While there is no need to become a practicing Buddhist to benefit from mindfulness meditation, some of the tenets of Buddhist philosophy are immensely practical, and useful in business. In Buddhism, there are four ‘domains of mindfulness’. These domains are all worth bearing in mind for anyone who wants to be successful in business, and life. They are practical and common-sensical.
1. Mindfulness of the body
If we are mindful of our body, we notice what it is telling us. Our body is the vehicle that carries us around and nagging and persistent low-level illnesses are a sign we need to pull in for a pit stop. Symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome are a sure sign we are stressed. Heart disease is often seeded by not being loved or appreciated, or not loving what we do and who we are with.
We should be mindful too of what the ‘body’ of our business is telling us. If our profit and loss isn’t where we want it to be, we should look at our costs and be mindful of what we are selling and how we are selling it. If our working environment is toxic, or busy, decluttering will help.
2. Mindfulness of feelings
It pays great divide become mindful of our feelings. As you will see, our gut and heart centres are now recognised by neurologists as ‘intelligences’ that interact continually with the mind that sits in our brain. Ignore their advice at your peril. Business owners who learn to trust their gut and follow their heart have the edge. They will be quicker out of the blocks and more attuned to spotting and generating opportunities.
3. Mindfulness of consciousness
We don’t give much thought to our thoughts. This is a great shame as what we are thinking fundamentally creates the world around us. On one level, this is subjective. For example whether we see our glass as half full or empty.On a whole other level, it is because thoughts don’t so much become things but they are things. When you practise meditation for just a few weeks, you will find that what you think starts to manifest in your world.
4. Mindfulness of ‘the way of things’
The saying that ‘what goes around comes around’ is one of these maxims that holds universally true. It is a truism that sits somewhat beyond religion, faith and scientific analysis. We know it is true because it seems to work. If we are kind to people, they are kind in return. For example, in business, if you deliver on time, or always slightly over-deliver, you will find others will respond in kind. If you pay all your suppliers promptly, you will find you get paid quickly too. Good cash flow requires us to allow cash to flow around the system, both in and out because money is an energy and needs to be put to use.
If someone ever falls foul of this way of things, it pays dividends to be mindful as to why they have done so. It may be a sign that they need help or guidance or that there is something we can do to improve ourselves and our communication with a supplier or customer.
10 Minutes of Me Time
The key to opening up to a new world of possibility is simple. Just treat yourself to 10 minutes of Me Time every day and you will find your days run more smoothly. You will also find both your vitality and creativity get a boost.
Tom Evans is the author of 12 books including The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness published by SRABooks.