Why I Started Teaching Mindfulness Meditation to Corporations
My name is Dan Globus and I am the Director and lead Mindfulness Meditation teacher of Meditation House. I wanted to share my story with you about why I started Meditation House. After reading this, I hope that you will understand why I chose to provide Mindfulness Meditation instruction to companies and why I believe Mindfulness Meditation is essential in the workplace.
I have now been teaching Meditation for over a decade and have taught approximately 3,000 people how to meditate. My clients have included Fortune 500 companies, CEOs, and executives of some of the top companies in the USA. I have taught at and to companies ranging from very small organizations to some of the largest organizations. I have led year-long programs, 3-6 month programs, and lots of individual classes.
Do I like what I do? I love what I do! I’ve owned a small handful of companies with most of my time spent as the owner of a semiconductor export company and owner of a website design agency that specialized in servicing the designer-end of the jewelry industry. Even though I made money in both ventures and enjoyed running these companies, I never felt the fulfillment that I now feel as the lead Mindfulness instructor for Meditation House.
Some of us never find the job that we love to do and the job that we were meant to do. I have found the job that I was born to do. I am a teacher, an instructor, and a compassionate and empathetic individual who sees each class that I lead as an opportunity to help employees to address the challenges they are facing and to be free of any difficulties related to these challenges.
When did I become a Meditation teacher?
A little more than 12 years ago, I wanted to reconnect with my Meditation practice. I have meditated on and off for over five decades. However, I stopped meditating for a long time and found myself in a very difficult mindset. I started experiencing panic attacks while meeting with prospective and existing clients. The panic attacks became so bad, I decided that I could not go on like this anymore. It was clear to me that I simply could not continue meeting with clients and fighting to overcome these panic attacks.
For anyone that has never experienced a panic attack, the easiest way to explain a full-blown panic attack is to describe it as the moment you think you’re going to die. It’s a terribly frightening situation where we feel like we can’t breathe and want to jump out of our skin. No matter how much we try to run away from what we’re experiencing, there’s no place to run to.
To reconnect with my Meditation practice, I decided to search for a teacher. I tried a few classes in Manhattan only to find that I didn’t connect with the teachers and organizations. Ironically, I found a teacher in my own neck of the woods (Staten Island). I say “ironically” because he was an ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk who was teaching Meditation classes each Saturday in a facility on Staten Island. Who knew that there was an ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk on, of all places, Staten Island?
I attended my first class with this monk and thought ‘well, that was interesting.’ It was a very different style of Meditation than the style of Meditation I was originally taught. Yet it was interesting enough that I decided to return the following Saturday for another class. And after asking a few questions in the classes and then trying to meditate in my home in this different style, it appeared that I was on to something.
The style of Meditation that I learned was a combination of traditional Tibetan Buddhist, Vipassana, and Mindfulness techniques. It was in fact traditional Meditation. I had thought that the style of Meditation that I first learned many years earlier was “traditional Meditation”. When I asked my first teacher what his style of Meditation was called, he looked at me with an odd expression and said ‘it’s called Meditation’.
This style of Meditation helped me to look deep inside of myself to understand the reasons for my panic attacks. It also helped me to search for and read about techniques to deal with the issues that I found within my mind. I was struggling with deep-rooted emotional and psychological pain that had been with me since a child. By using an incredibly powerful Meditation called the Forgiveness Meditation, I was able to heal myself.
Many of us hold emotional scars from our childhood or young adult life. These scars can become deeply imprinted on our minds. Even though the impact of these imprints may not be fully seen for several years, they can raise to the surface and start to impact our daily lives. This is what was happening to me.
The healing that I experienced through my Meditation practice, coupled with a close relationship with the Buddhist monk, led me on a journey. The journey led me to the realization that I wanted to bring Meditation to as many people as I could through teaching people Meditation. So I partnered with the Buddhist Monk and we opened my Meditation center called The Compassion Center.
It’s quite ironic in hindsight that after owning two very successful businesses, where I was making a very comfortable living, I was considering a career change that I knew was not going to make me wealthy. I had conversations in my head almost every day debating this. Part of me said ‘don’t do it, you can’t make any money doing this.’ The other part of me kept saying ‘you need to do this, this is your calling, I can help so many people.’ We know which version of me won the debate.
The Compassion Center was born
The Compassion Center started as a vehicle to service segments of the population. It was able to bring much-needed support to the local community while at the same time allowing my teacher and me to train students to teach Meditation in corporations. Our goal was to teach Meditation to corporations during the daytime and teach Meditation to the community in the evenings and on weekends.
My partner and I utilized our corporate name, Meditation House, to lead companies in Mindfulness Meditation. We started to teach in various corporations in New York City, Queens, and Brooklyn. Most of the clients were medium size companies with classes ranging from as few as 5 people to 50 people. All classes were taught at the company’s office.
