What Do You Call the World?

In this issue:

There is a story from the Zen tradition that goes like this:

One teacher asks another, “Where do you come from?” (Sometimes a trick question.)

The second replies, “From the south.” (Ah, a safe answer.)

The first asks, “How is Zen practice in the South these days?”

The second responds, “There is lots of discussion.”

The first states, “How can all the discussion compare to planting the fields and cooking rice?

The second asks, “What are you doing about the world?”

The first replies, “What do you call the world?”

Many of us are committed to taking care of the world. We work hard to take care of our financial world, our family world, the world of sickness or poverty, our internet/phone/electronic worlds, the world of our friends, our communities, the world of our body, and sometimes our spiritual worlds.

Each person we meet is like their own world. Each experience we have can be its own world. Every organization is its own world. Sometimes each moment can seem like its own world; when we slow down enough to notice.

The question that this dialogue raises is – What really matters? In what way is our activity helping, or not? What about the world of being, the world of just doing the simple, mundane things; things like planting the fields and cooking rice; things like meditation and other less goal-oriented activities; things like taking care of our children, or tending to our lives and the lives of others. What about taking care of these?

What are you doing about the world? What do you call the world?

With best regards,

Photograph: The world of Tassajara, Spring 2010
Visit www.zbaassociates.com.

Leading By Influence: A Seminar For Leaders and Managers

Influence is much more effective than authority in building a vibrant, well-run organization.

As a leader, everything we do and say (and everything we don’t do and don’t say) has an impact on the people we work with and the overall climate of our organization.

Leading By Influence is a seminar designed to help managers and leaders to expand influence, to lead change, and to create and implement strategies.

For more information click here.

LESS: Accomplishing More By Doing Less

Antidotes to busyness, and tools and practices for living a more calm, meaningful, and productive life.

“I hope that doing less will enable you to determine, each day, what your true productivity and contribution can be.”

“We need to learn how to turn each day into an opportunity not only for sustained productivity but for composure and enjoyment, which can actually lead to more sustained productivity.”

– excerpts from Less

To order LESS on Amazon, click here

Wash Your Bowl; and The Secret of Zen Practice (and there is no secret)

Here is a post I recently wrote for the Shambhala Sun:
Wash Your Bowl: Bringing Relationships, Work, and Your Life Alive.

And, here is a talk I gave on April 10th, 2010 at the San Francisco Zen Center The Secret of Zen Practice..

Good Reads

Kitchen Table Wisdom, by Rachel Naomi Remen – A collection of moving, heartfelt stories about the vitality of life.

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien – Powerful fiction based on Vietnam War experiences.

Executive Coaching and Outsourced Talent Management

Call on ZBA Associates LLC for your Executive Coaching, teambuilding needs, for keynote presentations, or to facilitate your offsite retreat. We help business leaders redefine and achieve success by integrating leadership and communication skills with mindfulness practices. 415 389-6228; mlesser@zbaassociates.com

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