As a scientist, I have a natural tendency towards cynicism. When I first began reading about mindfulness and meditation practices, I reacted about the same as I do to those 3 am infomercials for body wraps and diet plans promising results in 2 weeks.
It took some time before I even began to look into the practice as anything more than a fad. It wasn’t until I had done an extensive dive into the scientific literature and began giving meditation a shot myself that I became convinced of its value. I might have saved myself some time by reading this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, which offers the following advice:
“If your audience doesn’t respond well to the term mindfulness, call it something else like presence or “the now”. “
It’s important to be mindful of cultural workplace norms at all times, but especially when introducing a concept that is bound to generate some eye rolls from those skeptics like me. You may find people need some time and simply the right language to jump aboard.