May 16, 2019

As humans, we seem to be in a type of prison. Our unconscious thoughts are like a warden that directs our activity. Our mind is the prisoner. Our unconscious feelings represent the iron-like bars that keep us trapped.

Have you noticed that we all do things that don’t make sense? We know they don’t make sense and yet we do them anyway. Most people seem to overindulge in something. For some it's food, others it’s work/career, som...

What is the ego?

According to Buddhist thought it is simply self-referencing, or in other words, thinking about oneself as a separate being.

According to Freud, the ego is the executive center, as opposed to the id representing our instincts, and/or the superego representing learned behavior from society or culture.

In the Buddhist paradigm, egotistic thinking or self-referencing can lead to suffering since we are not recognizing...

May 10, 2018

'Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.' 
William Ellery Channing

What is the first thing to do if we are to be wise in a conflict?

I have asked this to thousands of people at my seminars and the vast majority of people do not give an answer that is consistent with most experts in conflict management.

Come explore how we can be most wise when we are in conflict.

I will be s...

April 12, 2018

It is quite amazing to me that it makes no sense at all not to enjoy life, and yet, so many people continue to live without fully enjoying life.

Now what do I mean, when I say ‘joy’? Charlette  Joko Beck, a Zen teacher, defined joy as ‘being willing for things to be as they are.’

Why would we fight with ‘what is’?

Living a joyful life does not mean being happy all the time. It means being with the circumstances of our life a...

February 23, 2018


1) LOST PRODUCTIVITY: Lack of engagement leads to tremendous waste, low productivity, and lost potential.
I have witnessed thousands of business people and I would estimate that well over 80% of people at organizations are not reaching anywhere near their capacity. Why?

Many people are not truly inspired and motivated. They see their roles as ‘jobs’ where they can take home their paychecks. When I ask, ‘What is the organ...

February 21, 2018

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” Buddha

“To change is to think (and act) greater than how we feel.” Dr. Joe Dispenza

How can we manifest what is most important? With our thoughts and feelings. However, how can we change our thoughts and feelings?

The first step is to accept our current thoughts and feelings.

We are conditioned to fight wi...

November 2, 2016

Shisei, the Japanese word for keeping our center and balance, is a fundamental Aikido principle.

How can we apply this principle to our lives?

The presidential election is providing us a great opportunity to practice shisei in life. Several studies have come out recently about how this election is resulting in much greater stress.

Kazushi is the Japanese word for being off balance. It seems that the election process has been a ve...

What is Important? (In Spirituality and Life) “If you have lost your sense of humor, you have lost the way.” Roshi Junpo Dennis Kelly. Playing the Game Quite a while ago, for about 5 years, I coached soccer to young girls. Before we started each game, I asked, “What’s the most important thing?” The first time I asked this question, one teammate replied, ‘to win’. Another replied, ‘to get better at soccer’. Another replied, ‘to learn’. I said, “Would you like to know why I am here and what I think is the most important thing?” They eagerly said yes, and I said to them, ‘For me, the most important thing is to have fun!!!!! We have this gift of being able to play today and why not make the most of it and really PLAY!’ Then for the next five years of my soccer coaching, I started almost every game with this same question, and eventually, the whole team would shout out their answer together, “HAVE FUN!” with excitement and enjoyment ‘. It turned out that our teams had exceptional records, even having undefeated seasons. Without the pressure of winning, ironically, we won a lot! Many years later, I saw one of the girls that I coached and she was studying at a university. She saw me and said, ‘Hi coach Len’. I asked her, ‘What is the most important thing? She replied, ‘Right now, it is getting the best grades that I can.’ I said to her, ‘You forgot?!’ She remember and said, ‘Oh yea, I did forget. Having fun in what I am doing is really important and I forgot it. Are you Working or Playing? In the last few decades that I have been in business, I have also forgotten this lesson. There are times where I have been so focused on being successful, learning, growing, achieving, being of service and many other more ‘serious’ matters. No question that these are important also and may be just as, or more important as having fun. However, it seems that for many of us, we have lost sight of the enjoyment of life in whatever we are doing. Is it hard to have fun performing some activities? Perhaps. For example, it may be difficult to have fun while we are changing a flat tire in the rain and we know we will be late for an important meeting due to this. Or there may be a tragedy such as a death, where having fun may not be the most appropriate thing to do in all situations and it may be more appropriate to just accept what is happening. Nonetheless, having fun is a skill. We can often choose how much fun we will have and develop a habit of enjoying life. So remember to have FUN in life. Being fun is related to being present. What does F-U-N mean: Fully - Be fully engaged and present in life. Uninhibited - Remember that there are times to let go of your inhibitions, and let loose to really enjoy life. Nonsense – Be silly. Go beyond your senses. Enjoy for no reason (One of my teachers, Roshi Junpo, calls this ‘unreasonable enjoyment’. To be fully present and conscious, there is a listening beyond our senses and it is possible to live deeper than our senses. So, from my own experiences, I have found that to be aware and conscious, it is possible to be grounded in deep purity, emptiness, or non-sense (there are many other ways to describe this). You deserve to enjoy life. How and when can you have fun?




December 21, 2014

Happy Holidays! A message about the Gift of Presence. 

May 1, 2013

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