Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, is in the habit of meditating every day. His company’s new building in San Francisco has a dedicated meditation room on each floor. The design was inspired by a group of Buddhist monks who had visited the old Salesforce offices and were very concerned about the intense levels of activity: “Everywhere we go, everybody’s talking all the time, they’re working all the time, you got to stop this.” (Business Insider). Speaking at a recent Forbes CIO summit, Benioff explained that he believes the new quiet zones will enhance creative innovation. “employees can put their phones into a basket or whatever, and go into an area where there’s quietness.”
Do you meditate? Perhaps you’ve thought about trying it. Today is always a good day to start, so here are some ideas to help you begin.
When I began learning to meditate a few years ago, Jon Kabat-Zinn was my first port of call. I don’t even remember now where I heard about his work, but his research into Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has improved the lives of millions of people. It is used for dealing with pain as well as general stress and anxiety, but Kabat-Zinn’s calm and very un-mystical approach will appeal to all kinds of beginners as well as more experienced meditators looking for fresh thinking.
Even just the title of this book is enough to inspire!
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness meditation for everyday life
Jon Kabat-Zinn also wrote Mindfulness for Beginners, available as an audio book which includes a number of meditations. He invites you to “cultivate mindfulness as if your life depended on it, which it surely does”. Also available in other formats including Kindle, paperback, and hardback.
My favourite Kabat-Zinn CD, though, is Guided Mindfulness Meditation £21.25* . I always really enjoy the Mountain Meditation, which is very strengthening, and the Lake Meditation, which explores embodiment in a really fascinating way.
Chade-Meng Tan was a Google engineer and mindfulness practitioner. An early employee, he was Google employee number 107 and his job title was Jolly Good Fellow. The company invited him to share his mindfulness techniques with his colleagues, and this book is an account of the work they did together. Could it really be true that Google is underpinned by meditation? See what you think.
Surprisingly, there’s no Kindle edition, but you can dip into the physical world and see how it feels to have the print version sitting in your hand.
Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
This is the book I’ll be trying out in the next few weeks. I’ve heard of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who founded the famous community of Plum Village, but I haven’t yet read his work. The Miracle Of Mindfulness explains how to acquire the skills of mindfulness.
“Once we have these skills, we can slow our lives down and discover how to live in the moment – even simple acts like washing the dishes or drinking a cup of tea may be transformed into acts of meditation.”
*Price at the time of going to press.