Friday, July 29, 2005



Sheri Block
Calgary Herald

July 29, 2005

As Renata Duma closes her eyes to meditate cross-legged on a low-rise Chinese chair, she is surrounded by the presence of the Buddha, the flickering glow of candles and the calming sound of New Age music.

This sacred space is Duma's newly created meditation room, a place where she retreats every morning to clear her mind before starting her day.
where she retreats every morning to clear her mind before starting her day.

Situated in the upstairs landing of the Calgary home Duma shares with her fiance Morley Brown, the room is filled with a small Tibetan altar, paintings and Asian-inspired furniture.

"I feel very blessed to be able to have such a room that reflects to such a degree the sacred aspect of our lives," says Duma, who has been meditating for about 10 years. "It's an honour to have the ability to put something like that together."

The room was designed by Aly Velji, resident designer with the Calgary firm Ellipses Design. It was inspired by a Thep Thavonsouk painting that Velji and Duma saw on a recent visit to the artist's studio.

The painting, part of Thavonsouk's June Rain series, features three monks walking into a violet mist. Violet is the colour of the highest chakra.

It was so beautiful, says Duma, it brought her to tears.

"You should put things in the room that you love and that speak to you because this is going to be an environment where you go to relax and you want things to inspire you while you're there," says Velji.

While a meditation room may sound extravagant to some, Velji says the popularity is catching on.

"It's becoming more common to create spaces for people, whether it's a small little area in the bedroom or actually a whole room where people can just go and relax," says Velji.

Ironically, Duma says while it is nice to be able to have this room, she wouldn't need a space like this to meditate.

"It's not the space," says Duma. "It's not about a fashion statement. I'm very fortunate to be able to do this, but it could be anywhere."

Tracy Kundell, owner of Avalon Interiors in Thornhill, Ont., and a visiting designer on WTN's The Decorating Challenge, agrees the trend has been growing because people are searching for peace of mind and wellness.

"Lifestyles show absolutely no signs of slowing down. We just get busier and busier, so finding a space where we can just chill is becoming more and more important for people," says Kundell.

"People are realizing the benefits to their health and to their work life if they've got a part of their home that they can relax in."

According to designer Lisa Zinck, co-owner of Calgary's Foresees Imports, a meditation space doesn't have to be in a separate room.

"You need enough space that you can sit; you can create that [anywhere]. I live in a very small house and I've just created a space by my window ... I always light a candle and I like to incorporate a plant or something lively and just a small little Buddha," says Zinck.

"You don't need anything. That's what Buddhism is all about."

Zinck says Buddhas have become so popular -- for both in the home and garden -- that they can't keep them in the store.
It's absolutely amazing, [as well as] pagodas. Having a Buddhist symbol just creates tranquility and mindfulness and we just find that more people are really embracing the culture," says Zinck.

Buddha says: "A mind which is not protected by mindfulness is as helpless as a blind man walking over uneven ground without a guide."



Thursday, July 28, 2005


Writing a book is like giving birth to a baby, as you reach the home stretch and the baby is born you look back at the memories. Well for me this book writing has been very cathartic, and the fun part is I get to go back and re-live some of the highlights of my life. One of those highlghts is when I hosted Canada's first open line radio show totally dedicated to home office entrepreneurs. I had an enormously fun time with the "HomeBiz Show" and met some fabulous people along the way. many of them on the leading edge, trend setters, and pioneers in their own right . And speaking of trend setting, three of those people were; Mary Meehan, Larry Samuel, and Vickie Abrahamson, authors of the book, "Iconoculture- The Future Ain't What It Used to Be"- The 40 cultural trends transforming your job, your life, your world.

I interviewed all three of them in their home office in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1998, along with their dog Geneva. They had and still do have an uncanny ability to predict the future trends in our society...most of their predictions made in 1998 have indeed manifested in 2005. Here's a look back and into the future with musings from the book complete with quotable quotes that have relevance to "Buddha in the Board Room". You can visit them on their website at

The authors suggest that before continuing "please take time to brew yourself a cup of tea. Take a little more time to ponder.... Are you living life sip by sip or gulp by gulp? The first zentreprenuers, the founders of the specialty company The Republic of Tea, steeped into full flavor the Z concept of making business for positive social change on the planet, to actualize a life in which "what you do" is one with "who you are". The fusion of one's personal vision with one's professional mission, grounded in activism and a holistic philosophy, will hallmark the next 1,000 years. Zentrepreneurism is surfacing across a wide spectrum of successful, purposeful businesses"

According to the authors; "if you think zentreprenuring is only for the disenfranchised and old hippies gone to seed, think again. An aging Generation X will carry proudly the do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you torch into the future. During their college years, they short-circuit their slacker inage by volunteering enmasse to help those less fortunate. From coast to ivy-covered coast, college students log as many as ten to twelve hours per week tutoring, manning rape and suicide hotines, teaching English, serving up dinner at homeless shelters, or being buddies to the physically or mentally challenged. The do-gooding experience coupled with the zentrepreneuristic mood of the millenium will have far-reaching political, social, and economic implications."


"It all sounds so boring. Cooperation, not competition. Meaningful work, not big bucks. Sharing in the decision making, not being bossed around. At the Burley Design Co-op, ninety people call the shots because ninety people own the company store. This may be the new-millenium model for American business. How novel---healthy growth as the full-time focus of everyone in the workplace. By the way, Burley builds the essential baby accoutrement: those bright colored buggies that safety trailer little ones behind the folk's bikes. You might expect a company that produces such a creative product to spawn an enlightened model for building a business. In a time when thousands are experiencing post-downsizing shock syndrome, this employee-owned co-op structure may be a light at the end of the corporate tunnel. According to general manager Bruce Creps, "There's also a second paycheck that people are after here. Many have tried different things and are looking for meaning to their work"

Pride in ownership translates to low absenteeism, low worker turnover (one or two per year) and sky-high productivity. One of the principles of the cooperative is to enhance the workplace and the community where they live. This little zentrepreneurial company is known for walking its talk. For sure the Burley team won't be sending jobs overseas to save on labr costs ro be forever stressing out over the whims of an all powerful board of directors."

"Who cares if it's not your shade? Pucker up for a good cause. Two legends of beauty. Aveda and RuPaul, are using lipstick sales to promote kiss 'n' care campaigns. Aveda, a leader in aromatherapy beauty care, has partnered with the South American Yawanawa tribe of Indians, native to the Amazon rain forest of western Brazil. The tribe cultivates and harvests an indigenous pricky pod called uruku, which they sell to the North American tribe to make three shades of lipstick called (what else?) Uruku. Both tribes are happily boosting each other's economy.

