Until the very end of his life, Steve Jobs was an innovator. At the tech leader and Zen Buddhism practitioner’s funeral in October 2011, friends and family received a meaningful parting gift: A wooden box containing a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda’s spiritual memoir, a story of awakening and self-realization.

“That was the message: Actualize yourself,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who attended the funeral, said recently at the 2013 TechCrunch Disrupt SF conference.

“If you look back at the history of Steve and that early trip to India … He had this incredible realization that his intuition was his greatest gift,” Benioff said. “He needed to look at world from inside out … His message was to look inside yourself and realize yourself.”

More and more business leaders in the tech world and beyond are following Jobs’ lead, tapping into their intuition through meditation, a practice that’s been linked to lower stress levels and boosts in cognitive functioning, creativity, productivity and even empathy.

Here are eight business leaders who say practicing meditation has improved their work and their lives — and sometimes led to game-changing innovation: Marc Benioff, Mark Bertolini, Jeff Weiner, Rick Rubin and many more.


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