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New Age Meditation Is Now A Multi-Billion Dollar Per Year Business

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September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
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Psalm 51:17
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« on: March 14, 2016, 09:25:07 pm »


New Age Meditation Is Now A Multi-Billion Dollar Per Year Business

This year 22% of employers will offer mindfulness meditation training—typically priced between $500 and $10,000 for large-group sessions—a percentage that could double in 2017, according to a forthcoming survey by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health. The non-profit Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a mindfulness training program incubated at Google, grew revenue more than 50% last year by offering two-day workshops (up to $35,000 for 50 people) to dozens of other Fortune 500 companies, including Ford and American Express.

New Age Meditation Has Become A Billion-Dollar Business

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 13:1-3 (KJV)

In 2015 the meditation and mindfulness industry raked in nearly $1 billion, according to research by IBISWorld, which breaks out the category from the alternative health care sector. But even that doesn’t count the revenue from the nearly 1000 mindfulness apps now available, according to Sensor Tower (top app Headspace recently raised $30 million and has been downloaded 6 million times), or the burgeoning category of wearable gadgets designed to help people Zen out (the popular Muse connected headband measures brain activity during meditation for $299).

This year 22% of employers will offer mindfulness training—typically priced between $500 and $10,000 for large-group sessions—a percentage that could double in 2017, according to a forthcoming survey by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health. The non-profit Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a mindfulness training program incubated at Google, grew revenue more than 50% last year by offering two-day workshops (up to $35,000 for 50 people) to dozens of other Fortune 500 companies, including Ford and American Express.

Despite its proliferation in the office, where mindfulness trainees are often taught to concentrate on improving their work performance, “meditation historically was not designed to help you achieve material goals,” says Elizabeth Sudler, who previously taught mindfulness at Goldman Sachs. The objective is usually more holistic. At the sleek, just-opened New York City meditation studio MNDFL, chief spiritual officer Lodro Rinzler notes, “We don’t do this to double our portfolio.”

But it couldn’t hurt—the unlimited annual MNDFL membership costs $2,200. source

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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 08:10:10 pm »

Christians and Transcendental Meditation

Recently, Katy Perry, Sting, and Jerry Seinfeld got together for a little shindig in Carnegie Hall. The point of the event? As the New York Times put it, “To raise money for the David Lynch Foundation, which the film director has devoted to spreading the word on [transcendental Meditation],” often abbreviated as T.M.

According to its official website, Transcendental Meditation is a technique–to be practiced twice daily–intended to “[allow] your mind to easily settle inward, through quieter levels of thought, until you experience the most silent and peaceful level of your own awareness — pure consciousness” (italics original). It has America has enjoyed glittery history of celebrity endorsements, including Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood, and Kate Middleton.

Not surprisingly, Christians can easily find themselves puzzled about where Transcendental Meditation stands with relation to their beliefs. Doesn’t the Bible encourage meditation (Psalm 1:2)? And isn’t peace a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)? May Christians–who themselves are often stressed by the hectic pace of life–draw on the benefits of these popular techniques for focus and relaxation?

The apparent popularity of T.M. calls for a fresh examination of this question. Does T. M. have a legitimate role in the life of a believer? Consider these helpful thoughts from Christian thinkers:

T. M. leads to self-worship

“Transcendental Meditation is in reality a form of pantheism. It does not teach the existence of one eternal, personal God, the Creator of the universe. It is part of the monist tradition in that it teaches belief in the essential oneness of all reality and therefore the possibility of unity with the divine. The practice of TM itself leads the mediator toward the idolatry of self-worship because of the identification of the self with the higher ‘Self’ of the creation. In short, TM promotes an experience involving the loss of one’s distinctive identity under the false pretense of a scientific technique

-R. Enroth, in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology

T. M. is a deceptive state of mind

The biblical worldview is completely at odds with the pantheistic concepts driving Eastern meditation. We are not one with an impersonal absolute being that is called “God.” Rather, we are estranged from the true personal God because of our “true moral guilt,” as Francis Schaeffer says.

No amount of chanting, breathing, visualizing, or physical contortions will melt away the sin that separates us from the Lord of the cosmos—however “peaceful” these practices may feel. Moreover, Paul warns that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). “Pleasant” experiences may be portals to peril. Even yoga teachers warn that yoga may open one up to spiritual and physical maladies.

The answer to our plight is not found in some “higher level of consciousness” (really a deceptive state of mind), but in placing our faith in the unmatched achievements of Jesus Christ on our behalf. If it were possible to find enlightenment within, God would not have sent “his one and only Son” (John 3:16) to die on the Cross for our sins in order to give us new life and hope for eternity through Christ’s resurrection. We cannot raise ourselves from the dead.

–Douglas Groothuis in Christianity Today

Christian meditation must focus on God’s revelation, not self.

Meditation in general is defined as a mental and spiritual exercise directed towards a specific subject. Naturally, for Christians, this means the direction of our minds and spirits towards God our Creator, Jesus Christ our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Comforter. It involves contemplation of the written word of God and all the richness which results from directing our minds and hearts for the purpose of spiritual refreshment.

George Smith, writing for the Christian Medical Fellowship publication, Nucleus

For Christians wondering whether Transcendental Meditation has a role in furthering their Christian values, the answer is certainly no. While the hectic pace of American life does reveal the need for a peaceful state of mind (maybe this is why T. M. seems to be increasingly popular), Christians understand that true peace will not be found in any self-focused meditation technique, but only in a relationship with God through Christ.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 08:58:56 pm »

For-profit meditation centers are the new yoga studios

Can money buy happiness? It's an age-old question that researchers recently have become eager to answer. A 2016 study by Case Western Reserve University found that making more money reduced negative emotions for people earning less than $80,000, but the benefits disappeared after the $200,000 threshold was reached. That may help explain why businessman Khajak Keledjian "felt an emptiness" when he sold a minority stake in his retail company, Intermix, to a private-equity firm in 2007, a transaction that's typically considered a victory.

