Mindfulness Goes Mainstream (at Google and in Congress)
Over the course of the last couple of weeks two books have popped up on the radar screen that suggest something interesting is afoot with respect to mindfulness practice. Chade-Meng Tan’s book Search Inside Yourself (here) describes a course offered at Google to help managers and engineers become more mindful at work. Daniel Goleman of emotional intelligence fame writes a foreword to the book as does mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zinn. The first chapter title, Even an Engineer Can Thrive on Emotional Intelligence, gives a sense of the tone and tenor of the remaining chapters.
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (D) has just completed A Mindful Nation (here) in which he talks about how mindfulness practice might help America recapture its spirit. Chapter 4 is especially useful to those interested in education.
Taken alone, the two books are interesting additions to growing technical and spiritual literatures of mindfulness. Taken together, it seems that they signal that something is afoot with respect to mindfulness and its moving to the mainstream. The growing scientific support for mindfulness practice (for example, Dan Siegel’s Mindsight here) and the growing application of these ideas in practice in such mainstream organizations as Google and Congress suggest that it should soon become possible to discuss these topics at work and in the classroom more widely with less eye rolling and greater seriousness.
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