Here’s What Mindfulness Is (and Isn’t) Good For

HBR Daniel Goleman

Sebuah artikel dari HBR mengenai kajian ilmiah atas latihan Mindfulness, ditulis oleh Daniel Goleman.

Ringkasan Artikel:

Walau tidak semua kajian ilmiah tentang berkesadaran memberikan kesimpulan yang tepat, beberapa ‘gold standard studies’ benar-benar menunjukkan manfaat berkesadaran, seperti: kemampuan fokus yang tajam, pengelolaan stress secara efektif, berpikir strategis yang melibatkan kompleksitas, serta menajamkan empati.

Klik di sini untuk artikel lengkapnya di Harvard Business Review.

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Unleashing the Power of Mindfulness in Corporations

BCG Unleash power of mindfulness in corporationSebuah artikel dari BCG mengenai Mindfulness di korporasi, ditulis oleh Christian Greiser dan Jan-Philipp Martini.

Ringkasan Artikel:

Implementasi kesadaran dalam organisasi tentunya berbeda-beda. Artikel berikut memberikan empat cara untuk memulainya: pelatihan bagi para pemimpin, latihan meditasi, adanya komunitas berlatih, serta coaching berbasiskan mindfulness. Berdasarkan apa yang kami alami, keempat hal ini penting, namun penting untuk membumikannya dalam konteks ritual perusahaan dan perlu dilengkapi dengan sistem yang membantu pencapaian unjuk kerja perusahaan secara keseluruhan.

Klik di sini untuk artikel lengkapnya di Boston Consulting Group.

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Reinventing Organizations

Reinventing organizationsby Frederic Laloux

Sebuah tatanan organisasi berkesadaran, menjadi inspirasi bagi kita semua, bahwa berkesadaran tidak hanya merupakan latihan pribadi yang menyendiri, akan tetapi juga untuk dibawa dalam kebersamaan, bagi kebaikan semua.

 

A Goodreads Summary

“The way we manage organizations seems increasingly out of date. Deep inside, we sense that more is possible. We long for soulful workplaces, for authenticity, community, passion, and purpose.

In this groundbreaking book, the author shows that every time, in the past, when humanity has shifted to a new stage of consciousness, it has achieved extraordinary breakthroughs in collaboration. A new shift in consciousness is currently underway. Could it help us invent a more soulful and purposeful way to run our businesses and nonprofits, schools and hospitals?

A few pioneers have already cracked the code and they show us, in practical detail, how it can be done. Leaders, founders, coaches, and consultants will find this work a joyful handbook, full of insights, examples, and inspiring stories.”

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One Minute Wisdom

One Minute Wisdom

by Anthony de Mello

One Minute Wisdom berisi penuh dengan kisah pendek penuh inspirasi yang ‘membangunkan’, walaupun kadang membingungkan.

Pengajaran terjadi saat kita siap menyimak.

Goodreads Summary

“Bestselling author Anthony de Mello has earned international acclaim for his profound spiritual insights and his unique approach to the inner life. In One Minute Wisdom, he points the way toward new levels of contemplation and contentment, love and harmony, wisdom and enlightenment.

In more than two hundred parables and lessons about living life fully yet simply, de Mello gives examples filled with wisdom that cannot be conveyed in regular direct discourse. Rooted in the spirit of the Gospel and spanning the mystical traditions of East and West, this invigorating volume — like all the author’s previous books — is intended to enliven our faith and free us from whatever imprisons our mind, body, and soul.

One Minute Wisdom will lead from sense to sensitivity, from mood to meaning, from thought to feeling. And as de Mello writes, “Wisdom can come without the slightest effort — in the time it takes to open your eyes.”

Wherever your spiritual belief may lie — or even if you have no beliefs at all — you will find in these pages needed and helpful direction on continuing the process of self-discovering and on finding the satisfying riches that lie deep within you.”

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Meditation, A Journey Home

“Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected.” ~ World Health Organization Fact Sheet, April 2016

FranckinJapan-pixabay-japanese-2046171_1920
Picture by francinjapan at Pixabay

Over the years, studies have been conducted over benefits of meditation and how it works. Most often cited benefits are related to the areas of stress management, self control and concentration. There is an article in Forbes by Alice Walton (2015), which neatly summarized various distinct researches on how meditation affects our brain. There listed a few interesting conclusions from the studies. Meditation was said to help preserve the aging brain, has effects rival antidepressants for depression, decrease volume of brain cells known to be responsible for fear, anxiety and stress, can help with addiction, and it helps kids in school.

