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19.09.2014
When Samantha Keen worked as a Financial Journalist, the intensity resulted in Chronic Fatigue, which she overcame with meditation research and practice. Her practical and effective methods have helped clients thrive in demanding environments for over 15 years. I am very enthusiastic to be part of the Wall Street Coach’s launch of meditation and executive coaching.
Meditation is now a part of a broader trend that corporations across America are beginning to include in their programs, thereby giving their teams a competitive edge while improving their employee’s skillset at managing highly stressful environments. In my 15 years experience with meditation, about the same time spent working as a financial journalist, and 10+ years of working with clients in coaching and therapy formats, I find the combination of these techniques help people make the shifts they need in their lives and therefore help them achieve long lasting goals.
It is always great to find out that there is independent “proof” that this works, even though I have my own experience as proof. One of the country’s leading spokespeople on meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, published a paper in 2003 showing that if you took people in a high tech work setting under very high levels of stress and trained them in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in a randomized clinical trial, they showed a shift in activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in particular locations that earlier work had shown was related to the processing of emotion while under stress.
As part of the team at The Wall Street Coach we have put together a program for executives that combines meditation with coaching techniques especially formatted to reduce stress, improve your ability to focus and find big picture goals or direction.
The coaching side of our method then allows you to find strategies to bring these experiences into life, combining both the logical or rational mind with the deeper parts of yourself. One of the most profound moments working with any client for me is when we achieve that shift into the intuitive parts of consciousness, sometimes referred to as states of Being.
While this combination of coaching and meditation is a new phenomenon, the incorporation of meditation into the corporate environment is not new. This particular project worked so well because we had the leader and the team in for three evening sessions of three hours each, and they were able to repeat the techniques in team meetings for 10 minutes a day for over six months after we worked together.
Meditation in a group is fantastic for building team work, as long as everyone in the group is on board and really wants to do it.
Still, it is good to know that it is not just our team that provides these results, there are many studies showing that people get a lot out of meditation-style techniques. The benefits of meditation combined with coaching makes this an exhilarating launch, and we are excited that it also precedes the attention that Kim’s new book, Transforming Wall Street: A Conscious Path for a New Future, will illicit. There are various types of meditation techniques that fall under two broad categories: concentrative meditation and non-concentrative meditation. Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance one’s physical, emotional and mental well being.
Nowadays, more doctors are recommending meditation as a way to relieve insomnia and anxiety, lower blood pressure, help asthmatic patients breathe easier and generally relax the body. Although there are many types of meditation that are derived from Hinduism, Buddhism or even Taoism and other origins, they all focus on quieting the mind. There are hundreds of meditation techniques available, many of which have evolved into newer ones over the years. As the name suggests, this type of meditation method is about watching and being aware of your breath during meditating. This type of meditation requires you to “empty” all your thoughts from your mind and allow it to rest, and allow a sense of peacefulness to take over.
Meditatation transcendental involves the continuous chanting of a mantra, until a dream-like state of mind is attained.
Now that you have understood the basics of several types of meditation methods, you may start practicing the one, which you feel most comfortable with. In a day and age where medication is not cheap, and prescription drugs kill 100,000 people each year, it’s time we embrace a cheaper and more natural alternative form of healing into our medical community. Work by UW Information School professors David Levy and Jacob Wobbrock suggests that meditation training can help people working with information stay on tasks longer with fewer distractions and also improves memory and reduces stress.


