Imagine that the place where you worked was a space where your personal balance and well-being was the most important element of the company’s ethos. Sounds radical doesn’t it? To some companies, this philosophy has become a cornerstone of their success. Maybe we’re not surprised because we have heard of companies that prioritise their staff’s happiness, for example Google or Virgin. But what is surprising is when the business world starts talking about incorporating traditional practises into the work place. And why wouldn’t they when institutions like the Harvard Business Review are publishing articles on the benefits of Meditation. This being an exert out of an article by the Harvard Business Review “Meditation helps you focus. Research has shown that our minds have a tendency to wander about 50% of the time. Add in work interruptions, text messages, IMs, phone calls, and emails, and it’s no surprise that employees have a hard time staying focused. But studies show that meditation training can help curb our tendency for distraction, strengthening our ability to stay focused and even boosting memory.”
99FM’s MYD Smart spoke to Meditation teacher Gunter Martins, who was born in Swakopmund and after travelling the world now teaches many organisations and individuals alike the process of journeying inward, be that through meditation, Qigong, Tai chi, communication facilitation or conscious living seminar’s.
“We rely so much on our thoughts that they have become our sixth sense.” Says Gunter, who adds “We have put so much value to thinking because we are educated to think and how to think.”
While thinking delivers to us the greatest human innovations and advancements, like is the case with everything, it needs to come in a package of moderation. Gunter says he has seen many great improvements in the companies that introduce mediation in their offices as a practise of relaxation because as he explains, “The more relaxed we are, the more creative and receptive we are, this in turn helps us to focus. Our concentration has been trained to function in a certain way and we can train ourselves to find balance. This is so important because life happens in the movement between a space of thinking and a space that I term the soft space, or the space of intuition. We can only reach this place when we are not in a constant stream of thoughts.”
When asked how we can quieten our minds to find a balance between logic and awareness, Gunter says that, “You need to first understand you are not your thoughts or you will be trapped forever in your thoughts. If you can’t recognise this it will not matter how much you relax. This is especially important because we have roughly 60 000 thoughts that move through our minds each day, and of these about 57 000 are old thoughts just repeating themselves.”
“Meditation is a like a knack that you need to get. As in, get the knack of it. Once you understand the principles and get the knack, you’re meditating. It is actually not about endless practising until you perfect it. It is about understanding. For me the true understanding came when I truly understood that we are not the mind.”
Gunter goes on to say that, “I do not understand why we often understand the principles of meditation, but fail to make the change in our lives, such a simple change that delivers so much reward. The world is filled with stressed and burnt-out people that know they need to relax and know that true relaxation does not come from socialising, for example, but that true relaxation comes from mediation, peace and stillness. Yet they don’t do the practise that will make their lives better. I do not understand this.”
“I run meditation classes daily in Windhoek, open for all to attend and when people come to these classes they immediately notice the difference in their lives even though they are unable to pinpoint what it is, they feel the difference. The thing with meditation is that it is abstract, not logical, but it works. It creates the balance of life.”
The question then becomes, are you stressed and in need of a release? As Gunter puts it “What are you doing with your excess energy?” He explains too that meditation is not limited to a specific pose or way of sitting. Gunter is an advocate for many types of meditation and one he loves is active meditation. He explains that active meditation involves using chaotic movements that are added to your meditation. He says this method has great results because it forces your away from your thoughts and into your body. When you are present and not wrapped up in your thoughts, you find freedom and balance. Gunter explains active meditation further in an article he recently wrote, “If you do my method of Dynamic Meditation vigorously, unsystematically, chaotically, your centre moves to the heart. Then there is a catharsis. Chaotic methods are needed to push the consciousness to its roots, because only from the roots is transformation possible.”
Whichever way you get there though, Gunter in an article he wrote recently puts it this way, “Every method is organic to a particular situation, to a particular mind, to a particular man.”
If you want to get in touch with Gunter or find out more information on mediation, click here for the Peaceful Living Namibia website : Peaceful Living Namibia
As taken from Gunter’s website, an excerpt from a piece written by Osho, “Your life will have as much depth and as much meaning as you have awareness. Now people are asking all over the world, “What is the meaning of life?”. Of course the meaning is lost, because you have lost the way to find the meaning – and the way is awareness”.
For more of Gunter’s selection of the words of Osho explaining meditation, click here : Peaceful Living Namibia
Article by Kirsty Watermeyer