Meditation: The Startup’s Secret Weapon
Who am I?
John Bigay

about.me/johnbigay
Who are you?
Heresy
What does meditation have to do with
business, let alone start-ups?
What this is not.
What this is.
Productivity
Creativity
Collaboration
Leadership
Health
Focus
(Happiness)
Why tech start-ups?
๏

Test, learn, optimize

๏

Learn by doing

๏

Find your own path

๏

Stay open

๏

Respond to what is actually happening
๏

Adapt to change

๏

Manage stress

๏

Focus

๏

Collaborate

๏

Tune your most valuable instrument (you)
In other words...
Buddha was a geek
Developed a technology to optimize
the human condition
Mind hacking:
Disrupt + reprogram our mental o.s.*
Really? How?
Neuroplasticity
47%
Distracted = unproductive
Distracted = unfocused
Distracted = unhappy
Negativity bias
Emotional Intelligence
Self-awareness
Self-management
Social awareness
Ability to manage relationships
What is mindfulness?
Awareness.
On purpose.
Of the present moment.
Non-judgementally.
It’s a practice.
See how we are actually living
Changes our relationship to
experience itself.
Respond rather than react.
How do we do it?
Step 1: Awareness
Need to develop the clarity & stability of mind
to begin to see what is actually going on.
Emotionally
Behaviorally
Extern...
WARNING:
It ain’t pretty.
Why?
Our minds are a mess.
Let’s take a look
A few things to keep in mind…
๏

If your mind wanders

๏

If you get bored

๏

If you think it’s stupid

๏

If you get pissed off…
You are not doing it wrong
Ready, set, go
What did you see?
OK, now what?
It’s not just on the cushion
Sitting
Standing
Walking
Lying Down
How much is enough?
Start with less than you think you can
do.
Then do it.
What gets in the way?
๏

Desire

๏

Irritation

๏

Sloth & Torpor

๏

Restlessness

๏

Doubt
Where do I go from here?
๏

Set the intention

๏

Make a commitment

๏

Do it together

๏

Bring it into your everyday life
Tools & resources
Thank you!

John Bigay

about.me/johnbigay
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)
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Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)

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Presentation from a workshop I led at Intelligent.ly. Here was the session description:

Meditation, or mindfulness practice, has become all the rage throughout the tech & business world. In this deck you'll learn all about how to apply the benefits of meditation into your professional life. Slides taken from a class taught by John Bigay, a digital marketing and strategy consultant. Learn more from the experts by visiting http://intelligent.ly/learn

Published in: Business, Spiritual, Technology
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  • Thanks for coming.
    Grateful for opportunity
  • 20 years practice
    Career in start ups
    Interested in intersection
    Going to look
  • Experience with meditation?
    Active practice?
    No exposure at all
    Start-ups
  • Look at this emerging interest in these practices in a business setting
    Give some background and context, talk a bit about some of the benefits, then we are going to practice together and talk about what we see.
    After that we’ll talk about how one might begin to establish a practice like this – common pitfalls, tools, resouces
    But first…
  • I have no interest in converting anyone to anything
  • There will be no crystals, no mysticism…
  • …and certainly no new-age music!
  • What I want to explore is why leaders and organizations ilike Apple…
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • And Google are looking to these practices to help their leaders and their teams.
    Google is a particularly interesitng case – they have developed a popular program called “SIY” that focuses on treching mindfulness.
    Their particular focus is on how mindfulness can help with Emotional Intelligence (will talk more about that), but what their program and others really recognize…
  • …have a very specific value. They are really about training and conditioning, but where we typically think about training for our bodes…
  • This is training for our minds, our brains
    It’s a way to begin to cultivate and increase certain qualities and outcomes….
  • And yes, happiness. I tend to shy away a bit from talking about this for a couple reasons:
    First, this can mean a lot of different things to different people and second it starts to feel like we’re veering away from the business realm.
    But what we’re talking about here not the fleeting enjoyment of a good meal, but beginning to experience a deeper level of satisfaction in our life and work.
    And while that does in my view have a very direct relevance and impact on the workplace, we can think of that as a bonus for now.
  • So why tech start ups?
    Certainly not limited to that:
    Health care (MBSR)
    Higher Ed
    US Army,
    But I think there’s a specific connection that is a reason that these practices seem to be taking root in Silicon Valley and in other tech/start-up communities
  • Not Buddhism, but this is a particularly rich source of data and a very detailed psychology
  • There is a growing body of scientific research – related to the brain generally and the effect of mindfulness practices specifically -- that show how and why these practices are beneficial.
    Seeing in a variety of settings:
    Health care
    Higher Ed
    Business
    Richard Davidson: Univ of Wisconsin School of Medicine
    Jon Kabat-Zinn: U Mass Amherst; MBSR
    I am most certainly NOT an expert on neuroscience, but wanted to give you a flavor of what I’ve seen & read about
  • At the core of a lot of the science behind this is the idea of neuroplasticity which is simply that the brain changes in response to experience -- our actions, our response to our relationships and in response to specific training in which we engage.
    Not long ago, there was a belief that the brain was relatively static (no new brain cells). What is now known is quite different than that, that there are activities actually shape the structure and chemistry of the brain, and we can take advantage of neuroplasticity and actually play a more intentional role in shaping our own brains in ways that are health promoting and ways that cultivate wellbeing.
    In other words, we can change and re-wire our brain
    Physical changes: London black cab (h
    Regulating attention: Research that focusing attention can be learned and cultivated.
  • Very large sample of adult Americans, 47% of the time people were mind wandering. That is, during waking periods, 47% of the time, people were not actually attending to what they were supposed to be attending to.
    Circuits in the brain that play a role in regulating our attention, and very rigorous behavioral measures of attention, change in response to mindfulness meditation practice.
    Why does the ability to sustain attention matter?
  • 4 postures
    4 foundations of mindfulness (breath, body, mind, ??
  • 4 postures
    4 foundations of mindfulness (breath, body, mind, ??
  • Dose response (the dose is time)
    Finding time vs. making time
    On & off the cushion (before meeting, to/from work, walking to lunch)
  • See what your mind does with it
    Doing vs. reading about it
  • What gets in the way? 5 hinderances
    1.  Desire – craving.
    i.     “If only…
    ii.     Pleasurable experiences are wonderful, but grasping, stringing pleasant experiences is ultimately unsatisfying. Why? Everything changes
    iii Wanting mind is painfuliv. Keeps us from connecting with our actual life
    2.  Anger – Aversion
    i.     Powerfulii.     Fear or hurt
    iii.     Clear away the brush – “first, do no harm’
    iv.     Be present but use wisdom
    3.  Boredom (Sloth & Torpor
    )i.     Also aversion
    ii.     Couch potato
    iii.     What do we do/reach for when we’re bored? Food? TV? iPhone?
    iv.     Energy (stand, coffee/tea)
    4.  Restlessness – worry
    i.     Opposite of boredom
    ii.     Compulsive thoughtsiii.     Worry is not preparation
    5.  Doubt
    i.     Trickiest, can derail practice
    ii.     This isn’t working, move on to the next thing
    Not just issues “on the cushion – practice helps us really see
  • Sensory desire: wanting 
    Irratiation: ill-will, aversion
    Sloth & Torpor
  • Meditation for startups (intelligently 8 22-13)

