Most days, you’ll find David Bornstein working with his laptop on the patio, soaking up the sunny Tucson spring. But on Wednesdays at 11am, he trades his sunny patio office for the solace of the medium conference room. There, he leads his Connect coworkers in a guided mindfulness meditation.
If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of his 30-minute sessions, I tried one out for you. I’ll share my experience below, along with some nuggets of wisdom I picked up from David himself. Read on for three great reasons to give yourself a mid-day mindfulness break next Wednesday:
I originally wanted to call this blog post “The $3,000 Reason You Should Attend Mindfulness Meditation.” I had just finished reading this case study from the New York Times, profiling the Aetna CEO who saved his company a whopping $3,000 per employee by introducing meditation and yoga to their daily schedules.
I clearly hadn’t been to a meditation class in a while. When my eyes flitted open after the 30 minutes, the last thing on my mind was saving money.
No, the first thing I noticed was that I hadn’t sat completely still for a whole 30 minutes in…who knows how long. I felt renewed, calm, and ready for my afternoon. And, of course, much more productive.
David, who has been meditating daily for years, has seen similar improvements to his life creep into his work. He says, “when I meditate regularly I feel more calm, less reactive. That just causes less problems. If I’m more calm, present, patient, kind, these are benefits to my life that also benefit my work.”
While there are myriad claims that meditation delivers quick and measurable wins, the simplest reason to meditate is to experience a few more moments of calm each day. And with regular practice, the benefits of those mindful moments may start to affect your workday, improving your ability to tune out the noise and get sh*t done.
Community is the special sauce that gives Coworking it’s edge over traditional office space. If you work here at Connect, you probably agree that a sense of community is central to your success. For David, developing a meditation practice led the way to a supportive community in the depths of a low point.
“The immediate impetus was a painful breakup,” he says. When a good friend lent him a book about meditation to help him cope, he immediately took to the practice. It wasn’t long before he started attending an in-person meditation group.
“I felt calm, accepted there. Whatever I was bringing into the room was accepted there. So much of what was happening to me I just didn’t like, so it felt good to be in a place where it all felt welcome.”
That was 20 years ago, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Today, David helps the Tucson meditation community thrive by leading meditation here at Connect and through his organization, Insight Meditation Tucson.
Of leading meditations here at Connect, David says “I have found meditating to be so powerful, positively impacting my life, that I just want to share it.”
Don’t be surprised if David asks how you’re feeling or what you learned after your meditation session. It’s all part of his goal to nurture a community anchored in meditation and to support others’ interest in meditation.
“Take a Pause”:
In our precious moments of downtime, the temptation to reach for a new distraction can be overpowering. On the hunt for social interaction or entertainment, we pick up our phone, turn on the TV, or check the lobby to see if our favorite candy is in stock.
David says that meditation can remedy this constant need for entertainment: “I hear from people who attend regularly that it can be really nice to just pause from all the doing, attending, emailing, phone calling, writing. To take a break in a way that’s not just zoning out and getting lost in facebook is refreshing in a different kind of way than just entertaining ourselves. Just take a pause.”
Replacing our facebook breaks with something more meaningful is a powerful choice. Without the endless input of information, we’re free to check in with ourselves and our community, over time building skills like self love and emotional regulation.
Whether you’re searching for a more productive afternoon, a renewed connection to your community, or a purposeful pause, we hope to see you at next week’s mindfulness meditation!
For more information on mindfulness meditation, visit InsightMeditationTucson.org.
David’s Recommended Reading: “Altered Traits” by Daniel Goleman Richard Davidson
Written by Fiona Sands, Community Administrator