Here's what the authors have to say about investing with a conscience "What to do, what to do with that sorry thing you call your life savings....Our best advice: Put your money where your heart is. There are some forty-two mutual funds that invest only in companies that are morally, poltically, and environmentally correct. Although these funds tyically do not return as well as sinful funds, you will sleep better at night knowing your money is not being invested in tobbaco, alcohol, gambling, or military equipment. The Women's Equity Mutual Fund bills itself as one such "pro-conscience" animal. It invests only in public companies that have a proven track record of advancing the social and economic status of women in the workplace. As boomers plan for retirement and inherit gobs of money, expect to see a gazillion special-investment opportunities with a zentrepreneurial twist.

Who said capitalism and social service make poor bedfellows? "On virtually every level of global economy you bump into the zentrepreneur spirit. Greyhound, that dinasour of public transportation, is doing great works from which more profitable companies can learn. When Greyhound bought out Trailways in 1987, it inherited the latter's program of offering free transportation home for runaways."

The authors suggest that "Marketers of all shapes, sizes, and colors could explore ventures with alternative trading groups to zentreprenurize their brands while doing the right thing."

As well, organizations like Oxfam America, Pueblo to People, and SERVV are ultimately providing workers with sustainable business skills and giving them more control over their lives and communities.

Thank you to Mary, Larry and Vickie, for contributing in kind to this section.

Buddha says: "Palaces built of earth and stone and wood, wealthy men endowed with food and dress and finery, legions of retainers who throng round the mighty-these are like castles in the air, like rainbows in the sky, ad how deluded those who think of this as truth."


Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Far from being an evolutionary luxury, the need for God may be a crucial trait stamped deeper and deeper into our genome with every passing generation. Humans who developed a spiritual sense thrived and bequeathed that trait to their offspring. Those who didn't risked dying out in chaos and killing. The evolutionary equation is a simple but powerful one.

Nowhere has that idea received a more intriguing going-over than in the recently published book. "The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired Into Our Genes, written bymolecular bioligist Dean Hamer. Chief of gene structure at the US National Cancer Institute. Hamer not only claims that "human spirituality is an adaptive trait", but he also says "he has located one of the genes responsible, a gene that just happens to also code for production of the neurotransmitters that regulate our moods. Our most profound feelings of spirituality, may be due to little more than an occasional shot of intoxicating brain chemicals governed by our DNA."

Whatever the merits of Hamer's work , he is clearly the heir of a milleniums long search for the wellsprings of spirituality. Hamer also stresses that while he may have located a genetic root for spirituality, that is not the same as a genetic root for religion. "Spirituality is a feeling or state... a state of mind; religion is the way that state gets codified into law. Our genes don't get directly involved in writing legislation. Spirituality is intensely personal; religion is institutional".

At least one faith, according to one of its best known scholars, formalizes the idea of gene-based spirituality and even puts a pretty spin on it. Buddhists, says Robert Thurman, professor of Buddhist studies at Columbia University, "have long entertained the idea that we inherit a spirituality gene from the person we were in a previous life. Smaller than an ordinary gene, it combines with two larger physical genes we inherit from our parents, and together they shape our physical and spiritual profile.

Says Thurman: "The spiritual gene helps establish a general trust in the universe, a sense of openness and generosity." Buddhists, he adds would find Hamer's possible discovery "amusing and fun." The Buddhists theory has never been put to the scientific test, but other investigations into the biological roots of belief in God were being conducted long before Hamer's efforts-often with intriguing results.

Even to some within the religious community, this does not come as news. "In India in Buddha's time, there were philospohers who said there was no soul; the mind was just chemistry," says Thurman. "The Buddha disagreed with their extreme materialsm but also rejected the "absolute soul" theologians.

Nonetheless, sticking points do remain that prevent genetic theory form going down smoothly. One that's particularly troublesome is the question of why Hamer's God gene-or any of the others that may eventually be discovered--is distributed so unevenly among us. Why are some of us spiritual virtuosos, while others can't play a note? "Fortune includes the possibility of divine grace as well as environmental influences."


To find out, take this test, which is adapted from a personality inventory devised by Washington University psychiatrist Robert Cloninger, author of Feeling Good: The Science of Well Being

1. I often feel so connected the people around me that it is like
there is no separation between us. TRUE FALSE

2. I often do things to help protect animals and plants from extinction. TRUE FALSE

3. I am fascinated by the many things in life that cannot be
scientifically explained. TRUE FALSE

4. Often I have unexpected flashes of insight or understanding
while relaxing. TRUE FALSE

5. I sometimes feel so connected to nature that everything seems
to be part of one living organism. TRUE FALSE

6. I seem to have a "sixth sense" that sometimes allows me to know
what is going to happen. TRUE FALSE

7. Sometimes I have felt like I was part of something with no
limits or boundaries in time and space. TRUE FALSE

8. I am often called "absent-minded because I get so wrapped up
in what I am doing that I lose track of everything else. TRUE FALSE

9. I often feel a strong sense of unity with all the things
around me. TRUE FALSE

10. Even after thinking about something a long time, I have
learned to trust my feelings more than my logical reasons. TRUE FALSE

11. I often feel a strong spiritual or emotional connection
with all the people around me. TRUE FALSE

12. Often when I am concentrating on something, I lose
awareness of the passage of time. TRUE FALSE

13. I have made real personal sacrifices in order to make the
world a better place, like trying to prevent war, poverty and
injustice. TRUE FALSE

14. I have had experiences that made my role in life so clear
to me that I felt very happy and excited. TRUE FALSE

15. I believe that I have experienced extrasensory perception. TRUE FALSE

16. I have had moments of great joy in which I sudddenly had
a clear, deep feeling of oneness with all that exists. TRUE FALSE

17. Often when I look at an ordinary thing, something wonderful
happens. I get the feeling that I am seeing it fresh for the
first time. TRUE FALSE

18. I love the blooming of flowers in the spring as much as
seeing an old friend again. TRUE FALSE

19. It often seems to other people like I am in another world
because I am so completely unaware of things going on around me. TRUE FALSE

20. I believe that miracles happen. TRUE FALSE

SCORING: Give yourself one point for each TRUE answer and 0 points for each FALSE answer. 14 and above= highly spirited, a real mystic; 12-13= spiritually aware, easily lost in the moment; 8-11= spiritually average could develop more spiritual life if desired; 6-7= a practical empiricist lacking self-transcendence; 1-5= highly skeptical, resistant to developing spiritual awareness.

