Oh The Irony…

First, if you realize the benefits that meditation has on creating positive relationships, self-awareness, compassion, equanimity, and great leaders, then there is good news. The meditation rate in the USA has tripled over the past five years and according to the CDC, the numbers are predicted to continue to rise.

And now, businesses are getting on board. This interest is fueling a $1.2 billion meditation market. The industry is booming – from apps, to workshops, to classes, to books, to webinars. According to recent articles, there were more than 2,000 new meditation apps launched over the past three years with Headspace and Calm accounting for about 85% of the revenue generated by the top 10 apps in the category.

The first irony is that Headspace and Calm are locked in a head-to-head competition to dominate the meditation market. The CEOs even admit that the competition is ironic considering their products.

The second irony is what some have called ‘McMindfulness training,’ meaning mindfulness for the sake of subduing employees to focus on organizational goals.

The third irony – although still organizational goals – is that some businesses are offering meditation classes with the goal of improving productivity and reducing stress-related healthcare costs. Apparently, the credibility of facilitators may also be questionable in these instances. Many ‘McMindfulness’ companies even promote meditation as the solution for reducing healthcare costs and gaining return on investment, very similar to what wellness promised 2 decades ago.

Regardless, the ethical framework and foundation of meditation is often lost.  We are adamant about the benefits of meditation initiatives. Both stress reduction as well as a calm, more peaceful mind are wonderful side benefits. These results are based on working with the mind to increase positivity and reduce negative mind states.  When based on this, meditation practice enhances,

  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Resilience
  • Compassion
  • Respect for Others
  • Collaboration
  • Positivity

The outcomes can be that we are truly better friends, co-workers, parents, partners, and leaders. And of course, more focused, less reactive to stress and calmer. A recent study found enhanced team performance – so yes, another possible side benefit.

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