Opening minds by closing eyes, or, the Meditating MBAs

A couple weeks ago I had the good fortune to spend the day out in beautiful Claremont, California, where I got to see a rock star professor in action, opening the minds of his pupils by closing their eyes.  Jeremy Hunter is frequently chosen as the most popular professor at the Drucker School of Management, and after sitting through two of his classes, I could see why.  He’s not only charming and engaging, he not only shares his personal story–about the kidney disease that lead to his need for a transplant–but he’s telling people something they clearly are relieved, and perhaps eager, to hear: Slow down.

Now, it may seem counterintuitive that a bunch of people with an eye on the world of hard-core capitalism would want to take a class–given the price of tuition, too–where they’re taught the inherent values of silence. Where they’re given scientific evidence of the importance of life-work balance. Where they basically have to learn to sit still and be silent as a major part of their homework!  But the daytime class was packed, and the executive MBA class wasn’t shabbily sized, either, and in neither could you hear a pin drop–as Hunter explained how his medical issues led him to become immersed in meditation techniques, and how he’s not naturally wired to sit still himself, how people who seem to have it all frequently confess how miserable they are being on the treadmill of earn/consume/earn/consume.