The Blog

Where Business Elite Succeed and Fail With Meditation

Watch out world, high-octane performance is for those who close their eyes, surrender their thoughts and practice watching their breath!
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Almost every day, there is news of another corporate executive coming out and saying, "I meditate. It has changed my life and improved my business. I am telling my employees, telling everyone in order to do my best work, I meditate." CEO's of all types are coming forward at various conferences, media interviews describing meditation as a game changer, productivity tool, a must for maximizing success.

Profits and meditation are described as partners in the new business culture. Business leaders explain that creativity comes from a clear mind and a clear mind comes with meditation. Out of stillness they are finding inner calm, clarity, focus and the energy to accomplish the task before them. Who would have imagined that hardwired business types would be coming out in favor of rewiring, untangling, detoxing, unplugging, destressing and opening one's mind with meditation? Who would imagine devotees of the bottom line would become devotees of sitting still and non-thinking? Watch out world, high-octane performance is for those who close their eyes, surrender their thoughts and practice watching their breath!

Executives are safely coming out of the closet to say meditation has business results and are freely admitting how and why. Patience, clarity, restfulness, compassion, stillness are mentioned as helping creativity and production of their best work. What they are not saying is where meditation is taking them in their personal lives. They are not sharing the fruits of this inward journey, the inner adventure that meditation by its very nature includes.

Meanwhile, spiritual seekers of all kinds have known for centuries meditation is the tool to calm the mind and open the heart. Here business elites and spiritual seekers have come together. Meditation is the nexus, the seat of sacredness, the point where awareness discovers its source and new life is born. Where the paths part is in what happens next. As business leaders use their newly found mental clarity to refocus on global opportunities, spiritual seekers are taking their mental clarity as an opportunity to go further inside and discover the universe where heart and soul and something beyond words is calling.

Meditation separates our awareness from the stickiness of difficult feelings leaving the beauty of personality, both our own and those around us. Free from our own stress and the daily annoyance of others, turning down our inner noise and the noise of the world, meditation is a life changing, perhaps a world changing event. This is especially true as more and more leaders come out in all fields and spread the word -- meditation taps into something inside of us releasing a whole new resource of human potential.

Where business elites and spiritual seekers part is in the next step. The step that is before us, in front of everyone who meditates, is to come out and say, "Meditation is not just for better performance in our daily world but is a universal source of spiritual connection." Meditate and find a new vista of ourselves, one another, nature and the great mystery. Meditate and discover the planets and stars are at home in our awareness. There is a vastness of heart, inner peace, understanding, harmony and gratitude that comes out of the inner stillness that is found in taking the time for daily sitting.

In other words, business elites will be coming out challenging their colleagues and us all in asking what is our intention? Are we here to make only the next dollar or to heal ourselves, discover our spiritual purpose and life-giving service? The two do not necessarily have to be separate. But when business executives embrace all the corporate benefits of meditation, sooner or later some have to come out of the closet and say "Yes, meditation gives me a joy, a connection to everything and everyone that is beyond anything I can buy, have, or do." They will find themselves speaking of a spiritual connection found in the depths of the heart that is a treasure that no bottom line can compete with.

And why is this important? When meditation is described and celebrated in only mental terms people are sidetracked from the true course of meditation. This course is a path from our busy mental life to the richness of our peaceful heart. Spiritual seekers part company with the corporate elite as along as the heart is left out of the discussion. Meditation frees us from the pull of our desires, attachments, mental urges to be busy doing. Meditation carries our awareness to somewhere inside each of us that can be described only as profound. Meditation brings us to our heart's essence.

The question becomes, are we meditating to build stronger egos to survive the business world or to discover our transpersonal nature, our awareness free in a great acceptance and love that is within us? The gift of silence, meditation, retreat is to discover our egos as only small grains of sand in a vast ocean of spiritual being, peace, and joy. In meditation these words become literal experience. Imagine the freedom experiencing our complicated self as just a drop of sand in an ocean of no self and endless presence? This is the invitation of silent heartfulness. This is why so many of us in all walks of life take a good part of each day and our lives to enjoy meditation. Out of boardrooms, classes and simply off the streets we are meditating, receiving something in our hearts that is without boundaries, pure and innocent. We, and indeed all of life, are interconnected and lifted in an incredible lightness of being. With meditation we discover something so true that only humility and a heart and a life that are giving can be offered in response.

For more from Bruce Davis, Ph.D., click here.

For more on spiritual development, click here.