Mindfulness at Work (Sessions for Organizations and Start-Ups)
Why practice mindfulness at work?
A steady practice of mindfulness may help you:
- Find a calm and open presence in the fast and always-changing world of work.
- To not identify with the speed, chaos and losses - it’s not personal.
- To respond wisely to our stress and fears; to build resilience.
- To tap into the intelligence of your mind-heart-body rather than always living neck up.
- To recognize the habitual patterns and stories of the mind, and not get caught up in them.
- To notice your thoughts, emotions, and needs, and to learn how to meet them.
- To attune to the needs of your customers & colleagues via mindful listening and mindful talking.
- Build your team by gaining a common language and a shared perspective in the face of difficulties.
- Reconnect with your caring heart: what you like about your work, your customers, your partners and your teams.
- Cultivate joy at work, where we spend 33% of our awake hours for a work-life of ~50 years.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being aware of what is here and now in a kind, non-judgmental way, rather than being somewhere else like we often are - in the future, in the past, in our to-do list, in our pain or in our stories. Like any sports or music practice, mindfulness is a skill we can learn. It strengthens over time as we keep practicing.
Hundreds of studies show mindfulness
- decreases symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, pain;
- improves sleep, focus, memory;
- decreases illness-related distress;
- decreases the use of abusive substances;
- slows down cellular aging.
All the brilliant health impacts aside, mindfulness
- opens us up to the beauty of life despite its pains,
- makes us more present, resilient, and joyful,
- helps us to get to know ourselves,
- transforms our relationships at work, at home, and in the world.
About the teacher
Hi, I'm Zeynep! I've been practicing mindfulness for the past 12 years and teaching it for the past 4 years to individuals and organizations in person and online. I am a trainee of world-renowned teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, and I completed my 2-year certification program in February 2021. Since then, I'm in trainings with old and new teachers such as Oren Jay Sofer and Alison Cohen. I most recently have been teaching morning meditation sessions 5 days a week at the European Court of Auditors (and EU organization) and weekly meditation sessions at Visage.jobs.
In addition to teaching mindfulness, I've been building tech products and teams at tech start-ups for the past 11 years. I know the speed, stress and burn out of work very intimately. At work, mindfulness has been the most helpful wellness practice for me. It has decreased my stress, increased my resilience and focus, deepened my awareness and compassion for myself and others, and helped me reconnect to what I find joyful about working.
Being born and raised in Istanbul, and having lived in St. Louis, US for 4 years and in France for 6 years, I consider myself a blend of Turkish, American, and French cultures. I speak Turkish, English, and (an improving) French. My gender pronouns are she/her/hers. I care deeply about multiculturalism and I make it a big part of all my classes and communities.
My teaching approach is:
- Focusing on real-world applications of mindfulness,
- Focusing on direct experience of concepts,
- Sharing and learning from others in small groups,
- Moving from scientific evidence,
- Bringing teachings to life with literature and stories,
- Making wellness accessible to all by asking groups and students to pay what they can afford to pay,
- Creating safe learning environments with mindful & multicultural communication guidelines.
For more information, you might want to read:
Different Formats To Meet Your Needs
All online sessions can be held on your video conference application (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, etc.) or my private Zoom account.
Daily Meditation Sessions: Check in, learn a new concept, meditate together, and optional sharing or Q&A. Duration of your choice: 15 - 20 - 30 minutes.
Weekly Meditation Sessions: Check in, learn a new concept, meditate together, and optional sharing or Q&A. Duration of your choice: 30 - 45 - 60 minutes.
Workshops: Introduce what mindfulness is and spike interest; cover a specific topic based on the organization's needs (examples: mindfulness of emotions, mindful communication, finding inner strength…). Duration of your choice: one hour, 2 hours, half a day, daylong.
7-Week Introduction Course: Classes once a week for 2 hours for a structured introduction to the most fundamental concepts & practices of mindfulness. Focus on setting up a steady home practice.
1:1 Coaching: Private mindfulness coaching sessions that move at your speed, focusing on the areas you personally want to develop such as mindful leadership or mindful communication, coaching you to work through your present-life challenges.
