By: Carol Lancaster

I have been organizing the Meditation and Relaxation group at QuintilesIMS’ Durham office since 2008. I find using meditation techniques has a big impact on managing my stress levels at work, with family, and even in bad traffic. I strongly believe it can be beneficial to others, and I am happy to be able to help others by offering this meeting. It is good to see people come in tense and snarly and leave 30 minutes later, smiling, more relaxed, and more focused.

The format of the meetings is simple: we listen to professional meditation teachers on CDs (since I am a far cry from a professional leader). We have a range of meditations, guided imageries, progressive muscle relaxations, and a boatload of quiet music. Each week, the people who attend that day choose the music we listen to. Logistics are relaxed, people can come in and leave whenever they need to, and we start a few minutes after the hour to give people a chance to get in comfortably. The artificial lights are turned off, but the windows shades are open all the way to let in the natural light. Some people sit in chairs, many will sit or lie on the floor. Folks are always welcome to bring blankets or yoga mats to lie on, but if they don’t have one, I have some beach towels available. For people who are not familiar with meditation, we have some handouts explaining the process, and I will discuss with them what they are looking for, so that I can find which offerings will meet their needs.

The official policies are that we meet Thursdays for one hour in a conference room. Everyone is welcome; there is no charge, and no need to register. Participants just show up as they are able.

Our goal is to give folks a chance to disconnect for a little while, and catch their breath before plunging back into work and life. The processes are simple and can be carried forward into other areas of life.


Carol is a statistical programmer at QuintilesIMS and can be reached at