These well meaning publications benefit many by raising their awareness and interests in the practice. But as wisely concluded in the article, meditation is not panacea.

This is an important statement for two main reasons.

One of the reasons being, meditation is a long journey. It is not something that we practice overnight and then it washes all our stresses away. In the world where people expect everything to be straight forward and instant, this can be disappointing. Then, all the appealing benefits are not the utmost outcome of meditation. While it is a simple practice, how it works is never that straight forward.

It is perhaps acceptable to assume that most people relate the word meditate to an image of someone sitting crossed legged with eyes closed in deep concentration. This image is often used to represent peace and calm. So much so that recently I was informed of a newly open premium resort and spa with cozy meditation room as part of the facility. There was a person sitting crossed legged depicted in their communication materials. In other words, peace and calm equals meditation equals sitting cross legged.

Meanwhile, the same practice has also been introduced into corporations as an aid to perform your duties more efficiently with less stress, perhaps your key to success. Busy and ambitious corporate world, peace and relaxing calm of resort and spa, seemingly rather on one end to another of a spectrum, both claim to practice and benefit from meditation. Can it be so? Yes, perhaps. Maybe not.

The thing is, meditation has become a word very loosely applied everywhere. The meditation practice a hermit does in the Himalayan mountains can be very much different from the short session offered in a cozy set up with soft comfortable cushion, soothing smell of incense and calming music in the background. The well intended spirit of bringing the practice into daily life, or the so-called “off the cushion” practice, has turned almost literally everything into meditation. While it truly is, and we shall talk a bit more on this some other time, the idea can be a little confusing.

So what IS meditation? One of the most amusing questions that not only a few people ask when I told them I just returned from one week meditation retreat (or that I practice Yoga) is – “SO, you can levitate?” What and how exactly I was expected to respond is still a mystery to me. Maybe I should seriously confirm so and see what happens.

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.” ~ Rumi

This is how I would define meditation, regardless of the actual actions that are referred to as meditation; the art of listening to ourselves, to the incessant chatter in our heads, drowning waves of emotions and somewhere some time, the peaceful silence within. Being able to listen to ourselves is a useful skill, from which we would understand what is happening within this existence we casually refer to as ourselves.

“Meditation is putting aside altogether everything that man has conceived of himself and the world.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

In listening to myself, I discovered that everything I see, I see it through frames. These frames were planted in our minds through our ability to perceive and remember. All our previous experiences, habits and norms imposed on us, all these forms solid frames. Trouble is, more often than not, the lenses were either distorted or unclean so we do not see things the way they are. And that includes the way we see others and ourselves. How often do we take ourselves as the wrecked person inside our heads, which we relentlessly try to get rid of? Are we really all that noise in our heads? Or are we really the exterior that we see, nurture and entertain all the time? What about the idea that we are neither?

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” ~ Bell Hooks

Habits are usually acted upon without us being aware that we are doing it. It becomes natural and it has become natural for us to distract ourselves all the time. Our gadgets and other electronic devices certainly play a big part in this habit. What happen when we disconnect ourselves from everything and everyone to simply be with ourselves? We start listening to the voices within and learn to be in peace with it. This is the first step in alleviating ourselves from the subtle constant unease of wanting to be anywhere but here, to be with anyone else but oneself. We learn to be content and cease looking outwards to escape from our very selves, from whatever is at any given moment.

There is a saying that I really like:

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” ~ old Zen saying

Seriously, 20 minutes? Surely, in the beginning it can be very challenging to this mind to sit still with something as boring as breaths. A widely used term to describe this restless nature of mind is ‘monkey mind’, indicating how the mind incessantly jumps from one thing to another, all the time. An old friend of mine prefers to see it as puppies instead of monkey. With no particular reasons, I am with him. It is easier to see the mind as restless puppies (than monkey), which just need a bit of watching until they get tired and then decide to rest.

That is exactly why the Zen saying proposed an hour if we are too busy. The busier we are, the more excited the mind become, the more restless the puppies are. It would take longer for the mind to finally give it a rest and begin to settle into the moment. As the mind settles, perhaps, we would stumble into something grander than the mundane, something unknown to this busy limited mind. Otherwise, it is a beautiful practice nonetheless.

A pleasant walk, a journey home….

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away
We sit together, the mountain and I,
Until only the mountain remains.

~ Li Po

Our Contemplations ~