In Episode 82 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon speaks with Rich Fernandez, Ph.D.
Rich Fernandez is the CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute and co-founded Wisdom Labs, an organization that brings the science of mindfulness, resilience and thriving into organizations. In this episode, Sharon and Rich speak about how Rich came to the practice of mindfulness, and how that evolved into his professional work bringing the practices of compassion, leadership, resilience and mindfulness into the larger systems of organizations. Learn more about Rich’s work at the SIYLI here: siyli.org and about the Wisdom labs here: wisdomlabs.com
Coming to Sit (Opening) – Rich shares his personal introduction to contemplative practice and what inspired him to focus his efforts on studying and sharing the benefits of these practices with others. He speaks with Sharon about the early attempts at integrating mindfulness into the business world along with George Mumford, a fellow teacher and friend of the show, and talks about his work bringing contemplative practices to Google.
“This experience of wellness, of spontaneous joy, in many ways is the default state – our natural state; all of the qualities of mind, the aggregates, the ideas and circumstances that we move through every day kind of conspire to make us forget that. We fall asleep to this experience of wellness at the deepest level. In the world of work, specifically in the world of buisness, it is very much the case that we are pulled away from that.” – Rich Fernandez
Listen to Sharon’s conversation with George Mumford about why we practice on Ep. 71 of the Metta Hour Podcast
The Value of Wellbeing (13:30) – We are coming to understand more and more the immense value of our wellbeing, and yet there is still a strong resistance in many cultures towards focusing on self-care. Rich and Sharon discuss the need to change our values towards wellbeing and self-care in the world of commerce. They reflect on the seeds of awareness sown by the earnest integration of mindfulness and business.
“Who is showing up to work? The whole person is showing up; they do not check their values, sense of purpose or wellbeing at the door when they log in. I think it is important to consider that happiness.” – Rich Fernandez
Searching Inside Yourself (26:55) – Sharon speaks with Rich about the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), a non-profit organization Rich established to share the internal training programs based on mindfulness empathy and compassion that he developed at Google with the rest of the business world.
Cultivating Resilience (34:50) – One of the key skills that Rich teaches is resilience in the face of the daily challenges presented in the workplace. He and Sharon talk about how contemplative practice allows us to better deal with these difficult situations and they discuss the data Rich has collected on the effectiveness of his workplace training programs.