Contemplating the importance of work

An Asheville business will open its doors to the community on March 30 for a week of meditation, community lunches and discussions about finding meaning in work.

The WriteMind Institute for Corporate Contemplation, which offers leadership workshops and retreats for businesses, is hosting the event, titled “40 Hours of Intention: A New Beginning for Our Work.” Jonathan Flaum, director of WriteMind, says the activities are aimed at helping people see work as a refuge.

“Work is a place for us to create existential meaning and live out our values,” Flaum says in a written news release. “This week at the WriteMind Institute is about delving into that meaning and purpose and together.”

Last December, WriteMind was acquired by High Point insurance group, and Flaum moved his business to 84 N. Lexington Ave. The new location offers the business the ability to continue its work with big clients and connect with the local community through regular workshops and gatherings, according to Flaum, the author of three books about leadership skills.

Here’s the schedule of daily events, which are open to the public:

8:15 a.m. – meditation instruction
8:30 a.m. – sitting meditation
8:50 a.m. – walking meditation
9 a.m. – sitting meditation
9:20 a.m. – walking meditation
9:30 a.m. – sitting meditation
9:50 a.m. – walking meditation
10 a.m. – unplugged work
11:45 a.m. – lunch discussion begins
12:15 p.m. – lunch served
1 p.m. – lunch discussion ends
2 p.m – urban hike
3 p.m. – sitting meditation
3:30 p.m. – unplugged work
4:45 p.m. sitting meditation
5 p.m. – closing talk/discussion

Here’s the schedule for the lunch discussions. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance:

Monday, March 30 – What does it look like to be a part of a community of meaning?
March 31 – What is authenticity in speech and action at work?
April 1 – What does it mean to be committed to your own personal evolution as an act of service to others?
April 2 – What does it mean to respect the human experience in a profit-based business?
April 3 – What does it mean for work to be a refuge?

Go to for more information.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor


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4 thoughts on “Contemplating the importance of work

  1. Trey

    So this guys “work”, is to find meaning in “work”???

    What a load of tripe.

    “Work” is NOT a place to create existential meaning and live out your values.

    Your LIFE is a place to create existential meaning and live out your values… your “work” is what you do buy stuff…. just as shallow as it sounds.

    I’m going to go puke now at the thought of this farce of a “workshop”.

  2. John

    Do your best job at work and feel good about it. That offers a great deal of satisfaction. Why do things have to be so complicated? Searching for all of this ‘meaning in life’ all the time seems a distraction. Sure, some things have/need deep meaning, but most of life is filled with working hard so you can get by. Just like every other species on the planet.

  3. Leigh

    I had the privilege of attending a retreat that Jonathan facilitated several years ago. The organization I worked for was in very serious trouble. What we learned was that our dysfunction had much less to do with external factors (which is what we wanted to believe) and was largely due to fractured relationships and the reality that we as individuals had a poor sense of the value of our work. Most working people rely on the validation of others (co-workers, supervisors, bosses) to make them have sense of worth with regard to their “work”. It’s a crappy model. Work should be nobling. It fact, it is. We just need a little help sometimes to remember and practice that notion.

    Go get ’em, Jon!

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