Mindfulness, meditation

The benefits of mindfulness have been known for along time.  It's surprising therefore that it's taken companies so long to incorporate it into the office environment.  Staff are definitely reaping the rewards,  being less stressed and more productive.

Check out this article by S.Norton who looks into this topic more deeply.


Article by S. Norton, The Independent

Advocates say mindful meditation focuses the mind and boosts concentration, therefore boosting productivity.

“It makes sense that the frantic corporate world should turn to mindfulness. There is a Zen proverb that says: "You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day – unless you're too busy. Then you should sit for an hour." If you, say, paint landscapes for a living, you are probably quite often 'in the moment'. If you're the type that checks your emails hundreds of times a day, probably not.

Of course, these corporations have not suddenly gone all warm and fuzzy – it makes financial sense. Less stress and anxiety in the workplace means less absenteeism. Advocates say mindful meditation focuses the mind and boosts concentration, therefore boosting productivity. Leaders are said to gain empathy and patience, which will result in a happier team.

It seems win-win, but mindfulness, raisin or no, has left a bad taste in many mouths. It has been criticised for abandoning the spiritual premise behind it for secular gain, branded trendy psychobabble. And a trend it certainly is. Fashion magazines offer advice on mindful eating, health columns remind us to have mindful moments. Celebrities casually mention their mindfulness guru in interviews. Sadie Frost does it. Oprah does it. Gwyneth surely does it. You can move mindfully, travel mindfully, even go to the loo mindfully.

And yet mindfulness is being recognised by science more and more. Although it has its roots in Buddhism, secular mindfulness has stripped out much of the spiritual and focused on the scientific. In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course in the University of Massachusetts to treat the chronically ill, and now psychologists and medical professionals all over the world are using mindfulness.”

Read the full article by clicking here.

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