A study released by the Kyoto Convention Bureau found that at least 10 minutes of meditation before a meeting can significantly improve event efficiency, boosting retention of taught information by an average of 12.5 percent overall, and by up to 117 percent for a single learning task.
According to Rev. Matsuyama, a Zen Buddhist priest who assisted the Kyoto Convention Bureau with its research. "People who come to attend seminars and meetings are often under pressure and tired either because of long journeys or work-based stress. If they are to take on-board new information, they must first make room for it. Simple meditation exercises can make all the difference. Enter the meeting in a calm state of mind; take a few deep breaths. The difference is profound and it can also have a brilliant effect in bringing out a lot of positive energy in you."
Memory, language, comprehension and listening exercises were performed by a group of 20 on two occasions, separated by 12 days. A task-completion improvement of 12.5 percent was found with delegates when they performed a 10-minute meditation exercise in advance of the session, versus the session preceded by no such preparation.
James Kent of the Kyoto Convention Bureau believes it’s likely that future meetings and events will include some form of meditation. “The findings of the survey are simply astonishing," Kent said. "Japan has traditionally been known for meditation, and we are very happy to have some of the finest schools of meditation and teachers here."
According to Kent, the Kyoto Convention Bureau is starting a pro-meditation campaign based on its findings. " Despite the challenges Japan is facing, we are so convinced by the research that we are starting a campaign to persuade organizers around the world to take up the use of meditation. Above all, these simple five- to 10-minute meditation exercises are not meant to take time away from people's work — but to help them be more successful at their jobs."