business

Three reasons you can no longer afford to ignore the mindfulness trend

Julia Samton, Inc.: What was once optional has emerged as a unique solution to the demands of the modern workplace.

Everyone from Fortune 500 executives to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are talking about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when you pay attention to the present moment, on purpose, and without judgment. By using the breath or another sensation as an anchor during meditation, diligent practitioners are able to achieve this mind state in everyday life. Research has shown that we perform optimally and feel at our best when we are focused on the …

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Meditation can improve your life and work, but you have to do it like you mean it

wildmind meditation newsDov Seidman, Quartz: As those of us in the Northern hemisphere settle into the autumn, I’m mindful of persistent advice from business gurus telling me that I should be practicing mindfulness, but I’m even more mindful that mindfulness has become one of the most overused, watered-down tropes of the year.

The television series Silicon Valley nails this problem on the head, when it has Gavin Belson, the chief executive of Hooli, the show’s Google-like fictional technology company, consulting with his spiritual advisor for ways to use yoga and meditation to crush his opposition.

There’s nothing wrong with mindfulness in itself. But what we have …

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How corporates co-opted the art of mindfulness to make us bear the unbearable

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“If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.” Hsin Hsin Ming

Zoë Krupka (PhD Student Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University), The Conversation: Almost every person who walks through my practice doorway is anxious in some way. And so they should be. While their anxiety might be blasting messages at an overly high volume, the messages themselves are worth paying attention to: abusive relationships, significant losses and workplaces that have squeezed their personal, physical and spiritual lives into a corner too small for a hamster to burrow in.

Most come in hoping that the volume of their anxiety will be turned down, but many also hope that the messages themselves will go away. Like all of us, they want to find a way around having to take difficult action to change their lives. And for some of them, their hopes are pinned on our current corporatised misinterpretation of mindfulness. They’ve been sold on meditation as a simple way to bear the unbearable.

Pasteurised versions of the ancient practice of mindfulness are now big business …

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Why mindful individuals make better decisions

wildmind meditation newsNatalia Karelaia, Forbes India: Mindfulness is practiced in board rooms from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. But just how much does it improve the quality of your decision-making?

Five years ago when I introduced mindfulness to my MBA decision-making class it was perceived as something completely esoteric; there were maybe two or three students who could relate to the concept. Today, not only have most of them heard about it, many are practicing it. More and more corporations are offering mindfulness training to their employees. It’s being incorporated into negotiation techniques and leadership manuals, in fact every area of business where strong decisions …

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Why mindful individuals make better decisions

wildmind meditation newsNatalia Karelaia, INSEAD: Mindfulness is practiced in board rooms from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. But just how much does it improve the quality of your decision-making?

Five years ago when I introduced mindfulness to my MBA decision-making class it was perceived as something completely esoteric; there were maybe two or three students who could relate to the concept. Today, not only have most of them heard about it, many are practicing it. More and more corporations are offering mindfulness training to their employees. It’s being incorporated into negotiation techniques and leadership manuals, in fact every area of business where strong decisions are …

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Thich Nhat Hanh: is mindfulness being corrupted by business and finance?

wildmind meditation newsJo Confino, The Guardian: The Zen master discusses his advice for Google and other tech giants on being a force for good in the world.

Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular topic among business leaders, with several key executives speaking publicly in recent months about how it helps them improve the bottom line.

Intermix CEO Khajak Keledjian last week shared his secrets to inner peace with The Wall Street Journal. Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, discussed mindfulness in Thrive, her new book released this week. Other business leaders who meditate include Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff …

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Meditation at work can improve focus, lower stress

wildmind meditation newsKathleen Koster, Employee Benefit News: A new trend in employee coaching and assistance programs applies neuroscience to help employees reduce stress, quit smoking and become more focused and productive in a variety of business environments. Among executives, this type of coaching can increase performance so they can tackle difficult problems while managing employees and leading a company.

“What we found is by assisting the person through a coaching process to be more resilient through neuropsychology, they can focus more mindfully and can make decisions more lucidly that positively problem-solve issues for their team,” explains Justin J. Kennedy, a professor at Monarch University in …

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Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness

wildmind meditation newsJoshua Eaton, Salon.com: As big corporations embrace meditation, some Buddhists fear their religion’s being co-opted by elites.

The protesters looked anxious as they rode down the escalator in San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis. A yoga bag slung over one of their shoulders hid a banner reading “Eviction Free San Francisco.” Another had a bullhorn tucked into her backpack. Two reached out to touch an inflatable, neon-blue lotus as they walked toward the conference hall.

