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Does Meditation Make a Happier Workplace?

Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness at Work points to the possibility that we could experience and engender happiness at work in a myriad of ways.  The practice of following one’s breath and returning to the present moment can make us personally less stressed and able to be less reactive; but where the “rubber hits the road” is how our buttons are pushed when we are off of the cushion.  The reason that meditation is referred to as “practice” is because it is building up the “muscle” of mindfulness for life in our active daily world.

 

The classic Zen Oxherding photos depict ten stages of practice leading to enlightenment. In the tenth picture, “it shows the enlightened oxherd entering the town marketplace, doing all of the ordinary things that everyone else does. But because of his deep awareness everything he does is quite extraordinary. He does not retreat from the world, but shares his enlightened existence with everyone around him. Not only does he lead fishmongers and innkeepers in the way of the Buddha but, because of his creative energy and the radiance of his life, even withered trees bloom.”

 

In our own humble way, without being enlightened but with a daily meditation practice informing our lives, we can experience a deeper sense of being present, aware, curious and appreciative.  This openness will communicate itself to our co-workers.  It is possible to be more at ease with our temporary failures and more creative about finding solutions when we have a state of mind that is more centered and balanced.  We can feel happier!

 

In fact, as we spend more time in meditation, we may find ourselves feeling less isolated from our colleagues and more open to collaboration.  The Dalai Lama recently spoke to a group of business people at The American Enterprise Institute.  Asked to weigh in on happiness and capitalism “the Dalai Lama observed that “we should be wise-selfish rather than foolish-selfish,’’ understanding that the more we help others, the more content we ourselves will be.”

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Meditation

Meditation is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results. There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit.

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Meditation Make a Happier

Meditation involves concentration techniques, to focus on a particular exercise to quieten the mind. It can help us to connect with our deeper wisdom, so that we see those same auto-pilot reactions and make changes. It can help the mind to focus more clearly, slowing it down and preparing us for deep-acting techniques.
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