Guide to a Happier, Saner Law Practice Using Meditation and Mindfulness
One of the primary responsibilities for most lawyers is to control the outcome of his or her cases. Not only must we strive to affect, mold and predict the future, we also need to be on guard for anything that may come up to impede our desired outcome. It’s no wonder that so many lawyers suffer from anxiety, stress, depression and substance abuse.
Anxiety – where the trouble begins – is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” One of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety is mindfulness and meditation.
Karen Gifford and Jeena Cho are currently writing The Anxious Lawyer (ABA). Readers will be guided through an eight-week program which will enable them to establish an ongoing meditation practice. This guided program will make learning practical and accessible to lawyers. This simple and straightforward introduction to meditation and mindfulness for lawyers is scheduled to be published in mid 2015.
In addition the the book, we offer courses. The next eight-week The Anxious Lawyer course will start on January 28, 2015. Please join our mailing list for more details as it becomes available.
During the eight weeks, you will:
• Gain an overview of the history of meditation and the scientific evidence of its benefits
• Learn several simple meditation techniques
• Receive concrete guidance for establishing a meditation practice
• Gain tools for reducing “knee jerk reactions,” decrease stress/anxiety, and increase resilience
• Practice specific exercises designed to provide practical experience in bringing the insights of meditation to meeting the challenges of daily life – and particularly of legal practice
• Cultivate the ability to be in the moment, reduce stress and enjoy life!
Why Mindfulness Meditation for Lawyers?
A lawyer’s mind is arguably his or her most used and valued instrument, yet, we rarely think about maintaining a healthy, happy mind. Mindfulness meditation trains the mind just like exercise trains the body.
On the one hand, the pressures of legal practice have never been higher. As lawyers, we are constant witnesses to human suffering. Clients come to us with complicated problems that the legal process may be ill-suited to address. The economic pressures on legal practitioners are greater than ever. We are expected to win at all costs. We constantly push ourselves harder, to work more, to bill that extra 0.1 hour. It’s no wonder that lawyers have one of the highest rates of substance abuse and depression of any profession.
While they are beleaguered, lawyers have few tools to deal with the strains of their profession. Interest in meditation has skyrocketed in recent years, successfully engaging the business community, but the advantages and benefits of meditation have not yet been widely recognized by the legal profession. This is ironic because a lawyer’s mind is arguably his or her most used and valued instrument.
As a group, lawyers may be reluctant to attempt meditation. Often presented in a way that feels artificial and inaccessible, it seems antithetical to a culture that places great value on logic and reason. However, meditation and mindfulness are simply tools for training the mind. In fact, “mindfulness” means “paying attention.”
This eight-week training workshop will appeal to lawyers because it is premised on the clear and scientific principle that the brain, like the body, can be trained and optimized to perform better.
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