Teaching the practice of mindfulness is rewarding not only when you get to witness the calm, grounded transformation of your corporate students, but also the practices are immediately taken into the context of the work in the very setting where it's meant to be done.
Forbes' HQ in Jersey City is a bright and clean, spacious office overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You can even see the Statue of Liberty through one of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the reception. Just what you'd expect to see from a creative digital media powerhouse: sophisticated leather couches with colorful pillows and high-top hover tables for spontaneous discussion, gaming break rooms and open floor plan desk configurations. Forbes employees get to experience a bit of startup culture daily. And thanks to their Head of Product & Tech, they look forward to a mindfulness lunch led by yours truly every month.
Most of the practitioners attending are beginners of mindfulness, with a little experience of guided meditation at the end of a yoga class, at most. And the employees are often coming from different departments, mixing creative with engineering and even department heads drop in on a session from time to time. Most say it's a welcome break in the stacked workday and they look forward to feeling more energized and focused after practicing mindfulness.
The unexpected benefits, including increased ability for problem solving, experienced after a mindfulness session are the most rewarding for a teacher. Once, while eating gourmet pizza personally delivered by the Head of Product & Tech himself after concluding the meditation, one of his employees came to a realization during the session or, as I like to call it a "moment of clarity", that led to the group launching into a discussion about the organization of meeting structures and shifting of office layout.
The relaxed state of stillness between thoughts is a breeding ground for creative and critical thinking. And the quiet and inquisitive space held by the facilitator was as effective a tool for workplace productivity and camaraderie as installing pool tables and kombucha on tap, if not more.
Of course Forbes has some of the best content on mindfulness in the workplace. Check out more benefits here!