During this time, most of my efforts were focused on The Compassion Center as there were not a lot of bookings yet for Meditation House. I primarily focused on helping people relieve stress and anxiety. And there was no shortage of people suffering from anxiety. But I also worked with a lot of people who were dealing with loss and grief, life-threatening illnesses (Cancer), drug addiction, and so much more.
Even though people were coming to the Meditation classes, I became frustrated. I expected a larger number of people to attend the Meditation classes. I just didn’t understand why more people were not attending the Meditation classes. It was clear that what we were doing was having a very positive effect. However, the number of attendees was far below what I thought it should be.
It took me a long time to figure out the reason why more people did not attend the classes and to implement a strategy to reach a larger audience. The pressing question was ‘if people really enjoy these classes, and they tell us all the time how much they enjoy the classes, why aren’t they coming to class more often and why aren’t more people coming to the classes?’
A realization comes to me
Like many other “Meditation centers”, The Compassion Center offered classes in the evening (usually 7:00-8:00 or 8:00-9:00 pm) as well as on the weekends (usually Sunday mornings from 11:00 am-12:00 pm). There were, in hindsight, obvious issues with these days and times. However, I did not see these issues. From my point of view, I saw how positively people were responding to my classes. So why weren’t more people coming to them? And why were people coming to some classes and then not returning for several months (or not returning at all)?
My first realization was that attending a Meditation class in the evening, during the workweek, is challenging for most people. There are a few reasons for this. Most people work. This meant that the person who wanted to attend Meditation classes had to either go from work to the Meditation center or go home and then go to the Meditation center. In either case, they were leaving at 5:00 or 6:00 pm, possibly taking a bus or train to get home. Many people worked in Manhattan, and we were 1.5-2 hours away via bus or train.
People were tired after working a full day. Most people just wanted to go home and relax. They wanted to do whatever things that they needed to do when they got home, get comfortable on their couches, watch some TV, and then go to sleep. How could I blame anyone for this?
My second realization was that people had to eat after work. When was someone going to eat dinner when they were rushing home from work? Were they going to pick something up after work and eat their food on the train or bus? Were they going to scarf down something when they were home? And if they did, how was this going to affect their Meditation? After all, having a belly full of food is not conducive for Meditation. And let’s not forget about the stress of rushing to get to class.
As obvious as these things are to anyone reading this, I did not see these challenges. I had a different mindset. I loved going to Meditation centers to meditate and would go whenever I could go. I attended many classes late in the evening and had to do the exact same things that I wanted people to do to attend my classes. And there were others who were just as committed as I was to attending Meditation classes. Still, most people preferred to go home after work, eat some dinner, and relax in front of the TV.
Teaching classes on the weekend had similar challenges. Weekends are the only times that people can do their chores have some fun. This is the time to spend with family, to take children to the park to play, to go out and eat dinner, etc. Were people willing to carve out some time during the weekend to meditate?
The average person has little to no time outside of work to meditate
I started to teach Mindfulness Meditation to corporations due to the realization that the average person has little to no time outside of work to meditate. I have been on a mission to explain to companies that they need to offer Mindfulness Meditation programs to their employees. And the reason for this is not simply because people want and need Meditation, there is a direct correlation between the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation in corporations and the success of corporations.
We all need a healthy form of stress relief. Mindfulness Meditation is a scientifically proven method to reduce stress, bring focus to the mind, help us to better deal with the challenges we face daily, and so much more. However, for the average person, making time to meditate is very challenging. And based upon the realization that I had, the average person simply cannot, or will not, take the time to meditate at home.
How are corporations offering Mindfulness to employees?
Corporations have understood for a number of years that Mindfulness can help employees which thereby helps corporations. There has been enough research done by very reputable organizations that clearly shows that employees that meditate are better employees. Studies cite benefits including:
- Increased focus
- Reduction of anxiety and stress
- Increased productivity
- Greater work satisfaction.
With the realization that Mindfulness programs in corporations produce positive results, many companies have implemented corporate mindfulness programs in one form or another. One of the most popular solutions that corporations have been utilizing is the use of Mindfulness Meditations Apps.
Mindfulness Meditation Apps have offered companies what appears on the surface as the ideal solution. These solutions are relatively low cost and seem to offer a large number of recorded meditations for employees to choose from. One of the top reasons for HR managers choosing Apps is that employees can listen to Apps on their own time. Many companies do not want their employees taking time away from their work to meditate.
On the surface, the App solutions offered by Calm, Headspace, and others, appear to most HR Managers and CEOs as a great solution. Provide your employees with a large library of recorded meditations, that they can listen to at their convenience, and this will accomplish the goal of providing Mindfulness meditation to employees. However, there is a problem with this solution.