How did you do? I and the whole blog world would love some feedback and comments.
* By the score was 14.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Much of this material can be found in Time Magazine's issue of October 25, 2004 in an article titled "IS GOD IN OUR GENES? (A provocative study asks whether religion is a product of evolution. Inside a quest for the roots of faith), written by Jeffrey Kluger.

Until next time remember, Buddha says: "He who is free from the bondage of men and from the bondage of the gods: who is free of all things in creation -- him I call a Brahmin".



Tuesday, July 26, 2005


One of the true joys in writing a book is that it not only gets your creative juices flowing,it's very cathartic. You begin to tell the story of your life through others you've experienced things with. With each person that you meet on the journey, comes a new story, a new awakening, a new adventure, a new learning experience or simply a time to just share the moment. Since announcing to my friends, colleagues and associates that I was writing a book, many have sent me relevant articles of interest. I truly appreciate their contributions and will acknowledge them with each entry. Today, I will post an article sent to me by Bruce Stewart, a well known publisher and resident expert on varied topics, who co-hosted a business talk radio show with me. You can contact him at His specialty is "STEWARDSHIP". (CEO,Senior Management, Corporate, Organizational). The following article has relevance to our discussion of THE NEW ERA- The shift towards "Enlightened Capitalism" and Social Entrepreneurism, how does one becomes an "enlightened capitalist", and more specifically an "enlightened shareholder".

Shareholder Activism: Policy Battlefield of the Future
By Bart Mongoven

Activists demonstrated outside the offices of university pension manager TIAA-CREF on July 18, calling for the massive fund to exercise more power within the companies in which it owns stock. If TIAA-CREF, which holds more than $300 billion in assets, starts to take this sort of assertive stance, companies will have to listen. Meanwhile, on July 21, International Shareholder Services (ISS), an adviser on shareholder proxy votes, announced that it had purchased the nation's leading social investment advisory group, Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC). This merger suggests that the mainstream financial community, ISS's clientele, increasingly is asking about social-focused shareholder resolutions.

The two events point to the increased role that corporate shareholders will have in making public policy in the United States, and suggest that corporate decision-making could change dramatically in the coming years.

The coming shift will prompt most corporations to exercise more caution in several aspects of their businesses, as shareholders increasingly can be expected to demand that companies avoid social and environmental pitfalls that could affect the long-term value of their holdings. The caution will be apparent in corporate operations -- including the products companies make, their advertising, the places they do business and the relationships they have with certain governments. Though issue-oriented activists will have an indirect impact on corporate policies, the new social, labor and environmental policies that corporations follow will reflect primarily the work of shareholder groups. These groups are using increasingly sophisticated market analyses to show corporate managers (and fellow shareholders) the wisdom of following a voluntary course of action in areas of potential social criticism.

Since the 1970s, social and environmental activists have used proxy voting and public companies' annual shareholder meetings as a platform to push for new public policies. The early shareholder activist and "socially responsible" investment movements achieved their most significant victory in the 1980s, when heavy pressure forced major U.S. and European multinationals to withdraw from South Africa and contributed significantly to the end of the apartheid regime. By the end of the apartheid era, few major multinationals dared do business in South Africa lest they be seen as endorsing its racist political, social and economic structure.

Shareholder activism does not depend on gaining the support of the majority of a company's shareholders in order to be effective -- proxy votes are nonbinding. Instead, it changes corporate policy when management sees that a strong minority of shareholders (usually 20 percent will do) find the company's policies troublesome. Senior executives begin to fear that significant amounts of management's time, energy and attention will be diverted to addressing the issue. To reach that threshold of effectiveness, activists try to recruit the support of as many large shareholders as possible -- beginning with small social-oriented firms such as Calvert, then progressing to socially-oriented pension funds such as CalPERS (and potentially TIAA-CREF, if the demonstrators get their way). Still, most successful campaigns need significant rank-and-file shareholder support and that of at least one major mainstream investor.

That said, shareholder activism is poised to emerge as a central policy-making vehicle for three reasons. First, there is the deregulatory political culture that dominates federal policy-making. A second element is growing economic globalization -- coupled with the removal of trade barriers -- which has led to a recognition of the important role (positive and negative) that corporations can play in developing countries. The third major reason is the increasing accountability and transparency demanded by shareholders and required by securities regulators in the wake of the corporate scandals of the 1990s.

The most significant catalyst of the emerging movement in shareholder power is the deregulatory mood that holds sway at the federal level. This trend toward deregulation (or at least a reluctance to impose new regulations) began in 1995 and gained momentum when President George W. Bush took office. With Bush's election, traditional liberal lobbies concluded that new and more stringent federal regulation of corporate activities was unlikely, so they began to focus on alternative areas in which they could exert power over corporate activities. Most of these lobbies determined that they would do better with calls for action at the state level, through international treaties and through shareholder activism. All three of these trends continue to dominate new regulatory policy-making in the United States. Of the three, shareholder activism is emerging as the most powerful avenue for changing corporate policy over the long term.

This strategy is most visible in the climate change debate, where a number of corporations -- including many energy companies -- have adopted climate change policies as a result of shareholder pressure. No action is likely at the federal level on climate change for at least a couple of years. Many influential shareholder activists argue that regulation is inevitable and that, consequently, companies should begin to change their internal mechanisms now in order to prepare for dramatic regulatory changes and potential liability.

Under this kind of pressure, some major oil and electricity generating companies have adopted policies that commit, at the very least, to measure their financial vulnerabilities in a "carbon-constrained" economy. Many have gone further and adopted policies that give consideration to climate change in their internal decision-making processes. The law has not changed, but under shareholder pressure the vast majority of the energy industry is preparing for the day when it will.

New arguments following this "climate risk" logic -- that is, environmental and social concerns are not just public relations problems, but carry serious financial liability risk for companies and must be addressed in that light -- have been raised recently in various industries, including against mining, chemicals and consumer products companies. The central premise of these new shareholder campaigns is the notion that society's ethics and mores are constantly changing, and the best corporations will adjust their policies before they feel the brunt of changing values. The use of child labor in developing countries, for instance, recently was accepted practice in certain industries, but now allegations of child labor represent significant risk to corporate brands -- just ask Nike or Kathy Lee Gifford.

