As an Agile coach and meditation teacher-in-training, I regularly spot opportunities where Agile and mindfulness are aligned. Here’s a summary of the three key benefits of meditation and mindfulness in knowledge work environments that routinely come to mind for me. I’ve given this as a talk at Agile Open Northern California 2017 and I’d be delighted to share it elsewhere as well.
Why should I meditate?
Wikipedia describes mindfulness as “Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.” It is primarily acquired by developing skills in meditation. Early benefits can be seen within just a few weeks of daily practice lasting 10-20 minutes per session. Carrying an intention to be equally mindful through all of one’s daily activities—such as walking, eating, listening, exercising—not only makes our mindfulness stronger, but also enhances our lives in a myriad of ways.
Mindfulness has and continues to transform my life. I find more joy in each moment and my lows are shallower. I am more aware of my mental, emotional, and physical state, which gives me more opportunity to improve it. In a work setting, I am less identified with stressors and can act more reasonably and rationally during crises or conflicts. I am a better listener than I used to be, especially in terms of picking up on the subtle verbal and physical cues that enable me to better understand the person I am in dialog with.
Meditation is a thousands-year-old practice. It is as diverse as the term “sport,” with many different styles to choose from. Though it is often associated with eastern philosophies and religion, in most cases there is absolutely no question of conversion and it is compatible with virtually all religious backgrounds, including not having a background at all.
Therefore, given that mindfulness has so many significant benefits and can be taught without treading on grounds traditionally served by religion, I recommend it to anyone who wishes to find greater joy, love, and satisfaction in their life.
So why should we practice at work? How do we start a meditation club? Read on for more.