As you may know, I'm Buddhist and am training for ordination in the Triratna Buddhist Order - quite a long process! I see my work as part of my practice and this is the main reason why my company Virya Technologies is run along ethical principles. Just recently my study group have started a module which involves learning and developing a particular meditation practice known as the Brahma Viharas.
The Brahma Viharas
The Brahma Vihara meditation practices includes four different meditations which focus on:
- Loving kindness
- Sympathetic joy
I've struggled for years to establish a daily practice, and running a business doesn't help things as I am constantly on the go and have to 'hold' a lot of balls in the air at the same time ..... and if you hadn't noticed I'm also pretty good at making excuses for why I can't commit to a regular meditation practice! ;)
Establishing a daily practice
When we started this module I was keen to make a determined effort to commit to developing a daily practice, and as a result I inadvertently inspired several friends along the way to create a six week meditation challenge! We're all reporting in each day on how we're getting on and supporting each other. Peer pressure huh!
So, how does this help me in business?
I've found that giving myself the space to meditate means that I am valuing how important it is that I can maintain a clear mind and not become consumed by all the things buzzing about all the time. Meditation is helping me to develop my awareness of and ability to put into practice not only on the subjects we're studying (loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity), but also general kindness, awareness of the people I work with, and kindness for myself.
I'm finding that I am becoming aware of when I am not really listening to somebody trying to communicate with me (because I'm trying to multi-task on steroids most of the time!) and am doing something about that - stopping the other things I'm doing and listening, or asking them if we can talk about it when I have finished what I am doing.
The sympathetic joy aspect has been most evident when hearing about some of my business contacts enjoying great successes - previously my responses would have been tinged with jealously, perhaps a bit of envy that they have achieved success and I'm still struggling on - whereas now I am turning that response much more towards a genuinely positive feeling of joy for them, and wow! What a difference it makes to the way I feel, and interact with them! I feel so much more open hearted and genuine!
How can you encourage me?!
Everyone needs a bit of encouragement sometimes, so please do poke me on Twitter, Ecademy or LinkedIn if you've not heard me talking about meditation recently .. chances are I could do with a nudge! I often use the Insight Meditation programme on my phone, which auto-tweets when I complete a meditation as well! We're just over half way through and so far I've done really well aside from a couple of trips out to Holland and London where it's not been practical to meditate, during which I listened to talks or read material instead!