Monday, December 20, 2010

Is There a Shortcut?

A friend of mine is very involved in the mindfulness community, and specifically, in bringing mindfulness into the legal world.

Recently, we were talking about inquiry, mindfulness, and the idea of bringing some kind of presence into the corporate world. And he asked a great question--

"Can you be mindful at work without having a regular meditation practice?"

I'm not sure there is a clear answer to this. I think he and I both agree that we have found presence at work, and we both have regular practices. We have also found that our ability to be present at work as increased over time. (I'm using mindfulness and presence interchangeably.)

So it seems that meditation is one way to deepen presence at work. But I'm not sure it is the only way.

I know one other thing. Even among those friends of mine who are on this path, very few of them have a regular mediation practice. Mediation, it seems, is like many things that are good for us. We can be convinced of the benefits and still not do them. So it might be useful to reframe the question.

Let's assume for the moment that meditation is the best way, and yet that most people will still not meditate. Then the question becomes, "Is there a way that provides some of the benefits that does not require a regular sitting practice?" I suppose that way would get bonus points if, over time, people who would not have meditated see the benefits and start.

That's the goal of this blog, and, I think, one of the goals of Peter Fenner's work.

If we can show people a space of presence and healing, and if they can see that space without having to meditate for ten years, it seems like they ought to be able to get some benefit from that. Even without meditation, it seems like we can see that space, and reside in it for a time, if we do those things that we know activate the right hemisphere of the brain. And there are a ton of benefits that come from that.

If a lot of people do this, then there's a lot of benefit, even if none of them are as present as they might be with regular meditation.

For now, that seems like more than enough. It's the beginning of a transformation. But not the end.


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