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Mindfulness In The Corporate World: How Businesses Are Incorporating The Eastern Practice

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What do Google, Target and General Mills have in common?

Meditation.

Increasingly, big companies are embracing the practice with Eastern roots, providing courses and opportunities for employees to find their center, the Financial Times Magazine reported.

"It's about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected," General Mills deputy general counsel Janice Marturano told the magazine. Marturano founded the program at the company. "That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us -- our colleagues, customers -- that's what the training of mindfulness is really about."

Google's mindfulness course, for one, is called "Search Inside Yourself," and it's already been taken by more than 1,000 employees at the company, the New York Times reported.

The creator of the course, Mirabai Bush, told the Chicago Tribune that while some people aren't convinced about the effects of mindfulness, it has been shown in research to decrease stress levels.

Google spokeswoman Katelin Todhunter-Gerberg told the Associated Press that she has used mindfulness to help her be less irritable and take things less to heart.

Even though mindfulness has Buddhist roots, the author of the Financial Times Magazine article said that most leaders of companies promoting mindfulness to their employees that he spoke to are not Buddhist.

And it's not just businesses that are utilizing the practice -- business schools are also teaching students about mindfulness, the Wall Street Journal reported, including Claremont Graduate University and Harvard Business School.

The Journal explains the draw:

While the idea of mindfulness originates in the serious practice of meditation, B-school faculty say it has many applications for executives who aren't looking for a spiritual fix but simply want to clear their heads and become aware of reflexive, emotional reactions that can lead to bad decisions.

So what's so great about mindfulness, anyway? Click through the slideshow for some amazing facts about meditation:

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7 Fascinating Facts About Meditation
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