Buddhist Meditation: A Management Skill?

This recent report on NPR is among many that confirm meditation practice can be an excellent way to train your mind and change your brain.  Literally hundreds of studies have shown meditation to have a positive effect on everything from improved brain functioning, focus, improved health, reduced blood pressure, and increased creativity.  Richard Davidson, a pioneer in this field has been studying: veteran meditators, including Buddhist monks; college students who are neophytes in the practice of mindfulness meditation for only 8 weeks; and non-meditators.  His research indicates that not only can meditation change your brain, but it can influence our reactiveness to situations or our more conscious responsiveness.  This is a part of our emotional intelligence and, as is mentioned in this report, is a factor in our interpersonal relationships.  

Meditation can take different forms. There is more than one way. The important thing is to pause, be still, practice paying attention, being present and aware, observing what is going on in your “internal landscape: without attaching or reacting to it.  Jon Kabat-Zinn, scientist and founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, University of Massachusetts, explains: 

To explore the interior landscape of the mind and body, the realm of what Chinese Taoism and Chan masters called non-doing, the domain of true meditation, in which it looks as though nothing or nothing much is happening or being done, but at the same time, nothing important is being left undone, and as a consequence, that mysterious energy of an open, aware non-doing can manifest in the world of doing in remarkable ways.

Too often, managers are Human Doers using energy and action to spend themselves in the pursuit of goals, whereas leaders aspire to be full Human Beings seeking the renewal of transcendence to re-create themselves and others in pursuit of service-fueled purpose.

Listen to the 3:56 report from NPR’s Morning Edition:[audio http://cashmanleadership.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/20120913_me_05.mp3]