Meditation in the workplace

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retrofuturist
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Meditation in the workplace

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:33 am

Greetings,

Today I talked about 15 people through a 15 minute guided meditation - starting with anapanasati and moving to dhammanupassana .

It seemed to go really well. We also have a meditation group starting up where each Tuesday, a different person hosts a different guided meditation (which may or may not be of Buddhist origin).

Has anyone ever conducted meditation sessions before in their workplace? Any suggestions on how to build and sustain interest?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

SarathW
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Re: Meditation in the workplace

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:08 am

I know a medical student that she said Meditation is an elective of her training.
Meditation is well and truly moved in to main stream now.
Unfortunately lot of miss-information out there.
She said meditation instructor told them that If you think too much you get dementia.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Meditation in the workplace

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:15 pm

Greetings,
SarathW wrote:She said meditation instructor told them that If you think too much you get dementia.
:shock:

That's a very stupid thing for them to say given that it's well known that activities that get you thinking such as crosswords, chess etc. are beneficial in terms of staving off dementia.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Alobha
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Re: Meditation in the workplace

Post by Alobha » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:03 pm

Today I talked about 15 people through a 15 minute guided meditation - starting with anapanasati and moving to dhammanupassana .
Well done! I certainly would have loved to be there :smile:
Any suggestions on how to build and sustain interest?
1. Ensure that there is organisational support for your program. This does not only mean that you get a room and the time needed for it, but also that the organisation has a positive attitude towards the meditation program especially on management level. If managers/superiors/teamleaders are openly acting positively towards the program (e.g. praising that "it's a good thing", that "it's good for your health and wellbeing" or that "it's fun!",...), chances are good that people give it a try and stick with it because it is an activity of appreciated value. If superiors don't appreciate it, employees are a lot less likely to do it. Superiors act as role models and they attitude has an influence on their employees/team.

2. Add a social component. One workplace I know of offers a voluntary foreign language course (training german people in business english). They created a facebook (or whatapp-group) for participants to gather and hang out. Things are a more informal over those channels and the tone is welcoming, friendly and fun. More over, it's used to spread news about the topics of upcoming sessions and can be used for organization or votes, too (ie have a vote on which meditation they would be interested in learning or the like). It's similar to "normal" meditationgroups where people may stick around because they make friends there and like the atmosphere and the people in general.

3. Have an open-door policy for people "new" to the group. Once "regulars" have formed, make sure that "new" people have a chance to properly introduce themselves and help them to feel welcome. Explain things beforehand whenever you feel that confusion is likely (especially for nonbuddhists) and may be offputting. Ideally the style of teaching focuses on inexperienced people when new people are around (for example: avoiding lots of pali words, keeping instructions more simple and to the ground etc.)

4. Find ways to foster active participations during sessions. When there are talks that touch topics where everyone could add something, give them the chance to do so and ask for their experience on the matter. People feel appreciated when they can share their experience and will be more engaged in the group in general. Ideally the group would also have the chance to influence the content of the meetings themselves. IE people could suggest topics for talks, hold their own talks if they want to or get the chance to vote on what will be done (for example let them vote on whether there is a meditation on loving kindness or on patience, whether they will do a walking meditation session for a change or do sitting meditation.)

5. Make the program known. Besides a company blackboard or intranet, recommendations from collegues or superiors are working even better. People new to a company are usually very energized at the start and can get enthusiastic about trying all the things that the company offers. Ideally, new employees hear from their collegues or superiors that the meditation program is fun and that he/she should come and join (because it's good for health and the people are cool and and and ;-) ).

6. Find the skillful means of presenting meditation and the Dhamma. That's a difficult topic. If you also have non-buddhists, is it wise to use pali or constantly speak about the Buddha? People who have a negative attitude towards religions may miss the core of wisdom underneath the buddhist-catered language. On the other hand, buddhists may very well prefer that there is more talk about Buddha Dhamma Sangha, about Dukkha, Anatta and Anicca etc. Tough call to find the right balance there.

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pilgrim
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Re: Meditation in the workplace

Post by pilgrim » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:52 am

Great work Retro...An article that may be of interest.
http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2015/03/16/ ... he-office/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Meditation in the workplace

Post by befriend » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:27 pm

I lead a metta meditation for a handful of people, what they seemed to like the most was me talking through it, I also find this helps to soften some of the uneasiness I feel while sitting silently in a group full of people. I think as time goes on you can talk less and less, and they will eventually enjoy the silence. if you teach metta, tell them to smile a little and put there hand on there heart chakra. this helps them enjoy it more. try reading the beginning of the sattipatthana sutta for inspiration. the first three lines are very encouraging.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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