Corporate Mindfulness With Jon Kabat-Zinn at Google

Google has been having speakers and sessions on meditation for some time now. We can only hope that other businesses will start doing the same. Thanks to You Tube though, everyone can have access to some of these talks. Here is a link to a mindfulness session at Google led by Jon Kabat-Zinn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc. This link will lead you to many more of these sessions and talks.

To those who are not familiar with Jon Kabat-Zinn, here is an introduction from Wikipedia:

“Kabat-Zinn is the founder and former Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founder (1979) and former director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Kabat-Zinn began teaching the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979. MBSR is an eight-week course which combines meditation and hatha yoga to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness by using moment-to-moment awareness. Kabat-Zinn and colleagues have studied the effects of practising moment-to-moment awareness on the brain, and how it processes emotions, particularly under stress, and on the immune system. Over 200 medical centers and clinics in the US and elsewhere now use the MBSR model.”

Often, the American business world is perceived as being harsh to its workers, a dog-eat-dog world, where hiring and firing is a routine cycle. It gives enormous powers to a small number of people–some use it well, some abuse it. If workers are constantly insecure and distracted by office politics, energy that could be used productively is increasingly drained and wasted in dissatisfaction and unhappiness. That environment is not conducive to a healthy business.

Compassionate business may make better economic sense in the long run. Meditation helps deal with work stress, makes people more considerate of each other, and that leads to better cooperation and creativity. People become more open to each other, creating a more fluid and respectful flow and exchange of ideas. Meditation creates a physical and mental environment that is more conducive to innovation and deep insights. It is a win-win situation.

Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks in ways that perhaps appeal more to the American business world and to the young, college-educated population. Swami Krishnananda (last post) will touch some, the same message articulated differently by Kabat-Zinn will resonate better with others. Some may relate to other speakers and teachers.

This blog will present links to other speakers as well. For the young as well as the older people, deeply affected by this current environment, a meditation practice may be enormously helpful. It could anchor them in a peace and sense of fulfillment that is elusive in their current situations and certainly not found in a harsh work environment.

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