Similarly, it was once de rigueur for multinational construction companies and extractive industries to build large infrastructure projects that required relocation of significant numbers of indigenous peoples in developing countries. These projects usually had World Bank funding. Now the Bank won't fund such projects, and corporate managers are increasingly wary about these kinds of proposals.

Merrill Lynch recently released a report titled "Energy Security & Climate Change: Investing in the Clean Car Revolution," which concludes that there are solid investment opportunities in those automakers that have developed (or are developing) advanced clean technologies. Although Merrill Lynch understands perfectly well that "clean tech" investments tend to perform poorly in strict efficiency terms, it likely is betting that the shifting line of acceptable industry behavior will render these investments profitable nonetheless.

Examples such as these reverberate throughout industry and shareholder groups. They suggest that sound management requires acting quickly (and often on limited information) to quell potential problems, and that there is considerable risk in ignoring potential social problems. Nike's image has never completely recovered from the allegations that it used child labor, even though it is now one of the most transparent companies in the world when it comes to its supply chain. Shell continues to spend millions of dollars to rebuild its reputation after controversies in the late 1990s. (Interestingly, the cost to Shell is best measured in recruiting difficulties: New graduates, particularly in Europe, prefer not to work for a company embroiled in human rights or environmental controversies.) And as Merrill Lynch's report suggests, socially responsible shareholder groups are increasingly successful in bringing this same argument to mainstream investors.

The degree to which shareholder activism is emerging as an important element in policy-making is epitomized by ISS's acquisition of the IRRC proxy advisory business. ISS specializes in advising major pension funds and investment houses on the business implications of important votes raised at corporate annual meetings. It prepares analyses of mergers, of significant changes in pension fund management and of other similar issues relating to corporate governance for its clients.

Only rarely has ISS taken positions on social or environmental resolutions. IRRC, on the other hand, specializes in the analysis of environmental and social shareholder resolutions. This merger signifies the degree to which demands for restricting corporate behavior -- once seen as the demands of an activist fringe and thus as issues that could be safely ignored -- are now being incorporated into standard corporate-governance conversations. With this merger, ISS is acknowledging that advice on social-related shareholder activism is in sufficient demand that its portfolio needed IRRC.

As the lines of communication and credibility are strengthened between the socially responsible investment community and the mainstream investment community, activists will be able to expand their demands even further and leave their mark on how business is conducted. Further, because of recent rule changes by the Security and Exchange Commission, all financial services firms, including pensions and mutual fund companies, must make their proxy votes public. This will ease the politicization of proxy voting, as companies with strong brand names -- such as Fidelity and Merrill Lynch -- will have to tell clients how they voted on the social demands placed before shareholders.

Ultimately, these changes likely will result in corporations adopting policies that are more cautious, better thought out and significantly more responsive to public concerns. They also will usher in a fundamental shift in policy-making in government, particularly as business threatens to get far ahead of the federal government in the United States. The two traditional types of public policies -- those demanded by the marketplace regardless of law, and the demands of government -- will at least for a time diverge. Whether this new era of responsiveness satisfies society's need for regulation of business practices, however, remains to be seen, as do the larger implications of all of this for notions of democracy.


Saturday, July 23, 2005


The universe has once again intervened and connected me with my long time friend and first time mentor, Jon-Lee Kootnekoff, known in the early days as "Kooky Koot". Talk about "purposeful alignment".....Jon has been trying for some time to get a hold of me to invite me to a significant event in his life...the celebration of his 70th birthday. I will make every effort to be there, because not only do I want to re-connect to a very important person in my life, but it's an opportunity to be around fellow "enlightened travellers" on the same journey as yours truly.

If you are a regular reader on this site, you know I have been talking a lot about "purposeful alignment". I truly believe, and my past experiences have taught me, that nothing happens by accident. There is a reason for everything and a purpose to everything, and that purpose, if you let it, will serve you and connect you with the right people in right action. My call to Jon-Lee at this time and at this moment in my life was no accident. It is truly amzing the number of people that have surfaced that are e-mailing me after I told them I was writing a book called "Buddha in the Board Room", who have confessed to having felt the same way I do and never really being able to share their thoughts with anyone who really understood and got it.

This past week I sat down with a good friend of mine who I met professionally and co-hosted a radio show with. Bruce Stewart, who has agreed to write the forward to my book. Bruce was equally inspired to share his thoughts with me and offered to introduce me to a literary and speaking agent.

We are never alone on our journey if it is the "right" journey. I can guarantee you that when you make the "right" decisions about your livelihood and it is one of contribution and purpose, divine intervention will bring to you all manner of people and resources to help you accomplish whatever it is you are doing for the highest good.

How does all this apply to business you might ask. Think of your clients and your customers as the universe, and if your sole motivation is to make money, they become just a means to an end. When they realize that and you've put money first and them second...they will abandon you. If your company is on a mission to make money first, bilk people second, and lie to shareholders, you will be plagued with setbacks, both moral and financial, and eventually be discovered and pay the ultimate price like Enron and WorldCom. Choose your path carefully and wisely and in the same way choose your business partners/associates and friends. Jim Rohn, a mentor of mine say's "You become the average of the five people you hang out with the most, so choose them carefully". You will become the average of them financially, spiritually, ethically and morally.

Buddha says: "If a man does something wrong, let him not do it again and again. Let him find no pleasure in his sin. Painful is the accumulation of wrongdoings. If a man do something good, let him do it again and again. Let him find joy in his good work. Joyful is the accumulation of good work."


Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Many times I have spoken to you of our society entering a new era of "Enlightened Capitalism". It is truly amazing what happens when you begin to live your life "On Purpose", whatever that "Purpose" is. I began this journey of seeking what my true purpose was about thirty-five years ago. At that time, I was the Executive Director of Big Brothers. I truly believed that my purpose was to spend the rest of my life in service to fatherless boys. Ten years later I found myself receiving a plaque of appreciation for my ten years of devoted service and at a teary farewell dinner, I said goodbye to the big brothers, little brothers, and staff in attendance. The next month I was buying Canada's first Decorating Den franchise with my ex-wife. But that's just the beginning of the story.

