The average American, as well as many people in other countries, spends a majority of their waking hours at work. For many, the workplace has become the community that we are most a part of. Time for family and social activities is often limited; time for wellness and self-care may be neglected or non-existent. Additionally, although the workplace is our “community”, it is a place where we tend to feel disconnected, drained and oftentimes dejected. Even the most motivated and engaged individuals seem to eventually succumb to burnout.
People often seek to develop a practice of meditation to help support their overall health and well-being as well as to become more connected to their authentic selves. So many people struggle to find the time to practice; this is one of the most common obstacles to meditation. And yet, it is a bit of a catch-22 as practicing actually helps to improve one’s quality of life by fostering a deeper connection with oneself and a sense of increased spaciousness in one’s life. When a person can make the space for meditation, their experience of life changes. A meditation practice does not have to be limited to a meditation cushion in a quiet room; it can be done anytime, anywhere.
Metta or loving-kindness meditation is a powerful practice to incorporate in daily life. It is accessible, easy to learn and can support bringing spiritual practice and mindfulness with you wherever you go, including the world of work. Bringing meditation to the workplace can support both individual wellness and improved organizational health.
Here are 7 Motivations To Take Your Metta Meditation To Work:
1. Supports Wholeness.
Metta meditation offers a way to be more present in each moment and connect with one’s whole self. As we get to know who we are on a deeper level, our authenticity and sense of purpose begins to emerge. Bringing our whole self to work allows for increased focus, improved performance and overall ease of well-being.
2. Fosters Wellness.
Stress-related and work-related illnesses are one of the main contributors to physical and mental health issues. Many people are most impacted by their work, where they spend a lot time and often neglect personal needs. Work environments and work demands are frequently not conducive to health and wellness leading to even more chronic illness. Studies show that meditation can help to reduce the effects of stress and increase immune system function.
3. Cultivates Openheartedness.
Work is a place we tend to be more focused in the mind than the heart. Evolutionarily, we are moving into a time when we are shifting into a more heart-centered world. Many people are experiencing this shift and struggling to integrate it into their daily lives, especially when at work. When we are able to move from the place of our heart center, we experience a more positive attitude toward life, we connect with our intuition and we feel a deeper sense of connection.
4. Develops Mindfulness.
In our present day and age, not only are we busy with our work, but also we are moving back and forth with our varied technologies. We are emailing, texting, tweeting and more. Meditation and mindfulness help us to be more present in the moment, develop greater awareness, and increase our responsivity to ourselves, others and the world. Metta practice supports cultivating greater mindfulness through the vehicle of loving-kindness practice.
5. Increased Creativity.
In his book “Imagine” Jonah Lehrer shares about the neuroscience of creativity. One of the principles he discusses is the “Aha Moment” which is necessary for creativity. This “Aha Moment” is when new ideas emerge. For this to occur, we need to create spaciousness, which allows time for ideas to emerge and problems to be solved. For many of us, our tendency is to approach work and problem solving from a push-push perspective; often, we want things done yesterday. It is rare that we the take time to step back, relax and let our answers come. Metta meditation offers us that spaciousness; it moves us into a heart-centered space and one of loving-kindness for ourselves and for others. This in itself shifts our habitual tendencies and fosters new ideas and possibilities.
6. Fosters Work Culture.
Many organizations are becoming more focused on the importance of work culture. Many individuals within organizations are seeking a sense of connection and community in the workplace. A well-developed work culture includes openness, empathy, tolerance, awareness, caring, trust and responsiveness. Metta mediation allows for organizations and individuals to become more open, aware and connected. Additionally, focusing on the values centered on the heart, such as loving-kindness and compassion, creates an environment of understanding and empathy.
7. Embodies The New Paradigm.
The world is changing and the world of work is changing, too. Some organizations and individuals are embracing this; others are resisting. Some organizations want to be different but don’t know how. By cultivating Metta, loving-kindness and being more present and mindful, organizations and individuals begin to shift from an energetic of competition to collaboration and from a mind focused perspective to one that includes heart-centeredness. The biggest shift is in the transition from having an idea of what values are important to the actual cultivation and embodiment of core values. When an organization and its individual members embrace a set of “be values” rather than ideas, a new paradigm emerges.
To learn more about Metta or Loving-kindness practice, visit our May is for Metta page, which offers a 31-day guided exploration of Metta meditation.
I also offer customized training and programs both locally and virtually for organizations that are interested in bringing Metta and other Meditation and Mindfulness Programs into the workplace.