Prachi describes one of the several meditation classes she conducts with corporate staff throughout India.
“My body and mind are feeling so relaxed.”
“I am joyous; I can hear the sounds more clearly.”
“I didn’t want it to end.”
“My life has taken a new focus, I find it easier to be present.”
These are some of the comments received from corporate employees after they meditated using techniques given by Osho. We had just finished a 90-minute session in their office premises in Bangalore, India.
It all started in 2014 when my manager Rakhee asked for ideas to help employees deal with stress. Most office-going people face not only stress and suffer a lack of joy, but attention deficit disorder too. Multitasking on various projects along with keeping yourself abreast with the latest to remain relevant, makes it rather difficult to stay focused and at ease.
I suggested that we could explore providing a meditation workshop for them. Rakhee had apprehensions about whether employees would enjoy that. ‘It could be boring for people to simply sit silently with eyes closed,’ she objected. I offered to facilitate a small session of two hours as a pilot.
We started with 15 employees joining us for the meditation. We talked a little about how the mind is always busy in the past or future. And how we go on missing the present. Almost all of them agreed with this. We also discussed how AI and biotechnology are influencing and hacking the human mind. Thus, it is more important than ever to know ourselves before machines start taking decisions for us.
After this conversation the participants were ready. We practised Osho’s active techniques including gibberish, breathing, shaking, laughter and dance combined with silence. Some games were introduced in between to foster awareness. In two hours, they had done a good amount of catharsis. We ended the session with a heart dance and Osho’s voice.
The participants said that they felt light, silent and joyous. Most of them were surprised that meditation could be active. They had an idea of sitting silently which is boring or difficult for a modern mind.
Over the years, since that first session, I have developed the format in various ways. We do these sessions in person and on webinar. The webinar sessions are attended by employees worldwide and we practise laughter, humming and vipassana for those online sessions. People usually have questions to ask at the end on how they can continue to practise meditation at home or how often we plan to provide such sessions for them.
I have found that employees are so enthused that many set up WhatsApp groups to encourage each other to meditate. They remind each other to stretch in the early morning and to laugh out loud before starting their day. They learn to breathe deeply.
Meditation, usually called mindfulness, is now mainstream in the corporate world. Senior executives say that they need a daily dose of silence to remain centred the entire day.
It is also seen that, in times of technology disruption, corporations realize that meditation can help employees maintain emotional stability. It helps in making employees joyous and brings them closer to each other.
My day job is to lead diversity and inclusion in the company. What better way than meditation to foster inclusion?
Indian-born Dhyan Prachi has been Osho’s disciple since 2005; she currently works for a multinational computer company. Along with her day job, she facilitates meditation sessions at her workplace where people of the corporate world have come to love Osho’s active meditations. Prachi lives in Delhi and is often seen dancing, laughing, singing, talking and sitting silently at Oshodham.