Just because something is available does not mean that it will be utilized. Take for example a gym membership. How many of us have taken out a gym membership to lose weight and get our bodies into a healthier condition? The answer is “lots”. Many of us flock to the gym right after New Year’s Day with the intention of shedding pounds and getting ourselves into better shape. Our intention is great, and we do go to the gym once or twice. But before long, we stop going to the gym while still paying the monthly membership fee.
Then there are those that hire personal trainers. The personal trainer makes sure that you get to the gym and he/she oversees your exercise regimen. They make sure that you don’t miss a workout day and they closely monitor your progress. They motivate and support you. They do what many of us fail to do when we don’t have someone supporting us.
The exact same situation happens with Apps like Calm and Mindspace. Organizations subscribe their companies to these Apps and provide access to their employees. Initially, some employees utilize these Apps while most never utilize the App. And it doesn’t take long before the employees stop using the App. Additionally, most HR managers are too busy to make sure that employees are making use of the Apps. Some HR managers take the position that the App is there for the benefit of the employee, and it is up to the employee to make use of it.
The Meditation House Solution vs. App Solutions
Meditation House provides Live Mindfulness Meditation sessions virtually via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Our solution is very different from the solutions offered via companies like Calm and Headspace as our meditation sessions are LIVE and not recorded. When people attend our sessions, they are seeing and listening to a Live Mindfulness Meditation instructor.
Are Live meditations better than recorded meditations available via an App? This is where I would let the people that have use Apps and attended Live sessions give their opinions. No less than three out of four people prefer Live meditation sessions. This is especially true in organizations that have had the opportunity to evaluate both App solutions and Live solutions. Employees attending our sessions have clearly stated their preference for Live meditations vs. recorded meditations via Apps.
What we do in Meditation House is similar to what personal trainers do. We make sure that you get to the Mindfulness Meditation classes, we provide professional guidance via guided Meditations that have been taught for years and achieved very positive results, and we keep the classes and programs compelling, interesting, and results driven. This last point is key as employees want us to speak to them about the challenges they are facing at the time.
Engaging with employees
The sessions I lead offer me an opportunity to engage with employees. We talk about the challenges they are facing. These are not only challenges in the workplace, these are also challenges that people are facing in their personal lives. By engaging with employees, I can get a read on what people are seeking and lead them in Meditation to address their challenges.
One of the greatest compliments I have received is that I have helped many employees who were facing various struggles. These struggles have included the loss of loved ones during Covid, separation from family members during Covid, job insecurity, anxiety due to lack of human interaction during Covid, stress and anxiety working from home, and so much more.
When working with employees in a program, I bond with the employees. I get to know them on a first-name basis and get to know a little bit about them. This makes the Meditation sessions much more personal. In fact, it creates a relationship where people look forward to the sessions.
Why should companies offer Mindfulness Meditation programs to their employees?
There are four very compelling reasons why companies should offer Mindfulness Meditation programs to their employees:
- Meditation programs keep employees healthy and happy and make them far more productive. These directly translate to an increase in revenue and savings in lost revenue. The small investment in a Mindfulness Meditation program yields high returns.
- A Meditation program can be perceived as a “perk” that employees can take advantage of.
- Our Meditation programs create a change in how people perceive their co-workers, workplace, and customers.
- Employees participating in Meditation programs actually can’t wait to get to work.
Most of us have very little time outside of work to do the things we want to do and the things we need to do. Of all the things that we need to do, even though our mental and physical health should always remain the top priority, the focus on our health remains a low priority. However, companies can change this situation by taking 15-30 minutes each day to dedicate to the well-being of their employees.
Companies can dramatically improve their goals by investing in Mindfulness Meditation programs. By supporting employees through these programs, corporations are ensuring that their employees are healthy, happy, and working towards the goals of the organization.
I have been given a gift. I have found my calling as a teacher and instructor. I have taken the formal training I have received from Tibetan Buddhist monks, Mindfulness instructors, and combined this with my compassion for all people to bring a unique style of Meditation to corporations. My sessions come from my heart and anyone attending my sessions realizes this.
If you have taken the time to read this blog, I thank you. I hope that there is something positive in what I have written. If you are an HR Manager, please contact me and let’s discuss how to bring a Mindfulness Meditation program to your organization. If you are someone that would like to see a Mindfulness Meditation program in the company you work for, please share our website’s address and this blog with your HR Manager.
If you have never attended one of my Mindfulness Meditation sessions, please see if you can gather a group of people from your organization and book a Mindfulness Meditation class for your company.
Director and Lead Mindfulness Meditation Instructor