In Norman Rosenthal, M.D.’s book ‘Transendence,’ he talks about how meditation de-stresses a major entrepreneur who deals with extreme stress in his job. Here is an excerpt:
George Crowly: De-stressing a Gladiator
George Crowly, a man in his late fifties, heads up a group of entrepreneurs who have been launching companies in telecommunications and technology for the last twenty-five years. During that time the group has helped launch nearly forty new companies in eight different countries. George talks about the extreme stress involved in his job.
I call it gladiating – because we deal in many different countries and time zones. There’s a lot of travel involved and a significant compression of meeting schedules. The complexity of the deal structures is intense because, especially in emerging markets, we have issues based on local culture and politics that require a very high level of thoughtfulness. It’s almost like three-dimensional chess.
George has been meditating for more than two years now. Initially, he found the benefits of TM to be “marginal,: which he attributes to “not really understanding the process.” Here’s how he explains his misunderstanding:
My nature is that I’m a very disciplined person, and what seemed counterintuitive to me was the notion that the mantra is most effective when I’m not focused on it. So I was trying to force my focus onto the mantra. By trying to impose my will as opposed to just letting the mantra happen, I was actually defeating one of the most important aspects of the practice. Now I recognize that I should not experience the mantra as a singularity of focus, but rather let it innocently enter my consciousness. And if thoughts emerge while I’m experiencing my mantra, I need to just recognize that they’re there and gently return to the mantra – not try to grab it by the throat as you might if it were a business problem.
George now transcends regularly when he meditates, which he often experiences as physical sensations:
One of the ways I know I’m transcending is I begin to feel all these releases throughout my body. They’re like little shocks of tingling sensations in my head – almost like when your foot or hands fall asleep. My stomach starts to gurgle. My legs feel lighter. And there have been a few times when I’ll just burst out laughing because it’s such an incredibly pleasurable experience by the time I get there.
Since learning to meditate effectively, George has experienced many benefits from his twice-daily practice:
I find with TM, for example, in working on a number of projects in Poland, I can negotiate and multitask much more effectively and less stressfully than before. I attribute that in part to TM giving my mind an opportunity to rest from the vigorous work of the previous day. Also, when I suffer jet lag – as I often do – I now take the opportunity to meditate in the morning before starting work, and I find that it renews my energy. I have a level of energy that was uncharacteristic before practicing meditation. I believe meditation is going to be a permanent part of my daily life. I think that for any of us who live in the business world, where there are high levels of daily stress, we need to recognize that the body and mind need time to rest. By incorporating TM into my daily routine, I can allow that to happen. For me, this is an incredible tool for helping me maintain a higher level of health. pg 218-220