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Marieke van Vugt

Meditation and Human Values at the Workplace?

Meditation and Human Values at the Workplace? Lerab Ling

With economic crises and various corporate scandals under our belt you may wonder whether meditation and human values actually exist in the workplace. Right now a group of people is investigating this question in Lerab Ling. I am participating as one of the speakers in the conference on Meditation and Human Values in the Workplace, and the first day I already learned a lot.

Eric Jeanteur told us about how he transformed his company--reducing absenteism, increasing productivity--by putting into place an explicit system of values that include being aware of what happens in your mind, being aware of what others need, and teaching colleagues to love themselves. Catherine Querné shared the interesting insight that it turned out to be very helpful to take pauses, so your colleagues have time to regroup themselves and have some space to think. In contrast to the emphasis on personal experience that the previous speakers brought, I shared some of the scientific data on the effects of meditation on cognition, and how it may change the way we deal with the world. I also shared the model of concentration meditation that I am currently working on.

Finally, Michael Carroll made some provocative statements. He warned us against being too involved in becoming a better human being, rather than seeing what is right now. This seeing is in fact a natural quality of what it means to be human, if only we have the courage to stop striving too much and just allow it to be. When you have this courage, there suddenly is an incredible dignity and unconditional confidence in yourself. In other words, there is an incredible fearlessness in being able to be vulnerable and exposed.

If you are sad you're missing out on this event, there is good news: the talks will be available on delayed streaming here.