Mediation for the Modern Life
Somewhere in Silicon Valley, a group of computer programmers sit silently
in a room together, legs crossed and eyes half-closed, listening to the
sound of their own breath. Elsewhere, the owner of a small real estate
company starts her day by breathing deeply and engaging in yoga poses.
Still, elsewhere, a data entry specialist finishes his turkey sandwich and
returns to his cubicle, puts on his headphones, and breathes deeply while
listening to the sounds of bells and waterfalls.
Meditation looks different for different people, but one thing is for sure: it is
quickly gaining popularity in Western culture. It has many professional and
personal benefits including increased productivity, reduction of stress and
depression, and reduction of troubling physical symptoms such as
headaches and muscle tension, to name a few.
The word “meditation” often elicits images of devout men sitting silently in
mystical temples far away. It can seem foreign and certainly something too
far removed from daily life to have a practical application for business or
even for personal gain. You may have preconceived notions about what
meditation entails or cultural or spiritual beliefs which you feel may hinder
you from participating in meditation. While meditation does have its roots
in several spiritual practices, it is increasingly being recommended by
Western medical professionals as research is bringing to light the multiple
health benefits of regularly engaging in this form of focused relaxation.