This was another milestone in my personal journey towards discovering who the real Allan Holender was. If he stood up I wouldn't recognize him. Amongst the pages of "Buddha in the Board Room", you will learn of the many coincidental and serendiptous events that have dotted my landscape since I was about 13 years old. The number of moments of divine intervention are too numerous to mention. They took me full circle to where I am today. After years of psychic healing, re-birthing, past life regression, rolfing, EST, Context Training, psychotherapy, and native chanting I have finally arrived at the beginning of what my new life will look like, and I'm not just trying to fix up my old life.....the fact that I will celebrate my 64th birthday in October is itself a miracle. So as Churchill once said: "This is not the end, It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

It was during my work with Big Brothers that I met, Jon-Lee Kootnekoff, the former head coach of the Simon Fraser University Basketball team. John was an intense, competitive individual then who believed that life was all about winning. One night he collapsed at courtside during a game, was taken to the hospital, and while recuperating he experienced a revelation that would change his life forever. Now this was not a "religious" experience, nor was it a self induced shot of awareness, this was best described as an "awakening".

He truly got what he was supposed to be doing, and it wasn't coaching basketball. Jon has spent all of his life since then empowering individuals to take control of their own personal journey, through words, study, meditation, and a belief in a higher source. If we allow it, that higher source directs us , if we just get out of the way. You know the old expression: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him you have a plan". Let's hope you dont have to collapse, have a massive heart attack, get cancer, or wind up in a wheelchair to experience the awakening, as to what your real "PURPOSE" is.

Jon, was known in those early days as "Kooky Koot". Little did he know that 35 years later his theories would become mainstream in a movement known as "New Age".
These were some of John's quotable quotes: "When you're green you grow". "Don't rush the great ones". "Be quick but not in a hurry". "You are not aging you're just "youthing"!

As my first mentor, Jon inspired me to look at life in a different way than how I was brought up to believe by my parents, my teachers, my religion, and indeed the world. The world was not ready for "Kooky Koot" 35 years ago, but boy are they ready today. So, one of the people I will be dedicating my book to will be Jon-Lee who would always greet me on the phone with the same positive message: "How you vas Tavaresh (Russian for friend), it's good to be seen by you, you are a very special, great guy!" do you think the rest of your day goes after hearing that. Imagine your parents, your teachers, your boss, your friends telling you that every day of your life. What kind of a person do you think you would become. I can guarantee you that you won't be joining a Hell's Angel gang.

So I'll let these thoughts ruminate with you as I head off to the phone book to look up an old friend I haven't spoken to in about ten years, "Kooky Koot".

Buddha says: "Abandoning what is unwholesome, you ought to ponder what is wholesome, for that will bring you advantages in this world and help you to win the highest goal."


Friday, July 15, 2005



The seven habits meet the eightfold path in surprising places

By Robert A. F. Thurman

At press time, the Dalai Lama's book, Ethics for the New Millennium, had
been on The New York Times's best-seller list for nine weeks and had been
listed as that paper's number-two business book, well ahead of Bill Gates
and Stephen Covey, for six weeks. What were business people culling from
the Dalai Lama's text? What lessons can today's market sages glean from the
original guru? Below, an exploration of the seemingly improbable
relationship between the pursuit of enlightenment and the pursuit of the
almighty dollar.

After Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became the Buddha, he
is said to have given his first teaching to five ascetics. He offered them
the famous four noble truths: that the unenlightened life is one of suffering
that suffering originates from misknowledge and misdirected emotions; that
freedom from suffering -- nirvana -- is attainable; and that there is an
eightfold path to that freedom.

This teaching became the basis of a peaceful revolution that changed his
society, a revolution in which the aims of pleasure, wealth, power, duty,
and piety toward the divine were superseded by that of total freedom from
suffering -- the supreme happiness that every being wants. This revolution
brought about not only a change in philosophy, but also a change in ethic and religious institutions.

Buddhism has since spread all over Asia -- and, lately, all over the
world -- without any crusades. A large part of the quiet success of this
continuing peaceful revolution must be attributed to Buddhism's popularity
with the merchant classes, and its continuing compatibility with today's
business-dominated culture.

At birth, Prince Siddhartha was prophesied to become either a world-
conqueror or a Buddha, and his father made every effort to see to it that
the former destiny would come to pass. He was raised to be a warrior and a
leader of warriors -- a king. In renouncing his throne and setting forth
to attain enlightenment, he betrayed his class and created a new, classless
profession -- that of the monastic philosopher sage, neither priest nor
warrior, a man or woman truly without rank.

The businessmen of his time, the merchant classes, felt a natural affinity
with this new order of individualists. They fully appreciated that education
makes the man, that enterprise creates a life of value, and that there are
no limits on what humans can achieve when free of the artificial constraints
imposed by political or religious authorities and the traditions that
support them.

When Buddha "awoke," he realized that perfecting the human understanding of
reality is the only way to achieve happiness. Merely maintaining one's faith
and following dogmatic rules will not do the job. Therefore, he saw his task
as founding an educational movement to develop reason and insight, rather
than a religious movement that would be reliant on faith and obedience.
Buddha rejected indoctrination of any kind and urged people to think for
themselves -- encouraging them to rely on their own enterprise and
intelligence to achieve their own liberation and fulfillment.

The Buddhist revolution, then, marked the beginning of a global process that
has lasted for thousands of years: the shift of power and status from the
warrior to the merchant class. It was clear to the Buddha that trade and
exchange was preferable to war and pillage as a method of creating wealth
with the latter, one violently takes things and territory from others, or
destroys them, whereas with the former, one negotiates with the other and
exchanges one's things of value for other things of value, continuing that
process in unlimited expansion, leaving the other alive and even enriched
to trade with again another day.

This process is not yet complete, however. The modern phrase military-
industrial complex tends to confuse the global trend involved, by implying
that industrialism and militarism are indistinguishable. Granted, the
sometimes militaristic, often sports-inspired ethos of today's
megacorporations has been encouraged by our century's addiction to warfare
leading to the focus on a very short-term bottom line. But the shortest term
bottom line approach -- conquering the consumer and taking everything he
has -- leads to destruction of your customers. Sooner or later, that puts
you out of business.

After the United States helped Japan and Germany get back on their feet
after the last world war, both countries pulled ahead of the war's victors
by putting their creativity into consumer industries instead of military
ones. Today, America is thriving in large part because it has shifted its
technological development from arms proliferation into biotechnology and
information-processing industries. When the Internet becomes better
understood, it might indeed change American attitudes about the connections
between peacetime and prosperity.