They were there to disrupt “Three Steps to Build Corporate Mindfulness the Google Way,” a panel on Google’s corporate mindfulness program at the 2014 Wisdom 2.0 conference. As the panelists began their …

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Google seeks out wisdom of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh

Jo Confino, The Guardian: Why on earth are many of the world’s most powerful technology companies, including Google, showing a special interest in an 87-year-old Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk?

The answer is that all of them are interested in understanding how the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thay as he is known to his hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, can help their organisations to become more compassionate and effective.

In a sign that the practice of mindfulness is entering the mainstream, Thay has been invited later this month to run a full day’s training session at Google’s main campus in California.

Thay, who has sold over 2m books in America alone, is also meeting more than 20 CEOs of other major US-based technology companies in Silicon Valley, to offer his wisdom on the art of living in the present moment.

He plans to discuss with them how they can…

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Pathway to peace seeks business/corporate sponsors for meditation in classroom project

PRWEB Press Release: Schools throughout the country have signed on to implement a meditation in the classroom program through Peter Amato’s Pathway to Peace movement and are in dire need of sponsors to help fund the program. Applications from inner city districts, private academies, as well as charter, rural and public schools – elementary, intermediate and secondary – demonstrate enthusiasm and a pressing need for proven methods to help children reduce stress in their lives.

As one District of Columbia high school teacher entering the competition wrote, “Our students have witnessed murder, dropped out, fought, sold and ingested drugs before and after school. The communities that the students come from are downright scary and when they walk in the door they bring all that with them. The underlying truth is that until we help students with the stress of their home lives, we are simply masking the problems. A large portion of our students do not know how to resolve stress…they need quiet time built into the schedule for meditation.”

Through his global mind-body movement, Pathway To Peace, Meditation Master Amato launched a nationwide search for schools that are interested in starting a meditation program as well as those who want to compete to receive the program training free. Amato is willing to take on five schools, providing free materials and training to teachers at five deserving schools.

He issued a challenge to the nation’s businesses, corporations and community organizations to join him by sponsoring meditation programs in their local school systems. Sponsors are needed to assist with funding the training and materials needed to make the program happen. States seeking sponsors to date include Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Carolina, New York and Ohio, with more expected. Parents and teachers can show support as well by getting their school on board, sharing ideas and seeking sponsorships.

Interested schools were asked to either enter a competition to be selected for free training or to enroll with the goal of finding or being paired with a sponsor to fund the program. The competition ends September 30, 2013, with five schools being selected in October based on the essays or videos submitted detailing the reasons they feel they should be chosen.

Meditation is a proven method to aid kids in reducing stress, avoiding self destructive activities, and finding inner peace that is not being employed to great extent. Amato developed and implemented a meditation in the classroom pilot program under a U.S. Department of Education grant in the Scranton (Pennsylvania) School that included a qualitative research methodology to measure the attributes and benefits of the program as well as a qualitative case study methodology to develop a mixed method research approach.

Edutopia.org reports that as of 2012 only 91 schools in 13 states are implementing meditation in the classroom. Results from these controlled trials in elementary and high schools showed a 38% decrease in suspension days and 25% fewer class absences among high school students. Students in grades one through seven practicing mindfulness meditation achieved significantly improved scores on validated attention-skills tests, while students in grades four through seven demonstrated an 8% reduction in aggressive behavior.

In response to the rash of school shootings that seem to occur on an almost regular basis on campuses across the country, “the time has arrived to re-evaluate and reconsider introducing meditation in the schools,” said Amato. “While meditation has been practiced for hundreds of years, and its benefits widely recognized, it has not become mainstream enough to be utilized as a coping tool.”

According to Amato, integrative medicine pioneer, author and certified meditation and yoga master, meditation programs in schools have proven to help children’s attentiveness become keen, diminish the illusion of fear and anxiety, heighten self-esteem, reduce anger and jealousy, resulting in healthy communication and socialization skills and peace of mind.

Another school seeking a sponsor to bring meditation to its students said, “We have a high poverty level with the majority of the students being raised in single parent homes. They are faced with a great deal of stress because they face many adult situations. We service a great group of kids who could benefit from being given the tools to overcome and solve conflicts. This program will empower out students to change their lives as well as the lives of others.”

The goal, and the hope, according to all involved, is to have the Meditation in the Classroom Program become a national collaboration, spreading throughout communities and corporate America so that students from every school in the country have the opportunity to benefit from meditative practices.

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