Levy, a computer scientist, and Wobbrock, a researcher in human-computer interaction, conducted the study together with Information School doctoral candidate Marilyn Ostergren and Alfred Kaszniak, a neuropsychologist at the University of Arizona.
Before and after each eight-week period, the participants were given a stressful test of their multitasking abilities, requiring them to use email, calendars, instant-messaging, telephone and word-processing tools to perform common office tasks.
The results were significant: The meditation group reported lower levels of stress during the multitasking test while those in the control group or who received only relaxation training did not. The meditation training seemed to help participants concentrate longer without their attention being diverted. No such change occurred with those who took body relaxation training only, or with the control group. After training, both the meditators and those trained in relaxation techniques showed improved memory for the tasks they were performing. The combination of meditation skills with coaching is exciting to me because it is a new and innovative way to help executives defeat stress, succeed in their pursuit of big picture life goals, while connecting them to a deeper sense of satisfaction and well-being.
Studies do show that meditation-based techniques give people fundamental changes of consciousness. The MBSR group shifted from having more right-sided activation in the PFC to more left-sided activation.
There are many styles of meditation, so here we use meditation techniques to take you into the core of your own knowing, beyond the rational mind which often gets stuck with logical thinking, and into the more creative parts of your consciousness where the magic of insight happens. This unique combination of skills allows you to make changes in your life that are profound, practical and lasting because the shift comes from the inside-out. The experience is touching every time, but the reward comes when I see people use this bigger magnitude of themselves to achieve real and lasting change, whether personal or professional. Many financial firms are introducing meditation of one kind or another for their employees, some with significant positive results. Up until 1983, only three peer-reviewed studies on meditation had ever been published, according to the article To Make a Killing on Wall Street, Start Meditating, by Katherine Burton and Anthony Effinger published on Bloomberg News May 28, 2014. Among other functions, the prefrontal cortex processes sensory information, handles rational decisions and regulates the amygdala, the structure that feeds our fight-or-flight instinct,” according to Burton and Effinger. Kim speaks about the importance of meditation and mindfulness in this book and I think you will be surprised and inspired when you read it.
Its intention is not to remove stimulation but to direct one’s concentration to a healing element. Mindfulness meditation is about focusing on what is happening around you and being aware of your thoughts and feelings during the process of meditating. Start by staying in a comfortable position and close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. You can meditate while walking down the street, pacing around the house or even during a run. You will need to sit in a cross-legged position in a quiet room so that there are no distractions. This is useful for those who are easily distracted as chanting a mantra will prevent your mind from wandering. 90% of all diseases and illnesses are either caused or aggravated by stress, and meditation is a great way to restore balance in your body.
Some training in meditation beforehand could make the work smoother and less stressful, new research from the University of Washington shows.
One group received eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation training; another received eight weeks of body relaxation training.


Researchers measured the participants speed, accuracy and the extent to which they switched tasks.
When the control group was given meditation training, however, its members reported lower stress during the test just as had the original meditation group. Those who meditated beforehand spent more time on tasks and switched tasks less often, but took no longer to complete the overall job than the others, the researchers learned. After the control group’s members underwent meditation training, however, they too spent longer on their tasks with less task switching and no overall increase in job completion time. For example, in just 8 weeks of meditation the brain can be re-wired, which improves the ability to learn. Leaders have told me these techniques give them the ability to see strategy, the big picture, and work creatively with their team from a whole different level. Our whole approach is crafted to give you a new level of vision or insight into yourself and your life, and then provide perspective enabling you to take practical steps in your life or career that will create lasting change. Some traders have seen almost a 1000% increase in their performance,” said Brett Traynor, then Director Saxon Financials, Singapore.
By 2013, there were more than 1,300 studies showing an almost absurd number of benefits, from alleviating anxiety, depression and insomnia to reducing heart disease and speeding recovery from psoriasis, according to Burton and Effinger. When the mind is filled with the feelings of peacefulness, it cannot take off on its own and start to worry, feel stressed or depressed. Your mind should be open to your true feelings – there should be no judging of your thoughts.
Breathing slowly through your nose will work your diaphragm and allows oxygen to the bottom of your lungs.
As your mind starts to wander, concentrate on the movement of body parts and your breathing. A shift in consciousness causes a shift in biology, and when you are peaceful and calm during meditation, you release chemicals such as seratonin, oxytocin, and dopamine which help stabilize the immune system. Members of the third, a control group, received no training at first, then after eight weeks were given the same training as the first group. The participants’ self-reported levels of stress and memory while performing the tasks were also noted. It also improves memory skills, creates better executive decision-making and opens up new perspectives; all important functions to have yet it also helps you to run at optimal levels even when under stress, according to studies from Massachusetts General Hospital.
To quote Albert Einstein, “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. As your mind wanders, re-focus on the air going in and out of your nose and throughout your body.
One can start by watching your breath, then move your attention to the thoughts in your mind and even the sounds and sights surrounding you.
Find out more about breathing meditation, an interesting and popular type of meditation among many. In some traditions, an experienced master will choose a phrase or word for you, such as “shanti”, which means peace.




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