Not many industries have as much chaos potential as the Restaurant industry. There is constant activity, conflicting personalities and customers that need to be served. Your mental, physical and spiritual health are directly impacted by how you deal with these factors on a daily basis. Two people who own busy, successful restaurants practice meditation and have more energy, stay calmer, and can handle the restaurant industry lifestyle with greater ease.

John Hurley owns Garibaldiâs and JohnFrank in San Francisco. He meditates five to six times a week using a Tibetan style he learned over 20 years ago. ãWhen my mother died I was searching for answers and a friend took me to the Nyngma Institute in Berkeley where I learned meditation from a Tibetan master. He taught me to shut my mind off by following my breath by meditating I achieve inner peace and calm.ä He said that he has a place inside of himself he can go any time and detach from the chaos around him.ä I can solve problems more easily, no matter what is going on externally:ä The more John practiced the easier it became for him. ãStress no longer runs me.ä he explains. ãThe restaurant business is about personalities, which means you have to get along with everyone. There are people who have issues in their personal life, with things like relationships, drugs, alcohol, or just trying to keep up- with everyone.ä Hurley told me that his meditation allows him to have a sense of stopping in the midst of chaos, and that he has a stronger sense of being in control now. ã I am only as good as the people I work with. I have learned more about love, compassion and gentleness from meditation and am better at bringing out the best in others.ä In describing his meditation, he said he sits quietly at home or in another peaceful place. He closes his eyes, defines his space as sacred and focuses on his breath, as he inhales and exhales. John Hurleyâs meditates for 15-45 minutes, but the benefits last throughout the day.

Tim Hogle is the owner of Tantra Restaurant and Lounge, one of the hottest restaurants in Miami. Hogle who has been practiced meditation for over 25 years, created his restaurant based on the ancient Indian philosophy of spiritual realization through heightening the five senses. He developed an aphrodisiac menu, and built an ambience that includes a soothing indoor firewall, and vanilla-scented candles. Besides owning Tantra he is also a well-known dentist. “With everything I am involved in meditating helps me draw the line for myself or my work would consume me. I started meditating when I was leaving dental school to deal with the stress. Actually, it was through one of my patients that I began meditating. It has helped me in all aspects of the restaurant business as well as the rest of my life. My meditation has helped heighten all of my senses and given me a better sense of my self. I wanted my restaurant to reflect how I felt, with healthy food, and an environment where people (especially women) would be comfortable.”

Tim starts the day meditating for 45 minutes and again before he goes to sleep. ãMeditation helps me stay focussed so I get a lot more done. My mind is not crowded. I do one task at a time and then go on to the next,ä he said. ãIf I thought of everything I had to do at once, my mind would freeze. I am able to be more productive and stay detached in a healthy way from all the stress around me.ä

More and more ãexpertsä in the health field are suggesting meditation for clients and patients to deal with conditions such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, backaches and stomach problems.

Here are some ways to help you begin meditation

Find a comfortable place where you will not be interrupted. Loosen any tight clothing. Take the phone off the hook, and if possible tell people you do no not want to be disturbed. You can put on some relaxing music if you would like.

Either sit or lay down, whichever is more comfortable.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Inhale and exhale very slowly. Become aware of your breathing.

Let your breath go down through your chest and into your abdomen.

Feel your abdomen rise and fall as you inhale and exhale.

As you breathe out, say the word ãoneä silently to yourself. Keep on repeating this pattern…. breathe in slowly and out slowly, “one”. Continue for a least five minutes. As you get more experienced, you can practice for longer periods of time. Try to progress to ten to twenty minutes a day.

When you first begin to practice this exercise, it may be difficult to stay focused. If your thoughts wander, that is okay. Just bring yourself back to your breath and the word ãoneä.

The more you practice, the easier it gets and the more relaxed you get.