'Pay What You Feel' This Week!

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Valentine's Day is overly commercial, and just to go out for a meal can cost so much.

So, we've decided to do the opposite - we're offering all of our products today, till Sunday, on a 'pay what you feel' model, and we'll randomly pick some winners!

In total, we're gifting £10,000 of our products and services on a 'Pay-What-You-Feel' basis.

Here's what's on offer:

1. Teach Mindfulness @ Work 6 month Program - Value - £4997

2. Advanced Teach Mindfulness and Kindfulness 6 month Program - Value - £2499

3. Our Popular Standard Teach Mindfulness 3 month Program - Value - up to £1499

4. Kindfulness 2 month program - Value £120

5. The Zen of Business 6 month Program in-person in London - Value up to £350

6. Happier World Conference in London - 2 days - Value - £100

Here's What You Need to Do

1. Choose what product you'd like

2. Email us which product you'd like, and how much you feel you can realistically give for it. It may be close to the value of the product. It may be much less. It may even be more. You decide and we really don't mind what you offer - your circumstance is unique to you and we are not here to judge you.

3. We will select one or more lucky winners in each category.

4. If you gift more than the usual value, we will gift even more and your generosity will be felt by others.

Deadline is 10pm UK time on Sunday 18th February. But the sooner you reply, the better.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give. :)

Bonus Valentine's Day Kindfulness Special Offer

Gift yourself or your loved one some self-love with our 8-week Kindfulness Program for just £40. Use code VALENTINE40 - valid till Sunday 18th Feb 2018

The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu - A Summary

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I read a beautiful book over my time offline at the end of 2017: The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams.

It’s interesting to note what one can remember a month after reading such a book.

The main point I remember from the book, is no matter what question the interviewer asked, most often the answer was compassion.

This happened so many times, Abrams considered changing the name of the book to the Book of Compassion!

The other thing I remember about the book is its lack of frivolity. It didn’t avoid serious world issues. Tough questions were asked, like: 

‘How can we even consider being joyous in the face of so much suffering in the world?’

The wise teachers often began by recalling their own suffering and of those near and dear to them. When you hear such stories, it’s surprising they found so much joy in their lives considering their personal experiences.

Their answers gave a clue about why they’ve chosen joy and how they’ve transformed their suffering to joy.

But joy for them doesn’t mean laughing all the time. There were tears shed during their conversations. And deep moments of both prayer and meditation.

One of the most touching moments in the book was when the Dalai Lama participated in a communion conducted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And then the Archbishop engaged in a Buddhist meditation with the Dalai Lama. They both stand firmly for interfaith dialogue, and certainly walk their talk.

A month after reading the book, I remember two key pillars.

The first one is compassion - the need to not only feel the suffering of another, but to take action to alleviate that suffering.

The other is perspective. The Dalai Lama emphasised this in particular. It’s an approach I sometimes forget.

This reminds me of another touching passage in the book. In the final section of the book, Abrams describes how The Dalai Lama listens to a young child recalling their journey from Tibet to India...they are supposed to just share the story, but they break down in tears as they share...as do many onlookers. The Dalai Lama comforts the child and shifts their perspective. He reminds them that they have come here to be educated, to learn from their teachers. They have warmth and shelter and clothing. And by studying hard, they can go back and alleviate the suffering of others with their knowledge and skills.

Just writing this summary makes me want to read the book again. To return to the private residences of the Dalai Lama, sit next to them and listen to their words of wisdom.

I’ll finish this post with their 8 pillars.

Eight Pillars of Joy

The book concluded with eight pillars of joy - qualities we are encouraged to cultivate in our lives to find deep joy, beyond the ups and downs of our emotional state.

4 Pillars of the Mind

Perspective

When you change the way you see the world, you change the world you see. For example, although the Dalai Lama was exiled from his own country, he’s happy to have the chance to travel the world and spread the word about compassion and kindness.

Humility

Humility connects us. Humility reminds us how we are all so dependent on each other. It reminds us of all the many factors that come into play. Humility frees us from the prison of me, to the freedom of we.

Humor

The author found both wise teachers to be just as much comedians as spiritual leaders. Some may even consider laughter and humor as indicators of spiritual development!

Here's some funny meditation videos!

Acceptance

Acceptance is a practice of seeing the truth. If you’re feeling sad, you need to accept it. Deny the reality of your thoughts, feelings or situation is deny truth. From a place of truth, transformation can take place. From a place of denial, nothing really happens - life just keeps sending you the message until you see the reality for what it is.

