Is Wall Street ready to embrace spirituality?
Its new neighbor thinks so. The Center for Leadership Performance moved into the historic American Bank Note Building, one block from the New York Stock Exchange, to teach the Masters of the Universe the power of transcendental meditation techniques.
“People working under enormous stress don’t want to self-medicate through drugs and alcohol,” said Robert Roth, executive director of the center.
About 100 people attended two seminars there on Friday — a sort of meet-the-neighbors open house.
The center promotes the benefits of meditating for 20 minutes, twice a day, including increased creativity, lessened stress, enhanced ability to focus and reduced blood pressure.
The meditation is also said to help a person achieve their professional potential.
“It’s not just a relaxation technique,” said Roth.
Ray Dalio, who heads Bridgewater Associates, is among the financial firm bigwigs who have embraced transcendental meditation. He spoke about how it increased his employees’ clear thinking.
He believes in it so much he pays half of the costs for his employees, and then pays the other half if they stick with it longer than six months. Training costs begin at $750.
“The proof is in the pudding,” Dalio said of the performance-enhancing techniques.
Attendees at the seminar seemed ready for a spiritual awakening.
“I really want to learn meditation, but I don’t know how,” said Desiré Carroll, a manager at Deloitte who plans to take lessons.
Cory Miller, a trader, came to the seminar after a client recommended it as a stress reliever.
“Everyone doing it, they have a glow and they seem happy,” said Miller, 22.