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Friday, November 28, 2014

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Two recent items show that meditation continues to move to the mainstream:

Suze Yalof Schwartz, a former Vogue and Glamour editor, opens what she hopes will be the first in a chain of meditation studios on the west side of Los Angeles. It's named Unplug, and she calls it “a SoulCycle for meditation,” a reference to the exercise-and-empowerment chain. Her slogan is “Hurry up and slow down.” Inventing a Drybar for Meditation
“The people who need to meditate are lawyers and bankers and stressed-out mommies,” she told me, smiling sweetly. “And those people get turned off by the Buddhas and sage and all the woo-woo talk. I wanted Unplug to be meditation for Type A personalities: clean, modern, secular, effortless to attend.”
The Times also offers a story about people using meditation groups for networking, How to Find a Job With Meditation and Mindfulness. 

There could not be two less compatible concepts: the quiet of the ancient practice of meditation and the heart thump of striving New Yorkers looking for the next opportunity. Now, meditation studios and conferences catering to Type A Manhattan careerists are becoming a new hub for networking without the crass obviousness of looking for a job. It is hard to quiet the mind in a city where competitive cab-hailing is a blood sport. So why not look for a little stress relief, or start-up financing, among empathic meditating friends?
...What makes meditation palatable to entrepreneurs and executives these days is that it is perceived as a tool to help increase productivity. A quiet mind more easily recognizes unexpected business opportunities and is poised to react more astutely.
Meditation is a tool, certainly, but expecting it to increase productivity or to bring business opportunities is to miss the point. In fact, if you expect it to bring you instantly to a state of mental relaxation, you may be disappointed. Many new meditators notice instead how busy their minds are -- which is the first step toward watching thoughts instead of being pushed around by them.

What you find in meditation is yourself -- the self that is spacious, clear, and kind, first of all to yourself. You have to be willing to be with that person before you look for an investor or a mate at your meditation class.