Spiritual Practices

The Governor As Executioner

The governors of each state must execute the guilty person. I say the governor because that is the person who, in the system we have created, carries the power of clemency: the governor can commute a death sentence. The governor that we have elected...

The Cosmic Abyss

A few years ago, I took an executive team to the Green Gulch Zen Center in Mill Valley, California for a three-day retreat. Our agenda was to review corporate goals, renew commitments, and strengthen relationships. Well after the first day’s...

Just-In-Time Knowing

This column was inspired by a conversation with a client, and while I am addressing him, it has implications for all of us. A few years ago, I was consulted by the president of a manufacturing company, and it was there that I first heard about...

The Koan of Leadership

No one I know has penetrated the koan of leadership. A koan is a riddle, the solution to which can only be found by going completely beyond all conditioning and thought. The solution originates from a place utterly free from image, belief, and...

Silent Knowledge

There is a lot of talk about importing spirituality into business as an antidote to various forms of malaise. I think it’s important to ask, “Will it fit?” Personally, I don’t think so, because it would be like trying to...

If You See a New Paradigm, Kill It

I am sometimes consulted by people in the corporate sector to shed light on a particular situation or relationship. In one such case, I walked into the office of a client and he looked at me as though I were an alien from outer space, still dirty...

When The Piano Strings Break

I have been searching for a metaphor to describe the ending of the spiritual path, about which people never speak. I found it today, or rather it found me, in the theater. In the movie “Shine” a young pianist named David Helfgott wanted...

Weird Failures

He wept. I was silent. I had seen him approach this threshold before, but not cross it. Now that he had, the real issues were clear, and they had nothing to do with the company or his “leadership.” The issues were sadness, despair...

Gorging on Inspiration

In writing this column, I sometimes clash with a part of my brain which offers advice. “Read other columns, write in the first person, tell instructional stories: entertain and inform. Above all”, suggests my brain’s advisory...

Work-As-Play

My father worked for a living; he didn’t play for a living. My father died at 53. He died of heart failure. The autopsy revealed that he also had pancreatic cancer, which would have killed him within months. For years, I had watched him...

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