Our current fascination with Buddhism goes beyond fad and fashion. We may
be gradually recognizing the downside of our violence-prone lifestyle, which
not only drains our national budget but infects our households, schools,
neighborhoods, theaters, diets, hospitals, and television sets.

At the same time, we seem to be learning to enjoy the upside of our creative business culture, which brings greater pleasure, comfort, health, and
knowledge within our reach. Buddhists consider true happiness to be a
realistically attainable goal of human life and applaud the creation of
wealth as the foundation that makes possible the institutional and
individual efforts to attain that goal. The dawn of the 21st century may,
in fact, be the ideal moment for business to recognize the long history, and
long-term market potential, of awakening.


"Don't worry about what someone else is making." It don't make any difference how much money anyone makes. And besides, someone else is always going to make more.

Jim "Catfish" Hunter - Retired Yankee Pitcher

Thursday, July 14, 2005


In the past few weeks we have seen a rise in the number of entrepreneurs and business leaders caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. What makes everyday people commit extraordinary crimes of fraud and deceit? In Vernon, BC this week we read about the Mayor who misappropriated his expense money and resigned in shame and embarassment.

Ian Thow, while working as a Senior Vice President of Berskshire Investment Group in Victoria,BC, lived an extravagant lifestyle with jet airplanes, a 17-metre Sea Ray yacht and a $4.6 million-waterfront home. On May 31, he resigned from Berskshire, Since then four groups of clients have filed lawsuits claiming he induced them to invest millions of dollars in the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica. In some cases, they claim, Thow persuaded them to mortgage their homes to finance the share purchases. They also claim that, if he ever bought any shares, he didn't deliver them or return the money. Thow has denied the allegations, Berkshire----which has been named a co-defendant --claims it knew nothing about Thow's share dealings and denies any responsibility. Ian Thow's career appears to have many parallels with that of his brother, Phillip. In 1987, both were working as mutual fund salesmen at Investors Group, Ian in Victoria and Phillip in Vancouver. Both were effective salesman and quickly promoted to regional managers. But under this rosy exterior, there were some strange dealings.

Bernie Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom, was on Wednesday sentenced to 25 years in jail for orchestrating an $11billion fraud, the biggest in US corporate history, at the once high-flying US telecommunications company.

US district judge Barbara S.Jones said the sentence reflected the gravity of the crime.

“Although I know this will probably mean Ebbers will spend the rest of his life in prison, sentencing him to anything less would not reflect the seriousness of the crime.”

Ebbers' sentence is one of the most severe to be handed down for a white-collar crime. Robert Mintz, a lawyer with McCarter & English, called the sentence “staggering”.

“This sends a very chilling message that if you get convicted of these large-scale financial frauds, you're going to be looking at a sentence that a Mafia kingpin or a druglord would face.”

Ebbers' sentence came as United States federal prosecutors decided on Wednesday, in a further high profile white collar fraud case, not to pursue perjury charges against Richard Scrushy, the former HealthSouth chief executive.

Scrushy was acquitted last month in a multi-billion dollar fraud at the healthcare company. The decision brings an end to two years of government efforts to hold Scrushy criminally responsible for the fraud. Mr Scrushy still faces civil charges.

How tough is it to be honest these days--really tough. Ever since you were a child you have been taught that to fib is okay---a "little white lie" never hurt anybody. How about that little fib when you didnt declare that new watch you bought across the border. They'll never find out--I'll just wear it. Or how about when you lied to the teacher when you didn't do your homework---I was cat father had to go to the hospital----anything to avoid the pre-conceived notion that the result of the truth would mean a terrible punishment or reprimand, and in the mind of an 8 year old-- too gruesome to imagine. The fear of discovery is far greater than the unknown consequence of the truth.

As a society we are driven to succeed in virtually everything we live our lives for. We are driven to succeed in public school, in University, in sports, in our marriage, our business, our relationships with our children. Everything is measured by success. This need for success is the single most destructive force operating in our free enterprise system. Take a look at the so-called self help section of any bookstore...lined with books on "HOW TO SUCCEED" in your marriage...your golf game..your tennis game...your poker game...your life..period!
Every new workshop or seminar has a Tony Robbins look a like clone telling you he has the 7 secrets of success or highly successful people, and for $1,000US he'll tell you the secrets, so you don't have to walk around with your head down thinking you must be a LOSER. I know the game...I played it...I am a recovering Tony Robbins franchise owner.

How about the pressure to succeed being so strong that you are willing to sacrifice your integrity and your friends to join an MLM company just because somebody told you they are "looking for a few good leaders" to help others become financially independent and SUCCESSFUL. PICK ME...must have been written on my chest! And when you go on stage, you pad your monthly earnings, so that others will say...well if he can make it and he's just a truck driver I can make millions. Then you see your "upline" driving a jaguar and you're still driving the volkswagen and you wonder what's wrong with this picture---who's zooming who! And then you read a book called "FALSE PROFITS"--Spiritual Deliverance from multi-level marketing, and you find out that only 4% of multilevel participants actually make any significant money. In there haste to enrol their downline...your upline will never tell you that. I've been there..I've been an upline...I am also a recovering MLM addict..having been involved in a multi-level company from every letter of the alphabet from Amway to Jewelway and every letter in between. And remember the scorn when you left the were banished to the Island of MLM Quitters...the equivalent of a leper colony...nobody would talk to you or be seen with you.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or a corporate CEO you must achieve---you must succeed--and you must prove to others that you can succeed---your teachers, your parents, your coach, your wife, your children, yur boss, your friends, and indeed yourself. If you don't..what are the consequences--poverty, lack of respect, deprivation, and most of all humiliation. We've all been there--I have ---you have-- and unless we change the DNA in our children--they will too.

I believe all of the men and women who have risen to the top have paid the ultimate price and if you ask them confidentially..they'll tell you that their biggest fear is that they'll be found out. What if people find out I actually am petrified at the top. How will I ever measure up to what's expected of me. After all I was selected over 250 applicants to be the ONE--THE CHOSEN ONE. I must always "pretend to know what I'm doing (I read Tony' book--Ultimate Power.."Fake it till you make it"!) it's okay to pretend for a while. And I must never ever admit to not knowing who I really am.

Fear corrupts the mind and it makes one do things without remorse...because as programmed as we are we must do everything to avoid failure at any cost. "FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION" is the mantra of the young entrepreneur who just started his new business and in the background are the voices of the fallen..the dot-com failures..the dot bust overnight millionaires now gone bankrupt and taking tens of thousands of unfortunate believers with them saying...wait you'll see my's NOT ABOUT THE MONEY!!