    1. 1. Meditation: The Startup’s Secret Weapon
    2. 2. Who am I?
    3. 3. John Bigay about.me/johnbigay
    4. 4. Who are you?
    5. 5. Heresy
    6. 6. What does meditation have to do with business, let alone start-ups?
    7. 7. What this is not.
    8. 8. What this is.
    9. 9. Productivity
    10. 10. Creativity
    11. 11. Collaboration
    12. 12. Leadership
    13. 13. Health
    14. 14. Focus
    15. 15. (Happiness)
    16. 16. Why tech start-ups?
    17. 17. ๏ Test, learn, optimize ๏ Learn by doing ๏ Find your own path ๏ Stay open ๏ Respond to what is actually happening
    18. 18. ๏ Adapt to change ๏ Manage stress ๏ Focus ๏ Collaborate ๏ Tune your most valuable instrument (you)
    19. 19. In other words...
    20. 20. Buddha was a geek
    21. 21. Developed a technology to optimize the human condition
    22. 22. Mind hacking: Disrupt + reprogram our mental o.s.*
    23. 23. Really? How?
    24. 24. Neuroplasticity
    25. 25. 47%
    26. 26. Distracted = unproductive
    27. 27. Distracted = unfocused
    28. 28. Distracted = unhappy
    29. 29. Negativity bias
    30. 30. Emotional Intelligence Self-awareness Self-management Social awareness Ability to manage relationships
    31. 31. What is mindfulness?
    32. 32. Awareness. On purpose. Of the present moment. Non-judgementally.
    33. 33. It’s a practice.
    34. 34. See how we are actually living
    35. 35. Changes our relationship to experience itself.
    36. 36. Respond rather than react.
    37. 37. How do we do it?
    38. 38. Step 1: Awareness
    39. 39. Need to develop the clarity & stability of mind to begin to see what is actually going on. Emotionally Behaviorally Externally
    40. 40. WARNING: It ain’t pretty.
    41. 41. Why? Our minds are a mess.
    42. 42. Let’s take a look
    43. 43. A few things to keep in mind…
    44. 44. ๏ If your mind wanders ๏ If you get bored ๏ If you think it’s stupid ๏ If you get pissed off…
    45. 45. You are not doing it wrong
    46. 46. Ready, set, go
    47. 47. What did you see?
    48. 48. OK, now what?
    49. 49. It’s not just on the cushion
    50. 50. Sitting Standing Walking Lying Down
    51. 51. How much is enough?
    52. 52. Start with less than you think you can do. Then do it.
    53. 53. What gets in the way?
    54. 54. ๏ Desire ๏ Irritation ๏ Sloth & Torpor ๏ Restlessness ๏ Doubt
    55. 55. Where do I go from here?
    56. 56. ๏ Set the intention ๏ Make a commitment ๏ Do it together ๏ Bring it into your everyday life
    57. 57. Tools & resources
    58. 58. Thank you! John Bigay about.me/johnbigay

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