or going to war-torn areas to help children. “For high achievers, stress can be a badge of honor, and not many people will sign on for stress reduction, particularly those who need it the most. So I needed to go beyond stress reduction. I wanted to help people find ways to align mindfulness practice with what they want to achieve in life, so they can create peace and happiness in themselves, and at the same time create world peace.”…More at Mindful – meditation in the workplace

So often meditation is linked with stress reduction, almost to the exclusion of any other benefit so it is encouraging to see that Meng has identified this shortcoming and is eager to approach this from a different angle.

Mindfulness meditation  in the workplace has far more to offer than mere stress reduction, especially if it encourages further practice outside of the work situation. A meditation that aims to help  people to be more mindful and more aware of their motivation and  their actions, and to be mindful about what they say and how they deal with difficult situations, can be very powerful. All to often we do all of those things spontaneously without much thought. When they are done mindfully they are done for the right reasons and are more likely to be successful for all parties concerned.

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