Its not meant to be a method to calm down workers so that they will produce more profit for a corporation.
That takes a lot of work on the part of management. If your employees know what's expected of them, have the right tools, have a job that fits their skills, knows their employer cares for them and is invested in their professional development, THAT is what makes productive employees. You won't get that from retreats, meditation programs, etc. As a manager, you get this by changing yourself, not those you manage.
The trend is to take a practice completely out of context, and completely out of the spirit of what it was introduced and intended for, and use it a cheap prop to be more efficient in an ill world.
I largely credit my success at work to the tools for working with my mind imparted by my upbringing and continued practice. However, mindfulness is just one of those tools.
There are forms of meditation that build upon mindfulness that I would argue can be very helpful to motivation. To put it another way, once you are able to focus your mind on the present moment, there are other things you can focus it on.
For instance, if I've got a meeting coming up where I need to partner with people with whom I know I usually have a combative relationship, engaging in a compassion meditation, such as Tonglen, motivates me to see their problems and want to help solve them.
Mindfulness itself is wonderful, but it is among the most basic of techniques for training your mind. It is remarkably comparable to physical exercise, where a basic level of activity yields amazing results for your overall health, but must be accompanied by specific training if you want to dramatically change your physical capabilities.
I don't see how this is relevant to the real workplace where stress can be paralyzing and burnout is a greater threat to productivity and motivation than being chill is.
"One hundred and one Amazon Mechanical Turk workers whose
location was set to the United States took part in exchange for $1.35 each."
When you use mindfulness while the CEO is talking and realize his or her problems are their own making and why should you kill yourself to make a lie true?
When Cartesius said his famous "Cogito ergo sum" that's pretty much what it meant - you can be sure that your mind exists, but not much else beyond that.
And, if you think about it, why would everything in the world be interconnected in some meaningfull way? For what we know universe is just a big bag of energy and particles interacting with each other in the random way. "It's all connected" is a cry from the human mind desperately trying to make sense out of chaos.
If you do awareness oriented practice long enough, it starts to work on you. You are on the ride 'to the unknown'. Motivations change and unless you make nessesary changes in your life, you lose motivation and have life chrisis. Usual solution is to quit meditation or do so little that you don't change. Many people have romantic notion of transcendence and enlightement, but when meditation starts to really work they realize that's not what they actually want. Change is scary.
Interesting. Would you care to share an example of this?
When my opinion is requested, I usually find it most natural to come to the conclusion of “inconclusive”, which people around me find to be evidence of either weak character or lack of trust.
I find it difficult to be outraged about anything for more than a few seconds, after which I’d prefer to either talk about solutions or stop bathing in self-congratulatory angst that has no action justifying it. I also find it very hard to talk negatively about anyone, even those whose actions are abhorrent. Refusing to participate in lambasting a group target usually results in becoming visibly less-accepted within that group.
I don’t really do social media, not out of moral superiority but because I don’t have a large enough network of friends to get value out of it (especially relative to the large perceived cost of giving away heaps of information about myself to untrustworthy megacorps). People usually assume I’m trying to sound better than them when we talk about it, despite my disclaimers that I don’t judge anyone who does use these products.
So, by giving up values that seem unhealthy, and picking up some that seem better, I’m still alienated from the people I wanted to more fully enjoy the presence of in the first place. When I’m by myself, I’m pretty balanced, “riding the waves” as you say. Then the loneliness and hunger for validation set in, and I’m right back to square 1.
I don’t know how to reconcile this.
>> Then the loneliness and hunger for validation set in,
I'm thinking about getting a dog. It's suppose to be great for validation and against loneliness, and also, taking care of a dog seems really compatible with the spiritual path - a caring, compassionate relationship - but a silent one.
Felt like when something triggery came up, I knew how I was going to respond and then I didn't... and haven't always been sure what else was appropriate. Relearning who I want to be is interesting / challenging / confusing.