Buddha says: "The wrong action seems sweet to the fool until the reaction comes and brings pain, and the bitter fruits of wrong deeds have then to be eaten by the fool."


False Profits, by Robert L. FitzPatrick and Joyce K. Reynolds, is an exposé and analysis of the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry, (Amway, Nu Skin, Herbalife and companies of that sort) and an analysis of illegal pyramid schemes and their relationship to MLM.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005



Quiz: Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

The standard clinical test for psychopathy, Robert Hare's PCL-R, evaluates 20 personality traits overall, but a subset of eight traits defines what he calls the "corporate psychopath" -- the nonviolent person prone to the "selfish, callous, and remorseless use of others." Does your boss fit the profile? Here's our do-it-yourself quiz drawing on the test manual and Hare's book Without Conscience. (Disclaimer: If you're not a psychologist or psychiatrist, this will be a strictly amateur exercise.) We've used the pronoun "he," but research suggests psychologists have underestimated the psychopathic propensity of women.

From: Issue 96 | July 2005 | Page 48 By: Fast Company Staff
For each question, score two points for "yes," one point for "somewhat" or "maybe," and zero points for "no."

[1] Is he glib and superficially charming?
Is he a likable personality and a terrific talker -- entertaining, persuasive, but maybe a bit too smooth and slick? Can he pass himself off as a supposed expert in a business meeting even though he really doesn't know much about the topic? Is he a flatterer? Seductive, but insincere? Does he tell amusing but unlikely anecdotes celebrating his own past? Can he persuade his colleagues to support a certain position this week -- and then argue with equal conviction and persuasiveness for the opposite position next week? If he's a CEO, can he appear on TV and somehow get away without answering the interviewer's direct questions or saying anything truly substantive?


[2] Does he have a grandiose sense of self-worth?
Does he brag? Is he arrogant? Superior? Domineering? Does he feel he's above the rules that apply to "little people"? Does he act as though everything revolves around him? Does he downplay his legal, financial, or personal problems, say they're just temporary, or blame them on others?


[3] Is he a pathological liar?
Has he reinvented his own past in a more positive light -- for example, claiming that he rose from a tough, poor background even though he really grew up middle class? Does he lie habitually even though he can easily be found out? When he's exposed, does he still act unconcerned because he thinks he can weasel out of it? Does he enjoy lying? Is he proud of his knack for deceit? Is it hard to tell whether he knows he's a liar or whether he deceives himself and believes his own bull?


[4] Is he a con artist or master manipulator?
Does he use his skill at lying to cheat or manipulate other people in his quest for money, power, status, and sex? Does he "use" people brilliantly? Does he engage in dishonest schemes such as cooking the books?


[5] When he harms other people, does he feel a lack of remorse or guilt?
Is he concerned about himself rather than the wreckage he inflicts on others or society at large? Does he say he feels bad but act as though he really doesn't? Even if he has been convicted of a white-collar crime, such as securities fraud, does he not accept blame for what he did, even after getting out of prison? Does he blame others for the trouble he causes?


[6] Does he have a shallow affect?
Is he cold and detached, even when someone near him dies, suffers, or falls seriously ill -- for example, does he visit the hospital or attend the funeral? Does he make brief, dramatic displays of emotion that are nothing more than putting on a theatrical mask and playacting for effect? Does he claim to be your friend but rarely or never ask about the details of your life or your emotional state? Is he one of those tough-guy executives who brag about how emotions are for whiners and losers?


[7] Is he callous and lacking in empathy?
Does he not give a damn about the feelings or well-being of other people? Is he profoundly selfish? Does he cruelly mock others? Is he emotionally or verbally abusive toward employees, "friends," and family members? Can he fire employees without concern for how they'll get by without the job? Can he profit from embezzlement or stock fraud without concern for the harm he's doing to shareholders or pensioners who need their savings to pay for their retirements?


[8] Does he fail to accept responsibility for his own actions?
Does he always cook up some excuse? Does he blame others for what he's done? If he's under investigation or on trial for a corporate crime, like deceitful accounting or stock fraud, does he refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing even when the hard evidence is stacked against him?


If your boss scores:

1-4 | Be frustrated
5-7 | Be cautious
8-12 | Be afraid
13-16 | Be very afraid


I came across this excellent article in Fast Company today. Many of you I am sure have read it, but nonetheless I thought it was worthy of re-print. It truly exemplifies what I have been writing about. The need for a fundamental shift in the way North America does business, and the birth of a new era, "Enlightened Capitalism", where the Chief Embezzlement Officer is replaced by the Chief Enlightenment Officer.

by Alan Deutschmann

Odds are you've run across one of these characters in your career. They're glib, charming, manipulative, deceitful, ruthless -- and very, very destructive. And there may be lots of them in America's corner offices.

One of the most provocative ideas about business in this decade so far surfaced in a most unlikely place. The forum wasn't the Harvard Business School or one of those $4,000-a-head conferences where Silicon Valley's venture capitalists search for the next big thing. It was a convention of Canadian cops in the far-flung province of Newfoundland. The speaker, a 71-year-old professor emeritus from the University of British Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the business realm. But he's renowned in his own field: criminal psychology. Robert Hare is the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist. The 20-item personality evaluation has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history. It's the standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths -- the 1% of the general population that isn't burdened by conscience. Psychopaths have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life "games" they can win -- and take pleasure from their power over other people.

On that August day in 2002, Hare gave a talk on psychopathy to about 150 police and law-enforcement officials. He was a legendary figure to that crowd. The FBI and the British justice system have long relied on his advice. He created the P-Scan, a test widely used by police departments to screen new recruits for psychopathy, and his ideas have inspired the testing of firefighters, teachers, and operators of nuclear power plants.

According to the Canadian Press and Toronto Sun reporters who rescued the moment from obscurity, Hare began by talking about Mafia hit men and sex offenders, whose photos were projected on a large screen behind him. But then those images were replaced by pictures of top executives from WorldCom, which had just declared bankruptcy, and Enron, which imploded only months earlier. The securities frauds would eventually lead to long prison sentences for WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and Enron CFO Andrew Fastow.

"These are callous, cold-blooded individuals," Hare said.

