We all know mindfulness is extremely popular amongst business professionals and executives. However, is what they are practicing mindfulness and is this corporate approach corrupting mindfulness?
Thich Nhat Hanh, the 87-year-old Zen master considered by many to be the father of mindfulness in the west, says as long as business leaders practice "true" mindfulness, it does not matter if the original intention is triggered by wanting to be more effective at work or to make bigger profits. That is because the practice will fundamentally change their perspective on life as it naturally opens hearts to greater compassion and develops the desire to end the suffering of others.
On the other hand, some Buddhist masters disagree and say that if executives are in the practice for selfish reasons, then they are experiencing a mere pale shadow of mindfulness. They say that if you don't feel the energy of brotherhood, of sisterhood, radiating from your work, that is not mindfulness.
The tension occurs in the opposite direction in the business world where some get quite nervous about the association of mindfulness with a practice that may lead people to take issues like ethics and work life balance seriously.*
At mindfulness.org.au, we often think: wouldn’t it be a wonderful world where people could both work more efficiently and also have more ethical, balanced and fulfilling lives!
*To read the full article from The Guardian, click here.