breathe deeply into the centre of your chest.
Connecting to the core of your being this way extends loving kindness to yourself ,
even when there is none in sight.
The Financial Times is probably not the first paper that comes to mind if you were considering reading about mindfulness. However, recently they ran a very good report on how meditation and mindfulness are part of a huge change in some parts of corporate culture. Some of it is in response to the challenging economic climate we work in, as 25% of all large U.S. companies have launched stress reduction initiatives in recent years. However, some is due to a change in understanding, a recognition of the health needs of employees, and a belief that inner and outer life has to be balanced in a happy and productive employee. What is encouraging is seeing how some companies are structuring this holistic balance into their environments. For example, General Mills, the company behind Cheerios cereal and Häagen-Dazs ice cream, have a meditation room in every building in their Campus, where employees can drop in to recharge batteries, renew focus or simply take a break from meetings or conference calls. A lot of the U.S and world’s leading companies are involved in this new dialogue, such as Google. Twitter, LinkedIn and Target, and the article goes on to show that, besides health benefits, it also seems to have an impact on cost savings, productivity and leadership quality.
It’s about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected, says Janice Marturano, General Mills’ deputy general counsel, who founded the programme there. That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us – our colleagues, customers – that’s what the training of mindfulness is really about.
There is a lot of interesting stuff in this article and the whole of it is worth a read. You can check it out here:
We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection……In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right.
Human relationships are rich; they’re messy and demanding. We have learned the habit of cleaning them up with technology. And the move from conversation to connection is part of this. But it’s a process in which we shortchange ourselves. Worse, it seems that over time we stop caring, we forget that there is a difference. We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation.
We expect more from technology and less from one another and seem increasingly drawn to technologies that provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of relationship……When people are alone, even for a few moments, they fidget and reach for a device. Here connection works like a symptom, not a cure, and our constant, reflexive impulse to connect shapes a new way of being.
Sherry Turkle, “The Flight from Conversation”, New York Times, April 21, 2012
Stand still, and allow the strange, deadly restlessness of our tragic age to fall away like the worn-out, dusty cloak that it is – a cloak that was once considered beautiful. The restlessness was considered the magic carpet of tomorrow, but now in reality we see it for what it is: a running away from oneself, a turning from that journey inward that all must undertake to meet God dwelling within the depths of their souls.
Stand still, and look deep into the motivations of life.
Catherine de Hueck Doherty
Stillness, a sense of the unchanging, is all around, and at different levels. Look for it, explore its effects on you, and let it sink in. For example…. there is the moment at the very top of a tossed ball’s trajectory when it’s neither rising nor falling, the pause before the first stroke of the brush, that space between exhalation and inhalation, the silence in which sounds occur, or the discernible gap between thoughts when your mind is quiet.
In your mind there is always an underlying calm and well-being that contains emotional reactions, like a riverbed that is still even as the flood rushes over it (if you’re not aware of this, truly, with practice you can find and stabilize a sense of it). There is also the unchanging field of awareness, itself never altered by the thoughts passing through it…Give yourself the space, the permission, to be still – at least in your mind – amidst those who are busy. To use a traditional saying: “May that which is still, be that in which your mind delights”.