Quiet Mind Meditation

This is a quiet space .. designed to inspire, nurture and support your meditation practice so that you might find your own quiet mind

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

'The Mind Business'

A great article that I read today from The Financial Times Magazine (posted August 24, 2012) “The Mind Business” by David Gelles on the growing interest, and implementation, of mindfulness practices into corporate America. 

Read about how General Mills, Target and Google have brought meditation into the corporate space ...
Not only did I enjoy reading the article itself, but also the comments left by other readers .. lively debate and a few profound comments that attest (again) to the difficulty we face with truly understanding and scientifically testing meditation. For all the equipment available to tap into our heads and monitor our body and its reactions .. meditation is an experiential practice and articulating what that experience is (being so unique to each individual) is one hurdle.  (But that is another discussion and post).

But all cheers to The Financial Times for publishing the article .. and it is fantastic to hear from some of the world's largest and most influential organisations on what mindfulness meditation, and other practices such as yoga, are doing for their organisations.

Please do read the full article as it is a very interesting read .. but I did want to mention some of the organisations that have started introducing mindfulness meditation:

General Mills have been running a programme known as ‘Mindful Leadership’ for many years now, which incorporates a mix of sitting meditation and gentle yoga .. “the idea that calmer workers will be less stressed, more productive and even become better leaders, thereby benefiting the entire organisation”. So on a Tuesday morning you may encounter a room of executives meditating, and in the afternoon a yoga session, and ‘in every building on the General Mills campus there is a meditation room.. where, day after day, employees duck in to grab a few minutes of equanimity in between their meetings’.

Goldeman Sachs board member William George, and former CEO of Medtronics says, “The main business case for meditation is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be more effective as a leader, you will make better decisions and you will work better with other people .. I tend to live a very busy life. This keeps me focused on what’s important”.

Google’s Chad-Meng Tan developed the program “Search Inside Yourself” that has now been published after successfully introducing mindfulness to more than 1,000 employees at Google (I am currently reading his book and will be writing more in the next few weeks).

Target (USA) has a group called “Meditating Merchants’ that was established in 2010 and has so far trained more than 500 participants in mindfulness.“Happy, healthy, engaged team members create an environment that is a great place to work” says Mikish Nation from human resources who helped set up the program.

So what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating clear, stable and non-judgmental awareness. It’s about attending to what is going on in this exact moment, and then moment after moment. Engaged completely in what you are doing – with no judgment, just acceptance and patience.

Mindfulness is not always a sitting practice, there are also movement practices and daily living practices, but while sitting comfortably in your office chair with your eyes closed .. simply notice. Notice your body as it relaxes, and the mind as it jumps around from one thought to another often quite random thought. Mindfulness is about maintaining a keen interest in the unfolding of sensations, feelings and thoughts in a non-judgement way. Through this practice we recognise that everything is constantly changing, not only our thoughts but also our feelings, sensations, pain, frustration and anger (at the boss too).

Over time we learn to ‘ride’ the constantly changing landscape of our mind and find this island of calm and peacefulness.

A little like sitting on the side of a busy highway, watching the cars racing by (ie. thoughts) some speeding past, others meandering slowly down the left lane. We are simply observing the whole picture from the comfort of our deck chair (with a nice cool drink in hand). Totally nonplussed .. interested and observing.. but not actively engaged or distracted.

If you are interested in bringing Meditation On-site to your organisation visit our corporate website Quiet Mind At Work or contact Sarah 0417 403 714 : sarah@quietmind.com.au

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