'Om'-ing All The Way To The Bank; How Meditation Effects The Bottom Line In Business


The study of the human brain has gifted us with a wealth of information regarding how and why we function as human beings on a biological level. We have learned how different regions within the brain inform our decisions, habits, cognitive processing and essentially the ways we operate in the external world.

By understanding our brains and by developing strategies to train them to perform for our benefit we can in-turn directly affect the success of our businesses.

We have come a long way from the esoteric notions surrounding terms like ‘mindfulness’, ‘spirituality’ and ‘meditation’. The empirical evidence produced over the last 30 years via academic and scientific research has lent credibility to what was once viewed as a new-agey ‘hippie-dippy-woo-woo-ju-ju’ concept.

It has been scientifically proven that meditation actually alters the physical structures and chemical makeup of our brains in adaptive (positive) ways. Meditation reduces the stress hormone, cortisol and has been verifiably measured to increase immune response. Meditation directly affects the amygdala; the region of the brain responsible for processing fear whcih can affect one’s ability to handle a stressful situation or business related decision.

By better managing our stress response, building an ability to control our reactions to fear and stressful states, we are better equipped to make logical, focused, ‘mindful’ choices. So really, meditation is not simply a tool for building self-awareness and connection to the present moment but equally a useful tool for building solid business practices; directly effecting productivity, innovation and production.

Leading strategy expert out of UCLA, Richard Rumelt, in his book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy discusses how crucial the ability to shift vantage points in a situation or storyline can be to a positive business outcome. Without the ability to mindfully shift perception and focus while keeping thought patterns fluid this feat would prove impossible.

“An insightful reframing of a competitive situation can create whole new patterns of advantage and weakness. The most powerful strategies arise from such game-changing insights.”

 –Richard Rumelt


Steve Jobs spent time in India as a teenager in 1974 and Zen Bhuddism had an enduring influence on his life and career that has inarguably affected each one of our lives thru his innovations.

He was a vocal proponent of meditation and mindfulness practices and many argue the presence in of Zen is apparent in all things Apple, from company culture and mission to the design of the Apple mouse.

Steve Job’s authorized biographer, Walter Isaacson quoted Jobs’ articulate description of his mindfulness practice and it’s link to intuition and presence.

"If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things--that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before." –Steve Jobs

Although historically rooted in Zen Bhuddism, the secularization of mediation and mindful practices through empirical findings is to thank for the mainstream rewards we are seeing on global societal and corporate levels. According to New York Times reporter and author of Mindful Work, David Gelles, a wide array of corporations such as Google, Target, Ford, Apple and Goldman Sachs and AETNA are incorporating mindful based wellness programs in an effort to improve employee productivity and increase the bottom line.

'Om'-ing all the way to the bank.

This is the future of buisness.

Cover Art by the late Clifford Coffin