One thing that adds to the challenge is figuring out how to socialize as your newest self, balancing the new internal constraints with the external ones (some of which you may not have been aware of). What have you learned in that regard?
I've found a reservoir of resentment/anger that is my next focus... and I've been on the verge of random crying breakdowns here and there.
I've been advised that "fake it until you make it" doesn't just apply to startups, and there are lots of times that I put on the "same me" mask while my head spins inside.
I can see myself making some waves amongst family and friends at some point as I change, but I can't see any big issues, just adjustments.
About people getting unwanted outcome, dissolution of self is known to be unpleasant (aka "Dark Night"), but it's a temporarily unpleasant stage. I've not heard of anyone regretting completing 1-st path after it's done.
As an aside, I like to look towards the Tao of Pooh (or I suppose general Taoism?). The idea is to not let things get you down, but to appreciate the here and now. Mundane activities exist and sometimes you have to do them, but if you can "get over" its mundanity, you can return to enjoying other things.
That having been said it isn't solving the root problem. You can't fix stupid... you can fix a lack of knowledge, experience and practical understanding - but that has to come from culture not individuals.
I don't think motivation decreases for tasks that are meaningful to the individual, it can be good if the workplace goals are aligned with those of the individual, or bad if they are disconnected.
Might make me "less productive" but did make me "more satisfied".
Isn’t it some kind of crime against statistics to offer explanations for the null hypothesis?
But honestly, it takes a very creative and devoted mind to be able to do that constantly for things like coding. You can appreciate the bugs for what they are (problems to solve and validate skill), but that doesn't mean lose awareness of the problems they can cause in the future.
Appreciating a broken bridge in an artsy way is one thing, letting people drive over it because 'death is a natural part of life' is entirely another story.
Devaluing emotions is exactly the opposite of the point of practice. Instead you want to get in touch with your emotions, deeply. The trick with not going off the rails emotionally is karma. Positive actions (e.g. generosity, patience, truthfulness) produce positive emotions, negative actions (e.g. speaking ill of others, lying, stealing) produce negative emotions. Karma can also help overcome nihilistic thought. Your actions actually do mean something to yourself and others (at least subjectively) and you can see and feel the results in real life.
I agree with you said about context. I think opportunists are extracting these techniques out of their original context and selling it as a panacea to all of your problems. This is wrong and can only lead to harm.
I cannot see how too much introspection can be a bad thing and lead to unhappiness when the alternative means you are just fooling yourself into being happy.
The other thing is the question of what do they think is worth doing. Imagine a person who's been enlightened. He/she may have been miserable, depressed and suicidal in the past, but now has reached state of no suffering and is completely happy. Very likely goal of such a person is to reduce unneeded suffering of others. The most straightforward way is to help others reach enlightment.
>Why aren't they generating awesome works of science or philosophy or literature or something with all that clear-headedness
Maybe they don’t want to? Maybe their motivation is towards intrinsic goals, while science/literature/etc. are all extrinsic.
Just because they aren’t doing X doesn’t naturally and obviously mean it is because they cannot do X.
e.g. I can readily be a manager, and have more of certain (in)tangible things, but choose not to, because that line of work interests me less than other kinds of work.
Just as, by the same token, just because somebody wants to do X doesn’t mean they can do it.
e.g. I really want to be a talented rockstar with mad guitar skills, but I cannot becuse I am largely tone deaf.
Douglas Adams comes to mind.
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
The individual’s? If my needs are simple, and easily met by working 2 hours a day, what reason do I have to toil 18 hour days? To enrich someone else? My skills and talents are for me to decide what to do with. What right does someone else have to dictate how much I ought to work?
All it does, really, is put people in a more focussed, balanced state of mind, and shut down much of the incessant internal monologue. Someone focussed is generally better at their job than someone distracted.
So as one of the comments mentioned about monks not producing works of art or science - if an artist/scientist really did get into meditation, and if they were innately passionate about their art/science, they would get better at it. But it is presumptous to assume that the average monk wants be do art/science.