Home     Contact Us         Log in
Feb 24
Featured Stories, Northeastern States
Applied Mindfulness: Meditation at Work

“Think of a moment in your professional life when you experienced the benefit of mindfulness for yourself and others.” This was our first task at Shambhala’s inaugural Applied Mindfulness Conference at Karme Choling last May. It was also the point of the whole program: finding ways to help people bring the benefits of meditation and mindfulness right into their workplaces to create less stressful, less adversarial, and more productive and creative environments and relationships.

We broke off into pairs and used our recollections of these moments as the springboard to engage in active listening. We listened as if we had to reflect back what we thought we heard, asked questions to explore what the speaker meant, then engaged in dialogue to generate meaning. The exercise impressed us. We were more open to and interested in what the other person said. Instead of building walls around ourselves as we waited for our next opportunity to make a point and bulldoze the conversation through a particular agenda, conversations and connections blossomed.

Through the course of the weekend we discussed what meditation has done for us, and why we would like to learn how to use it more in our work and help others do the same. Various individuals mentioned:
•    Connecting to the sanity we are born with and letting it flourish
•    Experiencing the sense of wholeness that arises when we are fully present
•    Being present beyond judgment and fear so that we can invite freshness, authenticity, and humanness
•    Becoming less afraid of silence so we can experience more awe and curiosity
•    Having the ability to hear what is said and not said
•    Having the courage to drop the urge to know and control everything
•    Having the strength to break the habit of ego clinging
•    Opening beyond our preconceptions to discover cleaner, more elegant solutions

During his keynote address, Richard Reoch, president of Shambhala, talked about the fast pace and absence of gap in our current culture and cited what Naropa University has learned about think time and wait time. He explained that the pause between teachers’ questions and students’ responses rarely lasts more than 1.5 seconds in typical North American classrooms, and teachers might consider a student slow if they take as little as 0.7 seconds to answer. “This doesn’t leave much room for unexpected solutions to … arise,” he explained, “and it doesn’t encourage anyone to drop the ingrained habit of wanting to be smarter and faster than others.”

We spent the weekend meditating, cultivating space and openness, and brainstorming. Ideas we came up with included developing an educational and research institute within Shambhala that helps people take a moment to consider doing things differently at work. This institute could:

  • Reach beyond our mandala to focus on business, arts, education, health, social action, and government
  • Initiate research on the effects of mindfulness within certain fields
  • Offer training and education
  • Provide grants and scholarships to support people and businesses doing work in this area

Information on the next Applied Mindfulness Conference can be found at www.tailofthetiger.org.

The Applied Mindfulness Conference is now accepting proposals to lead interactive workshops at the second annual conference. Read more.

Post Tags: , , , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Website Development by Blue Mandala using Wordpress MU.
All content and source Copyright © 1994-2022. Shambhala International (Vajradhatu), Shambhala, Shambhala Meditation Center, Shambhala Training, Shambhala Center and Way of Shambhala are registered service marks of Shambhala USA
Privacy Policy
Translate »