February 21, 2013

Can mindfulness change a corporation?

Emma Varvaloucas

Over at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship website, frequent Tricycle contributor David Loy has published a letter, "Can Mindfulness Change a Corporation?" to William George, a Goldman Sachs and Exxon Mobil board member who has been meditating since 1974 and frequently advocates for the introduction of mindfulness techniques into the American corporate world. Loy's insights into the social implications of Buddhism's transmission to the West have been a highlight of Tricycle for years (check out his piece "Why Buddhism Needs the West" and his review of David McMahan's book The Making of Buddhist Modernism), and this letter is another thought-provoking read from the professor and Zen teacher. Loy writes to George:

The debate within American Buddhism focuses on how much is lost if mindfulness as a technique is separated from other important aspects of the Buddhist path, such as precepts, community practice, awakening, and living compassionately. Traditional Buddhism understands all these as essential parts of a spiritual path that leads to personal transformation. More recently, there is also concern about the social implications of Buddhist teachings, especially given our collective ecological and economic situation. ...

What I’m concerned about is the “compartmentalization” of one’s meditation practice, so that mindfulness enables us to be more effective and productive in our work, and provides some peace of mind in our hectic lives, but does not encourage us to address the larger social problems that both companies [Goldman Sachs and Exxon Mobil] (for example) are contributing to.

Tricycle's Richard Eskow brought up these same themes in his Fall 2012 article "Buying Wisdom," which took a look at the 2012 Wisdom 2.0 conference; a conference, as Eskow wrote, on "mindfulness for the Silicon Valley crowd." With the 2013 Wisdom 2.0 conference beginning today, there's no better time to revisit Eskow's thoughts on the true potential of mindfulness:

If “mindfulness” is to create genuine change in our society, it must involve being mindful of more than just our own need for comfort, good health, or serenity. It must entail being mindful of the social and economic forces that allow some to prosper while others struggle, forces that promote and perpetuate certain behaviors and thought patterns while discouraging or suppressing others. Without that awareness, “mindfulness” will quickly descend into another luxury item that permits the few to ignore the impact of their behavior on others.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
anthonyhain23's picture

It's a matter of fellowship, It's human nature that in the time of crises they attract more to these sorts of concepts. To discover more on these type of topics or need help you can check

lauratrott's picture

This is probably the results We're getting all over. With thanks for your personal site, I sign up to your website. This is usually a awesome site inches.
assignment assistance uk

zorayax's picture

que pasada! yo soy un adicto a los videos xxx de gratis.

zorayax's picture

nice post. thanks for sharing. peliculas porno

mariakim's picture

Thanks on your marvelous posting! uk essay I certainly enjoyed reading it. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back from now on. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice day!

janywatson's picture

Most importantly admire your offer, similar to your site, cheap essay help the trust can impart to you more magnificent blog and Thanks for such post and keep it up. has made a decent showing here to put all the data substance and data at one spot.

Offinto's picture

As soon as you sign up as an author on several websites if you are educative projects that you can get. In case you are self-assured with regards to a certain topic you'll be ready while at work. There are several internet sites which usually plan your skills to your job and simply budget for the project for anyone who is fit for the project. There are many internet sites that allot the work in relation to the actual writer's acumen. It can be strongly suggested that you just wager for such job opportunities provided that that you are extremely positive. http://essaybunny.com/essay-writer.php

ruthgeorge's picture

More recently, there is also concern about the social implications of Buddhist teachings, especially given our collective ecological and economic situation.Luton parking

adammaddy's picture

Great post. It really contains valuable information. Thanks for sharing! coursework geek

christiana_antiga's picture

There is a unit many varieties of meditation. Any of them are often nice for the psychological state if you're comfy active them. For terribly active folks one thing like tai chi Chuan is sometimes a far better work. Essaytigers-uk . If {you area unit you’re} able to sit still then the quieter ways are sensible. In person I observe Karina Yoga Meditation (which combines the quiet sitting with some respiratory and physical exercise).

jessicaalbert's picture

I think Buddhism is a religion of peace. Buddhists love to take part in peace making activities and take initiatives for promoting peace in the world. luton airport parking

reginaspencer007's picture

Your internet marketing company can be extremely helpful if provides you best seo services with latest Google trends.
http://www.mobitsolutions.com/seo.php

Jia's picture

I have experienced the debate that American Buddhism focuses and it's the shortest road of mindfulness lost. airport parking gatwick

savinash127's picture

I was wondering if You Could create a little more about "Can mindfulness change a corporation?" I'd be very satisfied if You Could intricate a little bit more.
http://www.linkbuilding4panda.com/

Dominic Gomez's picture

"The transformation of a human being-recognizing one's dignity and potential-is the shortest road to the transformation of society, education, science, government, culture, the whole of life." (Daisaku Ikeda)