The essence of management and mind consciousness is more or less the same thing which is about managing ourselves and our resources to maximize our potential expectations. In fact, Carl Jung's work on collective subconscious sheds light on the very essence fact, that we have to discover our own identity and purpose in order to live our full potential. The problem however is twofold, mostly management schools and theories are based on capitalist approach which is very much opposite to the essence of human nature. Human's on the contrary have to go through the experience to realize the very essence of their existence.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes: Carl Jung
Source: The Economist
Just as Buddha left his princely life in the quest for human existence and thereby discovered eight-fold path of nirvana, we see executives and senior professionals who after hectic career opt for alternate careers as soon as they realize that what they were doing was not giving them a sense of purpose.
Adam Grant,professor of management and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in his piece Can We End the Meditation Madness? criticizes the trend but he may not feel or understand about what people really seek and sometimes that seeking is irreplaceable. For example, you may not always feel at peace by doing sports and exercises. It has its own advantages, you may feel good and your health will improve which is an impact at emotional and physical level. But you may not be alleviated at spiritual or conscious state to change your worldview or to experience the bliss or harmony which people feel only in that meditative state. That state has to be experienced by your own self rather than judging it at rational level because it is beyond that, thus you are your own scientist, you dont rely on science or proofs, on the contrary you experiment it yourself, so give your self some time and then see the difference ! Of course you have to be careful in choosing the right path in this myriad of fake gurus. Carl Jung even went further to say that India or Indian philosophy can teach us a lot because it transformed him and his perceptions about existence and purpose, thus he elaborates
"We do not yet realize that while we are turning upside down the material world of the East with our technical proficiency, the East with its psychic proficiency, is throwing our spiritual world into confusion. We have never yet hit upon the thought that while we are overpowering the Orient from without, it may be fastening its hold upon us from within
So, to question that is meditation is really a trend? indeed, it is! but management educators and practitioners have been ignorant about it because of the overemphasis of western school of thought in the way we conduct business and the way we adhere to principles of our existence. While we have reaped benefits from critical thinking and leading western school of thoughts, this trend also reminds us that we must also recall that we have deprived our education from rich schools of thought which includes Native American, Maori, Zen, Confucian, Sufism and Vedic philosophy. Their essence resonates even with the work and philosophy of Nobel Laureates like Rabindranath Tagore and Albert Einstein.
While we see that there are selected companies, schools and individuals who greatly benefit from meditation and eastern philosophy. Unfortunately, it's rare to see Indian Business Schools and even practitioners to embrace this thought. Whether it is east or west, It is indeed in the quest of finding solace we see that people are seeking, they don't know what it is but they look for something different which leads them to pursue these alternate techniques. Meditation is repacking of these schools of thought but I would go even farther and comment that
it is not mindfulness it is rather the mind emptiness which counts. If you recall often some innovative ideas come to us when our mind is empty, when we are just witnessing nature or when we are just absorbed by nature when we witness the scenic beauty.
So we need to find such moments more often and indeed management education will orient in this direction as there is gradual emphasis on the need of soft techniques. Yes, it's good to be conscious but it's even better if you can find a space to empty your mind out of all the preoccupations of life and that is the biggest challenge of your personal and professional career.