Meditation has many different benefits for business and work: it trains the mind to be focused and clear of distractions, makes it more goal oriented, and so on. Meditation benefits businesses so much that giants like Google have made it part of their operations. But what kind of meditation should you use for yourself, for your work, your employees, or your business? Below are 4 of the best kinds of meditation for businesses that you can choose from.
1.) Zen Meditation - tracing its roots in the Chinese Zen Buddhist tradition and all the way back to Indian monk Bodhidharma, Zen Meditation is a very deep, somber kind of meditation whose aim is to keep the mind empty of thought. It relies heavily on keeping a proper posture as a way of helping the person concentrate, and not be distracted by many different things.
• Find a place where you can sit, either on the floor over a mat, pillow, or some other cushion in a crossed-leg position, or on a nice comfortable chair with an upright backrest. Those who want to do this in the more traditional manner can go in a lotus or half lotus position, although this can be quite a challenge for beginners.
• It is important that the back is kept upright and straight, with the eyes focused on the ground in front of you (around 3-4 feet on the floor) and the mouth completely closed, breathing mostly through the nose.
• Focus on the breathing, slow, steady inhales and exhales that are of the same pace all the way. If this is difficult to do without any distractions, find a point on the floor where your eyes can focus, and keep looking at it as you breathe. Try to drown out everything else, be as empty and steady as you can, and just “be”.
2.) Mantra Meditation – Often used in Hindu tradition, a mantra may be a syllable, word, or in some cases, phrase, although phrases are only often used when trying to use the mantra as a form of affirmation. The mantra is then the focus of the meditation, feeling the vibration of the syllable or word when pronounced, and absorbing its meaning in the process.
This kind of meditation is especially useful for minds that are full of random thoughts, doubts, or full of high speed activity. This is because consistently pronouncing the mantra takes effort, and in doing so, pulls the mind away from whatever is bothering it.
• Like Zen, find a spot where you can sit comfortably, usually on the floor in a crossed-leg position. Make sure that your spine is erect from the hips to the nape of the head.
• Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and pronounce the mantra. The pronunciation is usually as long as your slow exhale (in fact the mantra is often a substitute for an exhale) and can be done consistently over a set period of time.
• The pronunciation of the mantra is from deep inside the body, and will cause mental and physical vibrations. Be aware and absorb the vibrations as they happen.
3.) Qigong (Chi kung) Meditation – defined literally as “life energy cultivation”, Qigong meditation is one that integrates mind and body. Qigong as a whole can be used for a number of things, from martial arts to simple exercises, but is also used in meditation, and focuses on a variety of breathing and muscle control techniques. We will discuss the exact details of Qigong Meditation in a future discussion, but in general, Qigong focuses on the “Qi”, or “chi” as it is known in the West, the vital energy.
Qigong Meditation is perfect for those who seek both a mental and physical kind of meditation, as it can be integrated in different movements should the need arise.
• Sit in any comfortable position, although the traditional meditative position is the best.
• Relax and calm not just your mind, but your body. Feel your muscles relax, your internal organs slow down, and your nerves be less tense. Regulate the breathing to make it slower, deeper, longer, and softer.
• Internalize and focus on the body’s center of gravity, called the “lower dantien”, and is located around 2 inches below the navel. Keep focusing to gather vital qi into it. The dantien is the natural gathering place of vital energy, and focusing on it is the key to build qi there.
• Visualize and then feel the qi coursing through your body, rejuvenating it along with your mind.
4.) Self-investigative Meditation – A form of meditation tracing its roots in old Hindu traditions, Self-Investigative or Self-Enquiry meditation seeks to uncover who a person truly is, from the inside. The goal is to learn the “True Self”, which can only be found by internalizing and getting answers from the inner self.
This is a good form of meditation for professionals who are at an impasse with their careers, whether due to self-doubt, or due to a desire that they are not sure of, as it answers the very fundamental question, “Who Am I?”
• Start by following the basic setup from the previous meditation styles: sitting properly, controlled breathing, and emptying the mind.
• But instead of a mantra, or breathing, or qi, focus on internally asking the question, “Who Am I?” or the phrase “I Am…” This will be your focal point.
• Ignore any impulse to verbally answer or affirm these. Simply use the phrases as an anchor deep within, and repeatedly ask or say it until the True Self answers back.
• If there is even a slight feeling of bias from the answer, discard it, and ask again. You will know when the answers are revealed by the True Self when it feels unconnected to any concept or bias, when it is beyond any intellectual, financial, practical, and emotional pursuits, and is simply a pure feeling of being one with the True Self. This may take a lot of tries, as it seeks to answer a very introspective question, but the process itself already yields the benefits of meditation.