An unexpected book arrived in the mail the other day. A gift from my friend’s at Wisdom Publications. Zen Master Raven: The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird. by Zen Master human form, Robert Aitken. Here the koans are told by and to animals of the forest: raven, porcupine, owl, woodpecker, badger, black bear, and […]
“One of the most effective stress-beaters, research shows, is a training program called “mindfulness-based stress reduction,” developed years ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, but adapted in recent years for the office. Numerous studies link training in the technique to increased activity in regions of the brain involved in self-control and the ability to pay attention and process sensory input.”
Dow is researching effects of a briefer mindfulness program on its employees. Many other companies offer mindfulness programs to their employees, including Google, CIGNA, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.Virtually ever major medical center has a mindfulness program including U Mass, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and UCSD.
Mindfulness training for staff is a two for one deal. The employer gets a more engaged, less stressed workforce. The employee gets to take the tools home. Mindfulness is not just a set of tools, techniques, and tricks for making one more efficient at work. The deeper resonance of mindfulness training is a lifestyle change–a fundamental shift in how we deal with reality in all its glory and pain.
How can mindfulness training be effective in health care, education, military, and corporate settings? It is precisely because it is a generic, life changing strategy. Simple in structure, it can enjoy widespread application. However, while it is simple in structure, it is not always easy in application. We have a lifetime of habits that can get in the way.
Work-life balance is a popular buzzword these days. Indeed, balance is good and necessary for health and wellbeing. However, the dichotomy between life and work bears some examination. Mindfulness may encourage a more seamless integration of the activities we do throughout our day. Some of those activities occur in the service of work and some of them occur in the service of life outside of work. It’s all life comprised of different activities.
If “life” is just what we do outside of work, then we miss out on about half of our waking life. If “life” occurs at work, then we can reclaim those hours and energy. We can do this bey fully engaging with every action, conversation, and the process of commuting. Every moment at work, just as every moment outside of work is an opportunity to pay attention to what we are doing.
When we give something our full attention the labels of “work” and “leisure” carry less meaning. It’s all just life in this moment.
Through Exquisite Mind, I offer mindfulness training for business, companies, and corporations. Mindfulness training can be provided live in-house or remotely through teleconferencing technology.