Mindfulness Meditation Becomes Mainstream

In 2013 The Centre for Integrative Law will offer mindfulness training for lawyers. Lawyers meditating? Yup, all over the world, meditation is growing in popularity. It’s being taught at cutting edge business schools, including Cape Town’s very own Graduate School of Business. Lawyers are joining the ranks of those who are finding meditation can completely change their experience of stressful situations and conflict  – which as a lawyer, means changing your experience of life.

Here’s an article published by the American Bar Association, for the full article, click on this link.

“By all accounts, the Minneapolis law firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard is, as one partner puts it, “pretty darn mainstream.” Known for its professionalism and general excellence, one would have to look long and hard for evidence of ec­cen­tricity or any kind of counter-cultural quirkiness.

So why, when a partner offered to teach a course in mindfulness meditation last fall, was the response both immediate and enthusiastic?

Maybe it’s this: Although sitting in silence with a group of colleagues may not be mainstream in today’s legal world, the desire to master a skill that promises relief from the profession’s endemic stressors actually is.

Seventeen lawyers signed up, and a waiting list formed. “And I didn’t go around knocking on doors or anything,” says Robert Zeglo­vitch, the employment lit­i- ­gation partner and veteran meditator who taught the class. “I just sent out an e-mail.” And get this: There was virtually 100 percent attendance for each of the eight weekly sessions, the only exceptions being when work beckoned beyond the Twin Cities.

As of late January, the number of people who had taken or expressed interest in the course was about one-third of the attorneys and many of the support staff in the firm’s Minneapolis office, which is the headquarters of the 170-lawyer firm.

What Zeglovitch taught his colleagues was simple–how to pay attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and without judgment. It’s easy to do. What is not so easy is remembering to do it. That’s because we all get involved in our own nonstop thoughts. (Sit quietly with your eyes closed for a minute and count the thoughts that arise; you’ll be amazed.)

The idea is to calm the inner turmoil so that when you are thinking, you are aware that you’re thinking, rather than, say, searching for incoming “bombs”–“Did I return the client’s third call?” “Did I remember to double-check the rent amounts for the extension term in that damn lease?” When you are angry, you know you’re angry, and when you are driving your car, you know you’re driving it, rath­er than finding yourself in your driveway with no recollec­tion of how you got there.

Mindfulness practice offers an answer to a question we all should ask ourselves: What would life be like if, moment to moment, I were actually present?”

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