How To Bring a Meditation Practice To Your Work

According to, “Meditation at work has been proven to lower stress levels and meditation at work has also been proven to increase productivity and harmony in the work force.” Some companies who see the benefits of meditation have instituted mandatory workday meditations. For example, a chemical company in Detroit implemented a workday meditation program and, after a three-year study, found that absenteeism fell 85%, productivity grew 120%, injuries were reduced by 70%, and profits grew by 520%.

If you've never tried meditating at work, follow some of these suggestions and give it a chance. First of all, by law you are entitled two official breaks during the workday. If you have been skating through these breaks like so many do, make them official now. Find a quiet, undisturbed corner (even if this means a bathroom stall or sitting out in your car) and understand that your work meditation may not be as deep, quiet, and peaceful as a home meditation—but it will still provide some benefit. If you have even just one other colleague who'd like to join you in meditating, this is great and can add to the experience. If possible, gather a small group and stake out a conference room or other suitable area for a group meditation. The energy of a group meditation can easily help you overcome some of the workplace distractions that may be present.

If you find that quiet and solitude elude you, try one of the zen meditation practices of staring softly at a neutral/blank surface, such as a plain white wall or the ground at your feet. Again, be patient and remember that your workplace meditation may not be as great as your home meditation, but it can still be beneficial. Another tip is to put a guided meditation MP3 on your iPod. Bring some headphones or ear buds and use this low-maintenance meditation technique to get you started. If you are lucky enough to have your own office, put up a “Meditation in Progress” sign if you think it'll help ward off distractions.

If you want to try implementing a meditation practice for the entire workplace (if you are a supervisor, manager, or owner), gather some data on the benefits of meditation. There is even data out there on the specific benefits of workplace meditation. Share this information with your employees. Know that some people may be highly opposed to meditating as they think it's a form of mind control or will allow the devil a chance to take over their minds. Respect that and tell the nay-sayers they can use the 10-20 minutes of quiet time to pray, breathe deeply with their eyes closed, or visualize having a great day. Remember to be patient with the mixed crowd and truly teach them how to meditate. Talk to them about mindfulness, different techniques, breathing, posture, dealing with intrusive thoughts, and to practice at home if they like. Again, a guided meditation may be highly appropriate. Ensure that it is not too new-agey and falls into the “non-denominational” category. Don't make the meditation mantra solely about increasing work profits as that will definitely seem like mind control to the group. Focus instead on teamwork, cooperation, patience, tolerance, understanding, loving kindness, joy, purpose, unity, and peace.

~ Jillian Avey,