The Mindfulness Blog

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Bill Gates On Meditation

In a recent posting on gatesnotes, Bill Gates authored a piece entitled, "Why I'm Into Meditation", in which he writes:

"I [used to think of] meditation as a woo-woo thing tied somehow to reincarnation, and I didn't buy into it.... I now see that meditation is simply exercise for the mind, similar to the way we exercise our muscles when we play sports. For me, [meditation] has nothing to do with faith or mysticism. It's about taking a few minutes out of my day, learning to pay attention to the thoughts in my head, and gaining a little bit of distance from them'"

That's exactly the kind of secular meditation ("Chicago-style meditation") that is espoused and taught by The Mindful Law Coaching & Consulting Group. Granted, I'm a wee bit biased, but if secular meditation works for a grounded, business-oriented guy like Bill Gates, that's an endorsement I'll take, any day.

Intriguingly, Gates further writes:

"I'm not sure how much meditation would have helped me concentrate in my early Microsoft days, because I was monomaniacally focused without it. But now that I'm married, have three children and a broader set of professional and personal interests, [meditation is] a great tool for improving my focus."

Sounds like a number of lawyers I know and worked with-- our focus on work and the people or projects that are important to us, are critical to our sense of personal and professional worth--to our sense of well-being. And-- as attested to by Bill Gates-- the benefits of meditation are multi-generational.

Young professionals may be more open to the idea of incorporating meditation into their work day regimen, but the benefits of meditation are particularly poignant for those of us who are a decade or two (or three) older.

As an old country/western song puts it, "Might be a little dust on the bottle, but what's inside keeps getting sweeter with time". Take it from me-- someone who listens to country/western music, and reads Bill Gates' blog-- the same is true of meditation. Especially for us older lawyers.

Res ipsa loquitur (even for those who don't know or use Latin phrases). Let's start listening-- to ourselves. An older, wiser Bill Gates is. How about you?


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