The Maat Institute's programs teach participants one of the most effective clinically proven method for reducing stress and enhancing focus: Meditation. Referred to in the medical community as 'relaxation response training' or 'mindfulness based stress reduction', a few minutes a day of meditation has been proven to lower blood pressure, decrease incidents of chronic pain, boost the immune system, increase concentration and much more. In our programs participants are also taught about the harmful effects of stress on their health, and given concrete methods for utilizing meditation throughout their workday to reduce their stress levels and boost productivity.
The word meditation is used to describe many different concentration and contemplation techniques. The most common involve focusing on the breath, repeating a word or sound, or visualizing a certain scene or symbol. In many yoga classes, body-awareness meditation is taught, with focus consciously brought to a particular part of the body.
The Maat Institute's REAL Seminar incorporates four meditation techniques, all breathing or visualization based. The four techniques correspond to the 4 sections of the Seminar: 'Relaxed', 'Energized', 'Alert' and 'Level-headed', and each is geared to generate the corresponding state. Participants also learn concrete ways for utilizing these techniques throughout their workday to minimize stress and maximize performance.
While sitting cross-legged on the floor or cushions is a traditional meditation position, it is not required in the REAL Seminar. The most important element is for individuals to sit with as straight a back as possible. The techniques taught are designed to be practiced while sitting in a regular office chair, so no special clothing or equipment is required.
While some form of meditation is taught as part of almost every major world religion or spiritual tradition, the practices themselves can be taught and practiced outside of these traditions. These days meditation is taught in many secular settings, including hospitals, universities, corporations and sports gyms. Professional sports organizations frequently offer meditation to their athletes, and many physical therapy clinics offer it to their patients. Sometimes called 'relaxation exercises' or 'concentration development' instead of meditation, they are nevertheless based on traditional meditation techniques.
No, unlike many organizations offering corporate meditation classes, The Maat Institute is not affiliated with any religious or spiritual group. We do offer spiritual meditation classes as part of our public classes, but these are based on an entirely separate curriculum and approach.
Absolutely. Not only is it appropriate, but considering the health and productivity benefits, offering meditation in the modern workplace is an imperative from both a cost-savings and employee satisfaction perspective. More and more corporations are discovering this every day: Check out our Resources section for articles from Time, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal and other media on existing corporate meditation programs.
Yes, A LOT. Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, first documented the physiological benefits of meditation almost thirty years, ago and since that time his findings have been repeatedly affirmed (see Resources for links to specific studies.) In 1997 a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health recommended all medical and nursing students be taught techniques such as meditation. Following this, Congress approved $50 million for the Institute to expand mind-body research and training for health professionals. Research has also been conducted by management organizations such as the Academy of Management.
No. While the level of benefit does increase with longer and more frequent meditations, participants in most studies meditated only a few minutes a day. Some benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduction in chronic pain, can be obtained with only 5 minutes a day of breathing meditation.
For starters, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health finds that stress-related ailments cost companies $200-300 billion a year in absenteeism and tardiness. Other studies show that stress-related complaints account for a quarter of all doctor's visits. Meditation's stress-management and other health benefits are immediate and measurable (see Resources.) Many chronic ailments are relieved by meditation, resulting in savings in both reduced absences and health care costs. In addition, meditation has been shown to increase productivity by improving employees' memory, creativity, focus, work relations, and job satisfaction.
There are many organizations promoting Wellness that provide resources for structuring programs, estimating ROI and measuring results. Try Wellness Councils of America, the Employees Assistance Professional Association, or other human resources organizations.
REAL Seminars are occasionally offered in public forums; contact us to find out if any are occurring near you soon. You may also be able to attend another company's REAL Seminar as a guest; contact us if you are interested and we will see if this is a possibility.
Another option is to offer a REAL Seminar to your own department or project team as a trial first. In this case you would be offered a discount on your first regular REAL Seminar booked following the trial.
Yes, we are happy to work with you to customize the REAL Curriculum to meet your needs. Typical customizations include adapting the business scenarios covered to address particular issues relevant to the participating group, or modifying the class format or length.
Yes, in fact small companies often enjoy a more intimate working environment that is especially conducive to supporting employees in their efforts to integrate meditation into their workday. We can adapt the REAL Seminar to smaller groups, and modify the business scenarios to make them more relevant to your environment.
Yes, while originally designed for corporate settings, REAL Seminars can be adapted to be appropriate for groups of any type. Some examples are hospitals offering meditation to employees or patients, or professional organizations offering meditation to their members. Depending on your group’s interest, you may also be interested in adapting a class from our public program.
Our base pricing structure is based on the length of the seminar requested, instructor travel time, and number of participants. We frequently arrange introductory pricing for organizations trying our services for the first time, and bulk discounts for those booking multiple seminars.
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