People, Technology, Change

CBT, flow and the Dalai Lama

What do cognitive therapy and Buddhism have in common? Aaron Beck, founder of cognitive therapy in the 60s discusses this in the clip below, but let’s ask another question – where is your intersection of meaning, pleasure and strengths in life? As I started to write this I had my son sleeping in my arms so whilst fatherhood is still an early learning experience for me, examples of pleasure and meaning are not difficult to find. But how do you relate this to work? Our take on it was a workshop on positive psychology, with an initial meditation session led by a Buddhist minister, followed by an exploration of Tal Ben-Shahar’s happiness model, looking for these intersections between meaning, pleasure and strengths/skills.

So how many people get to spend a day exploring the links between body and mind, and the effect of positive emotions and actions within the workplace? Our day led to some interesting discussions. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow model was of particular interest to the group, where they identified examples of activities both inside and outside of work where they had experienced a sense of flow, and what exactly did this tell them about the way they work and what they do at work? Some interesting questions that arose included how teams can experience flow, the significance of the physical aspect of many flow experiences, and links between flow and mindfulness.

Here as a TED talk is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discussing Flow, the secret to happiness:

Resilience was another topic of interest, exploring strategies used to overcome challenges, and the strengths and resources drawn on to enables this. Toffler’s stability zones were introduced – the concept of maintaining core points of stability in our lives to help us through challenges. Stability zones can include people, places, beliefs, organisations or habits and rituals. A question that arises for me is what happens when when of these is directly challenged, damaged or lost? Are we then more vulnerable and less resilient? I think resilience is a topic we will come back to…. but I leave you for now with the promised clip from Aaron Beck and the Dalai Lama, with the full video available at


This entry was posted on April 3, 2013 by in conflict, creativity, culture, positive psychology, teams, well being.
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