At Esprit Meraki, we also offer our workshop participants the opportunity to engage in working meditation. Working meditation, like walking meditation and writing meditation, is mindfulness meditation in action. It has the additional benefit of a meditation practice that can be seamlessly incorporated into our daily lives.
On a day-to-day basis, we spend a lot of time working : not only while we are at work, but also while we are at home, preparing a meal, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, washing, ironing and folding the laundry…each of these activities can be done mindfully, thus enriching the experience and making it easier and more worthwhile.
Working Meditation Sessions
During our mindfulness meditation workshops, we introduce our guests to working meditation, to demonstrate how they can incorporate working meditation into their daily lives and so get the full benefits of this practice, especially on days when they might not have time for formal sitting meditation practice.
One of our mindfulness sessions is devoted to working meditation. There is always work that needs doing here. It may involve gathering fallen leaves, grooming the horses, mucking out the barn or turning over the compost heap. Our guests choose the type of work they want to do and we adjust the work according to our guests’ abilities. As with all our sessions full instructions are given beforehand so that our guests can get the maximum benefit from this type of mindfulness meditation.
Working Meditation Holidays
We also offer a Working Meditation Holiday where participants focus solely on this type of meditation. As participants are actively contributing to the maintenance of the Retreat Centre, there is no charge for this retreat. Accommodation and meals are offered in return for the work the participants do while they stay here.
Even though the main activity of this retreat is working meditation, everyday time is allocated for the personal meditation practice of the participant’s choice : sitting meditation in the garden, walking mediation in the vineyards, equine-guided meditation near a paddock, writing meditation under the oak trees…and full instructions on how to make the best use of these types of meditation is available to participants.
Find out more about this retreat here : Working Meditation Holiday
The aim of working meditation
Working meditation allows our guests to reconnect with their environment, with nature and with each other. A large percentage of today’s workforce spend their working lives in offices. Working outside in the fresh air and natural light is often a deeply satisfying experience for them. When combined with formal meditation practice, working on the land can become a profound and symbolic act of giving and receiving, and of nourishing and being nourished.
Work meditation is one of the most useful types of meditation to learn. We all have to work. The idea is to pay attention to each movement – however small – that you make while doing the work required of you. This will help you master the art of being fully present in the moment. By training ourselves to pay attention moment by moment to where we are and what we are doing, mindfulness can help us choose how we will behave. Instead of reacting instinctively, mindfulness enables us to function better in a high-performance environment. Mindfulness helps us to realise that between stimulus and response there is the opportunity to choose. In the workplace, this can lead to higher productivity, better teamwork, increased creativity, accurate communication and quick resolution of conflict.
Practising working mindfully will help you to:
- listen more attentively
- understand more comprehensively
- be more emotionally aware
- communicate more clearly
- direct your actions more appropriately
- focus more consistently
- concentrate more effortlessly
- and empathise more readily.
It is clear that working mindfully will not just provide the immediate benefit of doing physical exercise outside in the fresh air, but practising working mindfully here on the farm can also be useful to participants when they return to their workplace where they can incorporate what they have practised here into their daily work and home lives.
If you would like to find out more about working meditation, please consider buying my book, Mindfulness and Meditation Options. The book covers mindfulness and meditation in detail. Each chapter starts with a letter from a potential workshop participant, explaining her personal problems. Each chapter offers a potential solution based on mindfulness and meditation. You may even recognise yourself in one of the letters!
If you think you might learn quicker and with more ease in the sun-blessed south of France, we would like to invite you to one of our Mindfulness Meditation Holidays. For more information contact us on welcome2gascony[at]gmail.com or fill in the form below.
The video below is a talk by David Gelles explaining mindfulness at work. He is the author of the book Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out.