Examples of What You Will Learn
What is mindfulness?
What is compassion?
Staying in the present moment
Mindfulness of the body
Mindfulness of emotions
Mindfulness of thoughts
Responding wisely to body pain
Stress & trauma-sensitive mindfulness
Responding wisely to work stress
Resourcing for inner strength
Relaxing with the breath
Getting To Know Yourself
Mindfulness of needs
Discovering your deepest intentions
Calling on your wiser future self
Island of self
Managing challenging work relationships
Fierce self-compassion (Protecting, providing, motivating)
The Power of Kindness
Lovingkindness for yourself and others
Compassion for yourself and others
Affectionate Body Scan
Facing Difficulties with RAIN
Mindfulness of beliefs
Responding wisely to your fears
Being awake and relaxed
Cultivating Calm & Rest
Mind like sky
Grounding like a tree
Making positive states more sticky
Forgiveness of self and others
Setting Up A Home Practice
Meditating longer with less guidance
Integrating mindfulness into your life
Who Can Join?
- I teach in a multicultural and non-sectarian way and my sessions are open to everyone from all walks of life and all identities of ethnicity, color, national origin/ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, military/veteran status, or marital status.
- Multicultural & Mindful Dialogue Guidelines are taught and reminded at every meeting.
- No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required. If you do have some experience, this is great, and the sessions will still give you a shared learning, connection, and a solid structure in which you can deepen your practice.
- Sessions can be taught in English or Turkish.
What You Will Get
No matter what format you choose for your organization, I will support the learning of your organization with
Discovery and planning
- Assessment surveys to discover where your participants need support at work and in life
- A monthly or quarterly planning of session topics
- Regular feedback surveys to learn how sessions are going, to see what serves and what doesn't, and to keep adapting
- Weekly invitation messages you or I can send to your work community
Supporting all learning styles
- Audio recordings of meditations taught in class to use at home
- Handouts with key concepts
- Additional learning materials (articles, podcasts, videos, book excerpts)
- Informal practices to bring mindfulness into daily work life
- (Only if you wish to record the sessions) session recordings to watch later
Constant teacher support
- Chat or email group to keep in touch with students between classes
- Email or call support by the teacher
To ensure that everyone can find more wellness regardless of their financial situation, you can pay for your sessions in proportion to your ability:
- Sliding scale: We can discuss your needs and stay in your budget.
- Flexible payment: Payments can be made per session, per month, or for longer time frames such as a quarter or year.
Average NPS score of my session participants: 100
When asked "How likely are you to recommend Zeynep's meditation sessions to a friend or colleague?", participants have given an average score of "10- Extremely likely."
Our morning meditation sessions helps me to practice a bit of meditation which I am not able to practice alone. Zeynep has a warm and caring voice, she prepares sessions well and adapts to our community. I feel that mindfulness is slowly diffusing into my life. I really appreciate our daily practice. André (European Court of Auditors)
The timing of our morning sessions is perfect and I like the fact that the group is stable and we managed to create a small community. I like very much the introductory parts, when you explain to us the studies and research that are behind the various types of meditation. I adore the way you guide us, with a smile and calmness that soothes the heart! I totally trust you and I am open to learn what you decide to share with us. Raffaella (European Court of Auditors)
I treasure the opportunity to connect with myself consistently every morning within the safety of our small community. Your guidance is always so clear, informative, poignant and gentle. I wish the sessions could be even longer! A participant (European Court of Auditors)
What I like most is the initial explanations that arouse awareness of internal emotions and what surrounds us. I also like the second part: meditation and visualization. Your voice, your calm, your length are very helpful. We are in the process to open the sessions to our family members! Ornella (European Court of Auditors)
The morning sessions allow to start the working day on the right foot, with stress under control. The daily pills of background/theory and the different variants of meditations practiced are helpful. I like that it's personal, and that you keep guiding with your voice ("now feel X..") cause otherwise I go back to my ruminations. Thanks A LOT for this quality training. Jesús NM (European Court of Auditors)
