Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Few Minutes That Could Change the World

Last night, was IMC (Insight Meditation Center) monthly board meeting. As usual, we started with a few minutes of meditation. Taking the time to check in with ourselves, and get centered. Thoughts, emotions, sliding by the way side, until breath made itself felt. When the bell rang, there was only silence, and openness.

I am aware of a few other settings with such practice. Zen Hospice for one, where we start, and end all our shifts with meditation. At Wisdom 2.0, Tami Simon shared how she has made it a part of the Sounds True culture. Other presenters there, including Gopi Kallayil, a Group Marketing Manager at Google talked about running all his work meetings that way as well. I have also heard of schools that have adopted the Mindfulness in Education curriculum.

This got me thinking. Imagine a world where every meeting started like this. In families, in the workplace, in schools, in places of worship, in hospitals, in the courts, at world leaders' summits, in the Senate,  . . . Imagine what would happen.  

The world would be a very different place indeed.


  1. Well, it doesn't hurt for sure. I often start our zen center board meetings with a few minutes of meditation.

    But I also can say that at my workplace, we start every meeting with 3-5 minutes of reflection/silent meditation. It's often the only peaceful period of the meeting. Maybe one could say that this is beneficial, but it's also true that it hasn't done much on the overall dysfunction of the place.

    Which brings me back to my original point - it doesn't hurt to start group gatherings with meditation.

  2. Thank you Theresa. Loved your last post on Fairness and Generosity, which I am very happy to share here:

    How simple life becomes when we see with our heart!

  3. Wow! How fortunate that you work in a place, no matter how dysfunctional, where meditation is a part of the culture. And who knows, maybe the place would be worse maybe without those extra few minutes of silence at the beginning of each meeting?

    I am heading over to your blog now, for long overdue visit :)

  4. Hi Marguerite,

    Yes, the world would indeed be a very different place with those few minutes each day, shared collectively.

    About six years ago, I was lucky enough to do a research project on "Contemplative Organizations" and Sounds True was one of them. If you'd like to see what we found out, take a look here:

  5. Thank you Maia! This is superb research, you did . . .