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Excerpts from:     Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Executives Who Swear By Meditation

By Jhaneel Lockhart and Melanie Hicken

CEOs have stressful jobs, and some have taken to intense hobbies to find solace from the daily grind. Some practice meditation—or even Transcendental Meditation®, a mantra-based technique derived about 50 years ago from ancient Indian practices. We’ve compiled a list of leaders who say that meditating gives them an edge in the competitive business world. Some have even built it into their company’s culture.
Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio uses Transcendental Meditation to check his ego
Dalio — founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund — has built many of the TM® principles into his firm’s culture.
According to a New York Magazine profile, Transcendental Meditation informed Dalio’s “belief that a person’s main obstacle to improvement was his own fragile ego; at his firm, he would make constant, unvarnished criticism the norm, until critiques weren’t taken personally and no one held back a good idea for fear of being wrong.”
Def Jam Founder Russell Simmons says Transcendental Meditation has changed his life
Simmons wrote about Transcendental Meditation in a 2010 column at The Huffington Post: About two years ago, I visited a school in South Africa where all the students practiced one particular form of meditation—Transcendental Meditation (TM). They were bright, alert, energized with life. A short while later I returned to New York and I met a long-time TM teacher, Bob Roth...
Even though I had been meditating in different ways for over 10 years, I asked Bob to teach me. I have now been doing TM for two years. It has changed my experiences in meditation and therefore my experiences in life.”
Oprah Winfrey says she uses TM to connect with God
Oprah told Dr. Oz last year that Transcendental Meditation has helped her “connect with that which is God,” according to the Huffington Post. A fairly new devotee, Oprah was introduced to the practice during her work with inner city school systems, where TM has been introduced to children with academic and behavioral problems.
Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz meditates for 20 minutes every morning
Berkowitz told Inc. Magazine the ritual is an important part of his day. “The first thing I do in the morning is retreat to my den and meditate,” he said. “I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes, closing my eyes, clearing my mind, and repeating my mantra until I’m in a semiconscious state. Sometimes, I’m wrestling with an issue before meditation, and afterward the answer is suddenly clear.
Ramani Ayer, former Chairman and CEO of The Hartford Financial Services Group, says TM makes him a better decision-maker
Ayer has been practicing for more than 25 years, according to Transcendental Meditation blog. “The Transcendental Meditation technique has been ideally suited to my hectic life,” Ayer told the TM blog. “It has demonstrably reduced my stress and helped to maintain my good health, and has immeasurably benefited my family and business relationships. Importantly, it has helped me to make clearer, more effective decisions on the job.”
Executive Management Associates CEO Nancy Slomowitz reduced her company’s health care insurance costs by offering TM classes to her employees
Slomowitz, who recently wrote “Work Zone Madness: Surviving and Rising Above Workplace Dysfunction,” has been practicing TM since she was a teenager, according to Transcendental Meditation blog. After experiencing positive effects in her own life, she decided to introduce the practice to her employees.
“TM produced tangible, practical benefits in both their professional and personal lives,” says Slomowitz. The workplace environment soon grew from toxic to harmonious among other positive changes. And surprisingly, the company’s cost of healthcare insurance actually went down due to a reduction in sick claims.”
Marnie Abramson, who owns Tower Companies real estate firm, says offering TM to employees is the best way to increase productivity
After many of her co-workers reported positive results from practicing Transcendental Meditation, Abramson decided to begin practicing as a means of coping with her hectic work environment, according to “I would say that arranging a TM course for your employees is probably the fastest, easiest, and least expensive way of getting more out of your workers than you could ever imagine,” says Abramson.
Tupperware CEO Rick Goings meditates daily to refocus
Goings told The Financial Times that he tries to meditate for at least 20 minutes every afternoon. “For me, it’s a practice that not only burns off stress but gives me fresh eyes to clarify what’s really going on and what really matters,” he said.
Business Insider is a U.S. business/entertainment news website launched in February 2009 and based in New York City. Its original works are sometimes cited by other, larger, publications such as The New York Times and domestic news outlets like National Public Radio. The site provides and analyzes business news and acts as an aggregator of top news stories from around the web.