What I most appreciate are the guidance you provide during the meditation session, the feeling of deep empathy you convey, and the kindness of the participants. I really appreciate the thoughful introduction to each practice, the written interaction between the participants at the beginning and at the end of each session, and the reading suggestions. I really like starting the working day with the guided mindfulness practice. It contributes to put things in perspective, to try to focus on what really matters, to cultivate gratitude. A participant (European Court of Auditors)
The morning meditation sessions oblige me to give time to myself. Your voice helps to keep concentrated: your guidance is not too present, not to absent. A participant (European Court of Auditors)
Our morning sessions are a moment for me for relaxing. You share peacefulness. Donatelle (European Court of Auditors)
I find the structure of the session really helpful; I was introduced to new topics and with Zeynep's guidance, I was able to switch my thoughts to positivity and calm ones. Zeynep's teaching style is really relaxing and comforting. Georgia (Visage.jobs)
What I valued and enjoyed the most: 1) The content: I learned a lot about how humans think and have emotion. 2) The length: it was short and still was valuable. 3) The effect: it had an positive effect on my wellbeing. Thank you for introducing me to the practice. Mattias (Visage.jobs)
It always had an impact in my mood and productivity. You have no idea how many times the medidation sessions were so fitting for what I was going through that day. You are calm and your voice is light in a way that I could relax and feel what you would say in my deep emotions. - Leticia Martins (Visage.jobs)
Our weekly sessions were very good for mental health. Your calmness and focus on self-compassion were very helpful. - Karina (Visage.jobs)
Here's Sandra, a student of my Introduction to Mindfulness course from 2019:
Can I drop in and out of sessions?
Yes, absolutely. Sessions build on top of each other, which is why I strongly encourage you to not miss any sessions if possible. I also know that you are juggling many other priorities. It's okay if you have to miss some sessions – I teach in a way that allows dropping in and out.
Can I join the sessions without video?
There might be many reasons why you'd like to keep video off, such as WiFi limitations or personal comfort. For the group to see each other and feel each other's presence, I will encourage all participants to turn their video on at least for 1-2 minutes at the beginning and end of the sessions. For all other portions where I'm teaching or we are meditating, you can turn your video off.
What happens if I have to miss a session?
If your organization / work community is happy to record the sessions, I'd be happy to record and share the recordings after sessions. If not, you can read the handouts and do the audio-guided practices at home. I will also work with you 1:1 to answer your questions.
I have been meditating by myself for a while (with an application, videos, and books). Are these sessions suitable for my level?
If you have some familiarity with the most basic concepts of mindfulness or you have developed your practice to a certain extent, this is great! You can expect these sessions to still give you many concepts and practices you haven’t seen before, help you meditate longer, and diffuse mindfulness into your everyday life. Building community with other practitioners is a wonderful experience that deepens the practice. Co-learning with peers gives you inspiration, strength, and support.
Why is there a sliding scale?
Wellness practices are often not financially accessible. When we go through difficult times (losing a job, health problems, refugee status) or when we have less disposable income (student, low-income status), wellness becomes even less accessible even though we may be needing it more. This becomes a vicious cycle. Strongly believing in equity, I try to make my sessions accessible to everyone, by offering financial support to those in need. The sliding scale means participants can pay for this course the highest amount they can afford to pay, based on their specific situation and needs. I apply this for organizations as well as individuals.
How can I use the sliding scale?
Please indicate your financial situation and need for support when we talk. I kindly ask that you consider the full amount you can pay (as opposed to the amount you want to pay). By paying the highest amount you can pay, you are honoring and sustaining the costs and efforts of preparing these sessions and you are helping others be there.
Can I use the sliding scale even though I can afford to pay the full price?
The sessions are already fairly priced based on the costs and efforts that go into it, as well as the price of similar wellness practices. If you are not in a financial difficulty, I ask that you pay the full amount. By paying the full amount, you are helping others be there, and you are helping me continue teaching mindfulness. Thank you so much for this.
Feel free to contact me about any questions and hesitations. Thank you for your interest and hoping to meet you soon!