How can meditation help to create a more harmonious and productive work environment? Here’s a video of Tower Companies, a family-owned development company in Washington D.C.
Jeffrey Abramson, Partner of the company
Tower Companies is a 3-generation, family-owned development company specializing in real estate development in the Washington D.C. area. We build apartment buildings, office buildings, office parks, shopping centers, shopping malls, hotels, and industrial buildings. When we started building green buildings 12-14 years ago, we knew we had to go beyond what the norm was in real estate.
If you just do what everyone else does – you will not excel, you will not differentiate. You’ll not become market leaders, you’ll just be the same as everyone else and offer the same products. So how do you differentiate?
You differentiate by creating environments that make people excel. We look at everything we do in this way: the norm is not good enough. When we built this building, the motto we picked was „Going beyond green“. Because we need to do more on just the material level to really elevate the creative experience.
I learned Transcendental Meditation 35 years ago. I was really taken to Transcendental Meditation and learned it because of the scientific research. Back then, there were only 16 studies, but they were really impressive – and it really represented everything I wanted to grow in my life. Now there are over 600 studies produced by something like 30 or 40 different countries and hundreds of institutions, including among them the US Government National Institute of Health.
What I noticed is that creativity was really the product of the stillness of the mind, the quiet of the mind. The quieter the mind, the more coherent the mind. The more coherent – the more intuitive. The more intuitive – the more flexible. And I thought: I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use that.
Rory Dechowitz, Comptroller
When I joined the company, Jeffrey introduced to me the concept of Transcendental Meditation. He thought, and I agreed, that it would be a great opportunity for all Tower employees to learn how to meditate. It just worked out great for us.
In fact, I just had a medical check-up 2 weeks ago. My wife even can’t believe it because I don’t eat as well as I should, but my body is in great shape. I’ve never felt better. I have a brother in San Francisco whom I see every few years and each year he thinks I’m looking younger. You definitely feel it. You feel relaxed; you feel energized. It’s just amazing.
Marnie Abramson, CEO
I was interested but very cautious about it. Because like anybody working with one’s family and doing things one’s family does – for me, anyways, I’m less inclined to get involved in something like that. But there were many, many people inside the organization who had been meditating for a long time. They were very positive about their experiences. So I decided I was interested in trying it.
I find I can get caught up in the madness of all the things going on around me. If you have 20 things going on in your head all at once, and there’s no way to organize that, then it feels very frenetic. I spend a lot of energy on very little output.
Jim Lewis, Director of property management
Transcendental Meditation has helped so much with my job.
Chuck Wallach, Director of leasing and construction
It clears my mind. It gives me the ability not only to focus but to prioritize what I have to do. 20 minutes twice a day results in extra 2 hours a day. I don’t even know how you measure it, but it is measurable – the amount of work you can get done and get done the right way the first time.
Scott Levenson, Department of finances
It’s just very restful and peaceful. Sometimes it just puts things in perspective.
Lynda Singer, Property management
It’s energizing. When I leave work, I need the energy to do things at home. And it puts things in perspective. I’m not so used to quiet. Our home is pretty loud, we have a lot of animals. So the whole concept of quiet – I didn’t even think it might help… But it has helped.
Samantha Hildebrand, Property management
For me, it has helped me sleep better, and feel better and healthier. It’s helped me I think with weight control – I’m losing weight again. And it has helped with a more positive outlook. Definitely energizing, with a more positive outlook on life.
Linda Schoengold, Legal assistant
I’ve been meditating for 10 years. I learned it during my divorce because I thought I needed to calm down. It was a pretty stressful time, and TM helped tremendously. It made things a lot easier with my children. In fact, when I get annoyed, my kids say: Mum, do you need to go meditate? Kids can really lay it on the line for you, can’t they? I find also like Lynda was saying, that it’s energizing. When you’re meditating in the afternoon, it gives you this last little boost to get through the day without dragging.
Luann Sinclair, Associate Partner
I felt it would help me – just like Gina said – with my personal life and with my professional life. And it has, it has been remarkable for me. It’s been over the top. I’ve been practicing now for over 25 years. I’ve been in many, many difficult and stressful situations. I’d say that the work here is as challenging – at different jobs, different clients have provided different challenges – but this is as challenging as it gets. And I never feel frazzled, uncomfortable, or unwilling to do my work. It has made it so much easier to live my life.
Eric Harris, Chief building engineer
Everybody smiles and says, “Good morning!“ This gentleman here, he’s just a pleasure to work with. I have a common thread with everybody around this table. If an entire company does this, then – like the people before me mentioned – the stress is gone, the drama, the attitude, all the negativity is gone. It’s amazing, and it came to my attention that all of us at this table have that common thread.
Transcendental Meditation has helped us to maintain the high quality of our people, and also to attract new people to the company. And that’s because we are a little unique as we invest in people. We care about people.
I’d say that teaching your employees to meditate is probably the fastest, easiest, and least expensive way of getting more out of your workers than you could ever imagine.
After you do the program, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having done it years before. Because it is so dramatic and gives you a leg up on every area of your life.
I know it sounds like it can’t possibly be true, but I’ll tell you—as a guy who was just as skeptical as you were – it changed my life immediately. Almost immediately. Right afterward, every person on my staff has come up to me and thanked me for it. We’ve had a few people who retire, and they still meditate to this day. They still call and say: That was the best thing the Tower ever did for me. So if you want your productivity to be up, and you want your health to be better – do it.