buddhaWe can scale up mindful meditation techniques and apply them to teams and a whole business, says Tom Evans, author of The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness.

Mindful meditation techniques are usually applied at a personal level to help us better manage our internal thoughts and our reaction to external events. We can scale up the philosophies and apply them to teams and a whole business. By doing this, we can not only switch from a glass half empty to glass half full but also to a position where our glass keeps filling itself up to over-brimming.

While there is no need to become a practicing Buddhist to benefit from mindfulness meditation, some of the tenets of Buddhist philosophy are immensely practical, and useful in business.

In Buddhism, there are four ‘domains of mindfulness’. These domains are all worth ‘bearing in mind’ for anyone who wants to be successful in business, and life.

  1. Mindfulness of the body
If we are mindful of our body, we notice what it is telling us. Symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome are a sure sign we are stressed. Heart disease is often seeded by not being loved or appreciated, or not loving what we do and who we are with. Ankle, knee and hip pain can come from the fear of stepping forward and back and neck pain can be seeded from us carrying too much burden. Our body is the vehicle that carries us around and nagging and persistence low-level illnesses are a sign we need to pull in for a pit stop.

We should be mindful too of what the ‘body’ of our business is telling us. If our profit and loss isn’t where we want it to be, we should look at our costs and be mindful of what we are selling and how we are selling it. If our working environment is toxic, or busy, decluttering will help.

A business needs to breathe too. Fresh ideas and fresh talent bring fresh opportunity. Existing staff benefit from training. What comes in, flows out and it is important for every one to take regular breaks. A healthy practice is to ban staff from accessing business email while on holiday and at weekends.

  1. Mindfulness of feelings
It pays great divide become mindful of our feelings. As you will see, our gut and heart centres are now recognised by neurologists as ‘intelligences’ that interact continually with the mind that sits in our brain. Ignore their advice at your peril. Unlike our brain, they don’t ‘speak’ in a language and their messages often get swamped by our loud internal dialogue.

Business owners who learn to trust their gut and follow their heart have the edge. They will be quicker out of the blocks and more attuned to spotting and generating opportunities.

  1. Mindfulness of consciousness
We don’t give much thought to our thoughts. This is a great shame as what we are thinking fundamentally creates the world around us. On one level, this is subjective. For example whether we see our glass as half full or empty. On a whole other level, it is because thoughts don’t so much become things but they are things. When you practice meditation for just a few weeks, you will find that what you think starts to manifest in your world.

Our uniqueness as humans is not so much our self-aware nature but our imagination. We are great imagineers. Business opportunities come from imagining a new way of doing things or creation of new possibilities. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who see opportunity in adversity. Solve a problem for some one, or make life easier, and they will buy from you in droves.

  1. Mindfulness of ‘the way of things’
The saying that ‘what goes around comes around’ is one of these maxims that holds universally true. It is a truism that sits somewhat beyond religion, faith and scientific analysis. We ‘know’ it is true because it seems to work. If we are kind to people, they are kind in return.

For example, in business, if you deliver on time, or always slightly over-deliver, you will find others will respond ‘in kind’. If you pay all your suppliers promptly, you will find you get paid quickly too. Good cash flow requires us to allow cash to flow around the system, both in and out because money is an energy and needs to be put to use.

If someone ever falls foul of this ‘way of things’, it pays dividends to be mindful as to why they have done so. It may be a sign that they need help or guidance or that there is something we can do to improve ourselves and our communication with a supplier or customer.

10 Minutes of Me Time

The key to opening up to a new world of possibility is simpler than you might think. Just treat yourself to 10 minutes of Me Time every day and you will find it easier to tap into a new level of possibility.

These days, learning to meditate doesn’t involve visiting an ashram for a year. If you have a mobile phone or tablet, there are no end of resources available to you.

After meditating for just a week, you will find your days go more smoothly. If you genuinely don’t have time, just going for a walk at lunch time for 10 minutes will do the trick. You will find your time spent meditating comes back to you many times over as your decision making, productivity and serendipities improve. You will find it ‘nicely addictive’.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Evans is the author of 12 books including The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness published by SRABooks. He is the creator of the world’s first time management programme based on mindfulness called Living Timefully and the host of the Zone Show podcast. www.authorityguides.co.uk