The Effect of Vipassana on the Work
To study the effect of Vipassana on the work environment, we interviewed people
who had attended a ten-day Vipassana course. A questionnaire was given to them. Their
colleagues were also interviewed to find out their views about the results of Vipassana.
In general, everyone experienced a positive change in the behaviour of Vipassana
students and a consequent improvement in the work environment. There was a new dimension
of trust, commitment and cooperation with others, and a remarkable rise in goodwill. There
was a decrease in hatred or strong dislike towards others, short-temperedness, mental
fatigue, jealousy, negative feelings towards others, and confrontation because of
jealousy, ego, guilt-feelings, etc.
Now let us look at the interviews of Vipassana students in detail:
Mr. Balle, Manager (R&D) has been practising Vipassana for the last ten years. He
said that his anger and short-temperedness have greatly lessened and he has cooled down
considerably. He thinks twice or before answering now, and does not give harsh replies to
either seniors or juniors. His subordinates feel free to approach him and the atmosphere
has become cordial both in the office and at home.
His trust in people has increased. He feels comfortable with all types of people. For
example, while others were having difficulty in dealing with one person in the factory,
Mr. Balle was comfortable with him and in due course they became friends. Because Mr.
Balle benefited from Vipassana, he recommended it to his friend, who was clever but
short-tempered. After the friend attended a Vipassana course his shorttemperedness was
reduced remarkably-even his family members were surprised. Later his friend sent another
two or three doctor friends for a Vipassana course.
As Mr. Balle has become less angry and more trusting of his subordinates, the
commitment of his subordinates to work has increased. During work on a project, normally a
direction of work is selected and work is started accordingly. Previously, projects used
to reach a lot of ends, with new lines of action being chosen and work re-started. A lot
of fline was wasted. Now after learning Vipassana, Mr. Balle chooses the direction of work
in consultation with his colleagues so that the risk of selecting a wrong direction is
reduced and time is saved. The result is a direct increase in productivity, i.e., more
output in less time.
All Vipassana students and their colleagues agree that there has been a positive
improvement in the atmosphere of the workplace. Different reasons have been mentioned by
them. For example, Mr. Kulkarni (Executive) says that previously he had very high
expectations of results from his subordinates. If these expectations were not fulfilled
then it gave rise to anger and tension. Now after he has learrit Vipassana, he looks at
the 65 mistakes of subordinates objectively and gives guidance to them to correct those
mistakes. His concentration and peace of mind have increased and tension has lessened,
which has resulted in more work output each day.
Colleagues of a Vipassana student have reported that after a Vipassana course, he is
more co-operative at work and less aggressive. Now, before replying to them, he thinks
first and then takes action or not, as appropriate. They say that are now more comfortable
Mr. B. Sitharam (GM) attended his second ten-day course in January 1993. After his
first course he stopped using tobacco, paan and alcohol. He practises Vipassana every day
for one hour. His wife attended a ten-day course in November 1993.
Mr. N.P. Joshi (Assistant Manager) feels that after learning Vipassana he has become
more polite and more considerate towards others. His wife attended a course in January
1994. Her outlook towards life has changed. Now his nine-year-old son is also planning to
attend a course in May 1994.
Mr. P.J. Shah (Purchase Officer) practises Vipassana daily for one hour. He says that
even if his mind is upset, it becomes fresh and sharp after meditating. His
shorttemperedness has been reduced. His working efficiency and decision making power have
improved and he feels more confident.
Mr. Pathak, a Stores Officer, has practised Vipassana since July 1992. Before that, he
used to sleep during lunchtime; now it is not required since his mind is more fresh. He
works more quickly and therefore completes most of his work before the end of the day. As
a result he can give attention to other areas, like housekeeping. His subordinates report
that Mr. Pathak has cooled down, and is less angry and tense. His colleague, the Purchase
Officer, focussed on the term, "reliability". He said that the answers given by
Mr. Pathak are more reliable. This shows that his work is more efficient and accurate.
A general observation of all employees is that those who are practising Vipassana are
clearing paperwork daily, with less pending work, showing that they have better
concentration and work faster. They have given up the habit of cigarette and tobacco
Increased trust and co-operativeness have strengthened the attitude of teamwork which
is essential for the success of the organization. If we widen this concept of co-operation
with people and team spirit, we can see that it will also greatly benefit the society at
In a nutshell, we can conclude confidently that Vipassana has a very positive effect on
productivity and the work environment.