Infographic on acceptance

4 Pillars of the Heart Forgiveness

Forgiveness

An eye for an eye will leave the world blind.

If we choose to retaliate to those that harmed us, the cycle of harm continues forever, but if we choose to forgive and let go, we break the cycle and heal, renewing or releasing the relationship.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean what was done was right. No. Forgiveness is about the wisest way to move forward.

Gratitude

Every day, think as you wake up, ‘I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it.’

Following a Buddhist philosophy, you can even be grateful even for your enemies, as your most precious spiritual teachers.

More on gratitude

Compassion

All traditions carry the same message: the message of love.

Compassion is a sense of concern that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to see that suffering relieved.

Compassion is central to a joyful life for all.

7-day free Mindfulness and Compassion course

Generosity

It is in giving that we receive.

Generosity is hard wired into our brain to make you feel good - generosity connects.

You’ll feel much better giving a gift to someone else, than buying that gift for yourself. Don’t believe me? Try it! Bonus points if you can do it anonymously!


'Pay What You Feel' on Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is overly commercial, and just to go out for a meal can cost so much.

So, we've decided to do the opposite - we're offering all of our products today, till Sunday, on a 'pay what you feel' model, and we'll randomly pick some winners!

In total, we're gifting £10,000 of our products and services on a 'Pay-What-You-Feel' basis.

Here's what's on offer:

1. Teach Mindfulness @ Work 6 month Program - Value - £4997

2. Advanced Teach Mindfulness and Kindfulness 6 month Program - Value - £2499

3. Our Popular Standard Teach Mindfulness 3 month Program - Value - up to £1499

4. Kindfulness 2 month program - Value £120

5. The Zen of Business 6 month Program in-person in London - Value up to £350

6. Happier World Conference in London - 2 days - Value - £100

Here's What You Need to Do

1. Choose what product you'd like

2. Email us which product you'd like, and how much you feel you can realistically give for it. It may be close to the value of the product. It may be much less. It may even be more. You decide and we really don't mind what you offer - your circumstance is unique to you and we are not here to judge you.

3. We will select one or more lucky winners in each category.

4. If you gift more than the usual value, we will gift even more and your generosity will be felt by others.

Deadline is 10pm UK time on Sunday 18th February. But the sooner you reply, the better.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give. :)


Bonus Valentine's Day Kindfulness Special Offer

Gift yourself or your loved one some self-love with our 8-week Kindfulness Program for just £40. Use code VALENTINE40 - valid till Sunday 18th Feb 2018

Feeling Sick? Swallow these 4 Tips, Once a Day

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This week I’ve had a cold.

Nothing major, but enough to prevent me doing my usual work.

So I thought I’d share some strategies for dealing with being sick.

Some of you may have minor illness like me - a bit of a cold, a mild headache, a stomach ache.

Others may have more serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, chronic pain and so on.

I hope you’ll enjoy this post and find some ease and comfort in your ill health.

Tip 1: Take Comfort - You’re in Good Company

So how do you deal with being sick?

Remember first of all, there’s nothing wrong with you if you’re ill!

Everyone has been ill and everyone will get ill too. You are not alone. It’s normal.

There are so many people that feel guilty for being sick. Why? Because they think there’s something wrong with them.

That’s false.

As the insightful teacher Ajahn Brahm says:

‘If you’re ill, there’s something right with you. You’re sick again.’

If you visit your doctor, tell her or him, ‘Doc, they’re something right with me. I’m ill again!’

Any smiles or laughter that ensues will boost your immune system.

Tip 2: See the Positives of Being Sick

Most people only see the bad side of being ill. But there are good sides too. Don’t be biased in your thinking. Be balanced and fair. Consider the wonderful benefits of being sick!

Being Sick is great excuse to take time off work

People work sooooo hard nowadays. And if they’re not working hard, they think they’re failures for some reason. So if you’re ill, you’ve got a great excuse for not working - you’re sick.

Maybe you can watch some of your favorite comedies or TV shows in bed. Maybe you can read some books you’ve been wanting to read. No one can complain to you for doing that. You have the ultimate excuse.

About three years ago I was overcoming work fatigue. Because I was in bed for a week or two, I decided to enjoy watching some YouTube videos. That’s how I came across the concept of Kindfulness and ended up doing lots of training and retreats that took a much kinder, gentler approach to mindfulness - an approach that was originally recommended by the Buddha. If I wasn’t ill I would never have discovered that. I’m so grateful I was ill to find that out!
 

