Meditate on This

Lawyers in Boston wishing to take a de-stressing and refreshing breather in the middle of their hectic workweeks can now do so every Wednesday mid-day (call to confirm current start time). Launched in April 2008 by John Monterisi, Esq. and LCL clinician Nancy Brown, LICSW, the weekly lunch hour gathering is producing noticeable results for participants. John Monterisi, a 40-something sole practitioner in Brookline and long-term meditator, states “I am calmer, more organized, more energetic, more creative, a better listener, and I enjoy my practice in a way I never did before.” He explains, “There’s no magic to this; anybody can do it.” Another participant has noticed a change in the way he thinks and responds in his practice that has contributed to favorable case outcomes.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, taking time out of a tight schedule to do nothing but relax in absolute stillness is, in fact, a proven technique that improves concentration, decision making, calmness, confidence and overall effectiveness. It is a very valuable resource that eases one’s efforts to manage time, work, emotions, and behavior, and reduces susceptibility to the misery of feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Perhaps for that very reason, it also strengthens the immune system, and is increasingly recognized as an effective means to combat depression and anxiety.

The mindset into which lawyers are trained, however, contributes to a pre-judgment of Mindfulness Meditation as soft, irrelevant, even counterproductive to work that requires a quick, sharp, logical, competitive mind. If this were true, it would not be a practice that is increasingly utilized in business, sports, industry, the military, education, even law firms and groups of lawyers who have all discovered and are making use of its benefits. One need only Google ‘lawyers and meditation” to see how widespread the practice of meditation has become.

It helps to “schedule in” time for meditation so it becomes a habit, and many find that what works best for them is to meet with others for a group meditation. Many report that they find it easier and more enjoyable to meditate with a group, and for this and the many benefits noted earlier, LCL is eager to get the word out to all lawyers, whether firm or solo, corporate or government, employed or unemployed, new or seasoned, transitioning in or out, that whatever the circumstance, you are invited to participate with your peers in this hour of relaxation and meditation. No fee, no registration. Just show up. You’ll be glad you did.

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