Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Meditation and work productivity

Today I came across an article about how some companies are encouraging employees to meditate. It's called "Meditation in the workplace". Here's part of what it says:

Contrary to popular opinion, mind training is about far more than simply sitting crossed-legged on a cushion. There are numerous techniques that can be used in a very direct and practical way for raising awareness and the quality of communication at work. A well-structured programme of mind training will always include the three key elements of vision, insight and action.

Vision relates to the way in which we view the world around us. Essentially this is our attitude to life, to work and our perception of others. Clearly, when addressed successfully, this has dramatic implications for the workplace.

Insight relates to the practice of meditation itself and the wisdom generated through such practice. This allows us to work with increased clarity in any given situation and to respond in a skilful and compassionate way.

Action relates very specifically to the way in which we implement and integrate our refined vision and new-found wisdom into our everyday work. It is four years since Business Week first heralded the arrival of meditation in the workplace. Early pioneers included Apple, Yahoo! and Google, along with more traditional organisations such as Deutsche Bank and McKinsey. Needless to say, many organisations have since followed suit.

This growing trend is perhaps not surprising given the extensive scientific research published by the likes of the National Institute of Health and Harvard Medical School. The findings consistently demonstrate a decrease in the production of chemicals associated with stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. At the same time they show an increased ability to relax, heightened levels of concentration and the alleviation of the many aches and pains that plague employees everywhere.
Individuals who meditate tend to experience higher levels of sustained happiness and wellbeing in their lives. The result of this is an increased level of job satisfaction, improved morale and a greater willingness to contribute and communicate with fellow employees.

It's really all about happiness. And I want to make it clear that I mean true happiness - not superficial gratification of desires. There is a difference, you know.

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