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Mindfulness in the Workplace: Meaning, Role, and Applications

  • Satinder Dhiman
Reference work entry

Abstract

Mindfulness has come to be recognized as one of the most enduring buzz words in the recent times. Research has shown that mindfulness improves markers of health (Creswell 2016), reduces physiological markers of stress (Pascoe 2017), and can literally change our brain (Congleton 2015). The research on mindfulness also suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory, resilience, and emotional intelligence and competencies critical to leadership effectiveness and productivity (Seppala 2015). After reviewing the research on the myriad applications of mindfulness in the “wider context” of psychological well-being, this chapter will focus on the role and application of mindfulness in the workplace, both from the leadership and employees’ perspective.

After defining the construct of mindfulness from multiple perspectives, the first part of this chapter will explore how Theravada Buddhism understands mindfulness. The Theravada tradition based on Pali Canon will be utilized to survey Buddhist approach to mindfulness since it represents, according to most Buddhist scholars, the most “oldest,” and the most “genuine” form of Buddhist teachings. (Bodhi, In the Buddha’s words: an anthology of discourses from the Pali Canon (edited and introduced). Wisdom, Boston, 2005; Bodhi, The numerical discourses of the Buddha: a complete translation of the Anguttara Nikaya (the teachings of the Buddha). Wisdom, Boston, 2012; Bodhi, The Buddha’s teachings on social and communal harmony: an anthology of discourses from the Pali Canon (the teachings of the Buddha). Wisdom, Boston, 2016; Bodhi, The Suttanipata: an ancient collection of the Buddha’s discourses together with its commentaries (the teachings of the Buddha). Wisdom, Boston, 2017; Carrithers, The Buddha. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988; Nanamoli, The life of the Buddha: according to the Pali Canon. BPS Pariyatti Editions, Seattle, 1992, 2001; Rahula, What the Buddha taught (revised and expanded ed). Grove Press, New York, 1974). The second section will present a critical review of the existing mindfulness literature in healthcare and in cognitive and clinical psychology to create a pathway to the exploration of mindfulness in the workplace. Finally, this chapter incorporates views from 12 in-depth, structured interviews conducted by the author with mindfulness scholars, business leaders, and management consultants who have had firsthand knowledge of the application of mindfulness in the workplace.

Keywords

Mindfulness Mindfulness in the workplace Mindfulness and stress Mindfulness and neuroplasticity Mindfulness and creativity 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessWoodbury UniversityBurbankUSA

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