"They don't care that you have thoughts and feelings. They have no sense of guilt or remorse." He talked about the pain and suffering the corporate rogues had inflicted on thousands of people who had lost their jobs, or their life's savings. Some of those victims would succumb to heart attacks or commit suicide, he said.

Then Hare came out with a startling proposal. He said that the recent corporate scandals could have been prevented if CEOs were screened for psychopathic behavior. "Why wouldn't we want to screen them?" he asked. "We screen police officers, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?"

It's Hare's latest contribution to the public awareness of "corporate psychopathy." He appeared in the 2003 documentary The Corporation, giving authority to the film's premise that corporations are "sociopathic" (a synonym for "psychopathic") because they ruthlessly seek their own selfish interests -- "shareholder value" -- without regard for the harms they cause to others, such as environmental damage.

Is Hare right? Are corporations fundamentally psychopathic organizations that attract similarly disposed people? It's a compelling idea, especially given the recent evidence. Such scandals as Enron and WorldCom aren't just aberrations; they represent what can happen when some basic currents in our business culture turn malignant. We're worshipful of top executives who seem charismatic, visionary, and tough. So long as they're lifting profits and stock prices, we're willing to overlook that they can also be callous, conning, manipulative, deceitful, verbally and psychologically abusive, remorseless, exploitative, self-delusional, irresponsible, and megalomaniacal. So we collude in the elevation of leaders who are sadly insensitive to hurting others and society at large.

There's evidence that the business climate has become even more hospitable to psychopaths in recent years. In pioneering long-term studies of psychopaths in the workplace, Babiak focused on a half-dozen unnamed companies: One was a fast-growing high-tech firm, and the others were large multinationals undergoing dramatic organizational changes -- severe downsizing, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. That's just the sort of corporate tumult that has increasingly characterized the U.S. business landscape in the last couple of decades. And just as wars can produce exciting opportunities for murderous psychopaths to shine (think of Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic), Babiak found that these organizational shake-ups created a welcoming environment for the corporate killer. "The psychopath has no difficulty dealing with the consequences of rapid change; in fact, he or she thrives on it," Babiak claims. "Organizational chaos provides both the necessary stimulation for psychopathic thrill seeking and sufficient cover for psychopathic manipulation and abusive behavior."

For more go to:



"An Entrepreneurs Guide to Enlightenment: Complete With Road Map and Truck Stops"

Buddha in the Board Room is scheduled for release late this year. It is very much about the personal journey of the author, Allan Holender who is neither a Buddhist or devotely religious man . Allan has interviewed top CEO's and Entrepreneurs looking for that common denominator that separates those who have been able to achieve greatness with their companies and still maintain a life of integrity and compassion. There is a common thread, and in many cases we need look no further than the eight fold path and teachings of the Buddha.

Buddhism is considered to be one of the most important world faiths and it certainly has its influence on the spiritual life of the planet. It is estimated that half of the countries of the world have been directly influenced by Buddhist thinking.
So how does does this relate to the business world?

Holender says "I believe that since the Enron collapse, WorldCom, Martha Stewart and the recent events in history we are entering a new era I refer to as "Enlightened Capitalism", where the reason to be in business is no longer just the bottom line. This era is also creating the birth of "social capitalists". Ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their employees, their shareholders, their families, and their communties."

"Although the Buddha taught us that there is, in the final analysis, no individual identity as such, those things to which we devote ourselves have a karmic effect on future lives which arise "like one fire lit from another".

When the author explores the Eightfold Path it becomes evident that the eight may be divided into three distinct areas of one's life, areas that were of particular concern to the Buddha. These are wisdom, morality and meditation.

WISDOM involves Right View or coming to a proper understanding of the truth of the Buddha's teachings. All of us have had an insight, a flash of understanding, when our view suddenly changes. With that flash arises the realization that life as we know it has it's limitations.

MORALITY involves speech, action and the way we gain our livelihood. Right Speech concerns the truth, holding the words of truth in mind, and speaking from that truth in a way that is true. These are the fundamental words of truth discovered in experience and spoken in a way that causes no harm. Words are all important. Our experience of the world is forged out of the ideas that we carry with us. If we avoid not only lying to others but also lying to ourselves, everything will not only be freed from the distortions we have imposed but will become purified and therefore more translucent and luminus.

Right Action is a direct result of refined ideas. If our words are of the nature of greed, hatred and delusion then must our action be likewise. How different are actions are that arise out of their opposites: generosity, compassion, and understanding.

Right Livelihood encourages us to seek a way of sustaining ourselves which minimizes the impact we have on others and the world in general. It encourages us to think differently, to appreciate the interconnectdness of all things and to tread lightly with due care and compassion,

MEDITATION is the third main area dealt with in the Eightfold Path. Right Mindfulness is one of the great joys of the reflective life. When we adopt mindfulness we immediately allow for quiet observation; the possibility that rather than being utterly identified with all the thoughts and feelings which rise in the heart and mind, we have the capacity to stand back and quietly observe the promptings of self-identification. Calmness and clarity are much desired, but personal desire will never provide them. Desire has the opposite effect, it agitates rather than calms, it confuses rather than clarifies.

One of the highlights of the many interviews the author conducted, is the one featuring Arran Stephens, the founder and CEO of Natures Path Foods, North America's largest producer of organic cereals. This former "hippie capitalist" who honed his entrepreneurial skills on 4th Avenue in Vancouver operating an organic restaurant with his wife, arises every morning at 4 a.m. for meditation and reflection. His business is soaring, his wife works by his side in harmony as does his daughter, who handles the marketing. It's not only a family in business, it's a family in balance with themselves and the world. Their life and company are on purpose and they embody the essence of social entreprenuersim with their support of local and global causes. One of which is "Project "560", initiated on the back of their kids cereal boxes. OFI is issuing a call to schoolchildren, classrooms, boys and girls' clubs, and civics groups worldwide to assist it in a massive undertaking designed to keep the world's last remaining orangatans from going extinct.

The book does indeed provide a unique look at not only Allan's personal journey of discovery, but the invitation to other fellow entrepreneurs to join him as he seeks not only the Buddha within but achieving that ever elusive balance of purpose, work and life. Look for "Buddha in the Board Room" on book shelves later this year. If you would like to reserve your copy now, you can e-mail Allan at and he will set aside a personally autographed copy for you. Please make sure to include your name , address, phone number and e-mail address.

Also, if you would like to follow Allan's musings for the book and would like to contribute your own thoughts, visit his blog site at