Being Sick gives the opportunity for others to care for you

Have you ever had that nice feeling when you’re unwell, and someone else cares for you? I hope so. They may bring you some medicine, a drink or give you some extra blankets. You feel looked after.

Caring for others can be such a joy too. As you may know, being compassionate and kind to others makes you feel great. And so if you give a chance for others to be kind to you, you’re giving them the opportunity to give. A win-win scenario.

Imagine if no one ever got ill. There would be no need for carers. And carers are such nice, kind people. They would probably feel lost with no opportunity to give to others.

So if you’re sick and someone has to care for you, well done to you! You’re giving others the chance to give.

Tip 3: Let Go of Trying to Get Better

This is an interesting story.

I once heard of a monk who was was sick for years and years. He was in bed all the time in his monastery. Other monks used to care and support him. And he did all he could to get better, but no matter what he tried, he was just too weak to even move around.

He seemed miserable and permanently unwell.

Then, one day, the head monk had an insight. He went up to the sick monk and said ‘Monk, I know you’ve been trying your hardest to get better for so many years. Well, now I give you permission to let go of trying to get better. You can die if you wish. You don’t need to keep holding on trying to get better. You can stop struggling.’

The sick monk looked up at him, at first in shock. But the monk said it with such kindness and sincerity, not out of negativity, and the monk looked at if he’d dropped a huge burden.

For the first time in years, he truly let go. Tears started to roll down his cheek. He began to sob at first, and then looked serene. A relief came over him.

Within a short amount of time, he was much better. For the first time in years! His constant efforts to try to get better was preventing him from recovering. Once he truly let go, his body and mind were somehow able to rejuvenate him.

You may often have heard of people fighting their illness. And maybe that works for them. But it’s nice to know that there’s another approach to relieving sickness - one in which you let go and allow things to be - and that approach can work too.

Tip 4: You are Not Your Sickness

This one is easy to forget, but an important point.

Let’s consider a bodily illness. Are you your body? Do you cease to exist if you lose an arm or a leg or an eye? Of course not.

You can observe your body, so you are the observer of your body rather than just your body itself. Your body is part of you, but you’re much more than your body too.

In the same way, since you are able to observe your sickness, you are not the sickness. Yes the sickness is there, but so are the clouds and the wind and rain and sun and birds and the porridge you had for breakfast. There are many things you can be aware of. Your sickness is just one of them.

Let’s consider mental sickness too. Imagine you’re suffering from depression or anxiety.

Are YOU depressed or anxious? Is the condition what you are?

Or are they just experiences you have from time to time?

They come and visit you, but they are not you.

Bonus Tip 5: Your Sickness is Your Guest, Not Your Master

See your sickness as a visitor. Someone that’s visiting, rather than being you.

In this ‘detached’ perspective, you have choice. You can treat your guest with respect, and look after their needs. You can also move your attention to other things too.

You can practice being kind to your guest. You can smile at your guest, and let they stay. You can offer your guest tea and biscuits. Chat and laugh. Ask questions and learn from them. Your guest can even be your teacher.

This is a nice place to share that beautiful poem by Rumi translated by Coleman Barks. If you’re heard it before, I hope you can enjoy it as if for the first time:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,

translation by Coleman Barks

Conclusion

A wise approach to sickness is to see the sickness from a wider perspective.

Here’s some ways.

  • Note that the sickness is impermanent, like everything else. Say ‘This too will pass’. And if it’s a long-term sickness, remember that long-term is a non-reality. The only reality is this moment - all else is a guess. That makes it more manageable.

  • The sickness has its benefits for you - you get to finally rest, read books and watch TV...or read this blog!

  • The sickness has benefits for others too - they get to be kind and look after you. Service can be a delightful pleasure.

  • Accept your sickness - let it be and run its course rather than fighting it. The fighting uses up energy and slows down the healing process.

  • Step back from your sickness. Note it’s just your body or mind that’s sick. Not you. Or if you have a mental sickness, notice that one part of your mind is sick, not you. There’s also a part of your mind that’s perfectly well. What you focus on, grows.

'Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.'
Mark Twain
 

What’s your approach to dealing with ill health? I’d love to read and respond to your thoughts!

Zen of Business

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Do you want to join a community of new and established business owners to create a kinder, wiser and more conscious world? Want to be inspired by a business coach with over 20 years of experience coaching businesses? Don’t want to spend thousands of pounds?

Want to know more? Download the free Zen of Business ebook today to see if it’s for you.

Ready to turn ideas in action? Join us in London this March for the powerful Zen of Business Training.