"The world that I was in—this very driven New York world—didn't have a pause button," he said. "I needed something that gave me balance."

A close friend, Quest Partners founder Nigol Koulajian, urged him to look beyond the visible and the material. "At that time I actually didn't know what he meant by that," said Keledjian, raising his eyebrows in mock disbelief. And yet he was intrigued and restless enough to embark on a personal quest that led him to kundalini yoga, which incorporates challenging breathing techniques; vipassana, one of India's ancient forms of meditation; and Burning Man, a free-spirited art and music festival in Nevada. Keledjian, a 2008 Crain's 40 Under 40 honoree, sold Intermix to Gap for $130 million in 2012. He eventually started his own meditation company, Inscape.
A new spin on the yoga studio

Investors jumped at the chance to participate in his new venture, according to Keledjian. "There was hardly any selling," he said. "We just went through some key people."
article continues below advertisement

One of Inscape's high-profile backers is Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Capital, a professed believer in both mindfulness and the sector's growth potential. Research company IBISWorld estimated that meditation-related businesses raked in nearly $1 billion in 2015, which doesn't include revenue from the hundreds of mindfulness apps currently available.

And corporations have embraced the trend on behalf of their employees; it's been well-established that being plugged in 24/7 can wreak havoc on the mind and body. Google reportedly began teaching meditation to its employees, with more straight-laced companies such as McKinsey & Co. and BlackRock following suit.

$200,000 is the upper threshold at which more money does not markedly reduce negative emotions
Meditation-related businesses generated an estimated $1 billion nationwide in 2015

"This country has gotten wealthier, but if you look at people's happiness, it's down," said Keledjian. "Everyone's intellect is filled to capacity."

Inscape opened last November in the Flatiron District and is part of a small but rapidly growing group of meditation venues that operate like boutique fitness studios and look worthy of a decor magazine. Unlike traditional mindfulness centers, which often offer a limited schedule for group practice and are associated with one of various Buddhist schools of thought (which some people might consider too sectarian), Inscape's model is purposely secular and adapted to a fast-paced lifestyle, with short classes offered throughout the day.

Another difference is the explicitly for-profit business model: These are not the donation-based temples staffed by volunteers that were born out of the hippie generation.

"When people found out I was meditating, they started reaching out to me, constantly asking questions," Keledjian recalled. "There was clearly a demand, but nobody was offering a modern experience that was neutral and consistent."

(Other entrepreneurs were thinking along the same lines; more on that later.)

Partnering with Lew Frankfort, executive chairman and former CEO of Coach, Keledjian opened a 5,000-square-foot studio that offers audio-guided meditation sessions with breathing exercises, sound therapy, visualization and other relaxation techniques put together by mindfulness professionals. It's an approach to creating a brand that resembles Keledjian's mix-and-match ethos at Intermix, known for its curated collection of luxury clothing labels. There's also an app, which for a $12.99 monthly subscription or $89.99 yearly serves up versions of the on-site classes.

Inscape's spacious reception area, furnished with clean-line sofas and oversize bean-bag chairs in neutral colors, was designed to provide a sense of serenity. Two meditation rooms created by Dutch architect Winka Dubbeldam look like otherworldly cocoons featuring LEDs and round-edge cushions designed in collaboration with French furniture maker Ligne Roset. The recorded meditation sessions are narrated by a soothing female voice with an Australian accent, meant to help listeners visualize themselves in a faraway land.

Inscape launched with 27 weekly classes and now has about 60. A single session starts at $18, depending on duration, and unlimited memberships are $168 per month or $1,680 per year.

Entering the state of Zen

In New York, Inscape's main competition is MNDFL, which opened its first studio, in Greenwich Village, in 2015 and recently unveiled two other locations, in Williamsburg and on the Upper East Side. Founded by Ellie Burrows, a former film executive, and Lodro Rinzler, an experienced meditation teacher who now carries the title chief spiritual officer, MNDFL offers nonreligious, drop-in classes. The sessions are more traditional than Inscape's, meaning they're led by in-person instructors. In fact, the company's motto is "Real traditions. Real teachers. Real techniques."

Rinzler and Burrows 
say meditation centers 
could be as common 
and mainstream as coffee shops one day.

"The environment is secular, but the teachers are trained in various religious traditions," said Rinzler, who was raised Buddhist. "No one made this stuff up last week."

MNDFL's single classes start at $18 for 30 minutes, with monthly memberships set at $150. The company also offers hourlong private sessions for $150 each. The daily schedule has an ongoing roster of thematic meditations with names such as Emotions, Sleep and Breath, each one accommodating about 25 people.

Burrows and Rinzler, who started the company with seed money from friends and family, say that while they knew that meditation was becoming mainstream—"I had a hunch that meditation spaces would someday open like coffee shops," Rinzler said—they were blown away by the response they received.

In addition to its brick-and-mortar studios, each designed to evoke the feeling of Scandinavian coziness, the company created a video series geared toward on-the-go meditators and a corporate program that sends teachers to different offices throughout the city, a service that has undergone "unexpected growth," they said.

"At this time last year, our evening classes in the Village started selling out," said Burrows. "We now have about 1,000 people coming to that studio every week, and the new locations are steadily building."

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