Archive for July, 2011

WOW! Cloud in the Book

July 29, 2011

A Koan to crack:


IOU – Hard Work

July 27, 2011

Buddha and his disciples begged for their food.

One day a rich man was very rough with Buddha and told him off by saying, “Aren’t you ashamed that you beg? You don’t believe in hard work like I do. You are lazy and depend on others for food. Tell me why I must give you something?”

Buddha replied, “I do a lot of hard work much harder than others do.”

The rich man said, ‘But I don’t see that.”

Buddha, “I work very hard to train my mind to remain empty but fully attentive. It is very hard work. Try to do it for a minute and you would realize how hard it is. I do it for 24 hours a day. Since my work involves the mind you don’t see it.’

“How does that help?” the rich man asked.

Buddha reassuringly replied, “Well, when you change your inside your outside world changes. You become the master of all that you do and you can put an end to your sufferings. It is worth more than all the riches of the world that you may collect. But hard work is needed”

The rich man realized the truth and immebecame Buddha’s disciple.


Great Indian Stories – retold


CL – Act Local: Feel Global!

July 25, 2011

Times have significantly changed.

A time has come when ‘All thinking worthy of the name must now be ecological.” — Lewis Mumford.

We are now clear that the ecological balance of our planet is at peril and our modern way of living is no longer sustainable.

What might we do then?

a) Do something on the political front. Any positive result is very unlikely.

b) Do something to lift financially poor nations and societies out of poverty. Again positive results are very unlikely.

c) Stop wars. Not a likely thing to happen in near future.

d) Bring Nations under environmental agreement. Looks gloomy at its best!

e) Stop manufacturing plants coming up in China and India. Downright foolish idea

f) Use renewable energy. Not viable till date. As of now the cost is prohibitive.

g) Use public transport and cut down on car production. Good idea but can’t be implemented. But this might hurt public and social vanity. And it might hurt companies too.

h) Change currency into something intangible. This idea is doing its rounds for quite sometime. But can envision how this is possible.

i) Reduce or check population growth. Not possible unless poverty is eradicated like small pox.

j) Do something at an individual or family level — use less water to flush and bathe, recycle garbage, buy cars with better mileage, etc… Good idea to initiate some movement in this direction.

k) Campaign against anything obnoxious — cutting of trees, toxic wastes in agricultural fields, killing of animals, growing crops not native to a particular place. Good idea again. But it needs a lot of leadership skills for people to voluntarily participate. Most of such campaigns have fizzled out unless backed by strong politicians (usually fighting for their personal causes) or backed by large and big corporations having vested interests who are sometimes economically more powerful than many nations. Hence unlikely! Or a Vinoba Bhave type of campaign that happens once in a century. Not very useful either. Or keep blaming others. That is a waste of time and effort since none would listen.

l) Feel what each of us can contribute from our own specific role in society constantly reminding ourselves of the question, “Within the given situation what may I do better to address the ecological issues of our times?”

This to me appears plausible under the given circumstances. It is simple indeed to ask, ‘What can I do to promote both ecological balance and live in a better way as a businessman, architect, teacher, professor, engineer, worker, taxi-driver, bus-driver, designer, doctor, nurse, lawyer, prostitute, musician, student, husband, housewife, traffic policeman, employee, manager, politician or a farmer or an economist?

As soon as we ask this question or remind ourselves of it a whole new world opens up with zillion possibilities. That for me is creative leadership.

Let us take an example to examine how this might work.

I love this DIY site: Dornob. Let’s see how they are answering the great question.

1. They use container pallets to design their furniture. It is basically a waste product after materials arrive at users’ doors. Idea – recycling materials!

2. The pallets are then configured in various ways to create different types of furniture (modular in concept). That is you can take them off and choose to build something else or simply stack them away for some future use. Reusable!

3. The end products are not the most minimalist or fashionable works, but they show the marks of their origins and are certainly eye-catching in a raw and honest way. A good design approach without using additional materials!

4. The tables, chairs and lamps themselves are both playful and pragmatic. They use existing colors as accents rather than relying on additional paints or stains. Some use blocks while other employ slats, depending on the need. Straight lines and right angles make them look minimalist at a glance, but really just functional and easy to build on closer inspection.

5. The best part, though, is that you cannot buy their designsthese are not for sale. What is for sale, instead, are a series of instruction manuals, photo books and other related merchandise. This is not only a clever way to tap into a market of do-it-yourself customers who would rather be giving plans than a finished product, but also more sustainable (and perhaps less ironic) than simply boxing and shipping reconstituted containers that you could just as easily get locally. I love this idea!! It benefits ecology. It benefits business. It benefits local factories & warehouses. It benefits users who gets more for less.

What can I do to promote both ecological balance and live in a better way? This is the lead question one might embrace to restore  ecological balance in someway thereby prolong our existence on planet Earth and also live in a better way.

What a powerful story that would prove to be? Feel from the heart to reach and connect 6.4 millon hearts!

It is time for this Creative Leadership to take shape and form starting with every individual as a leader operating in his/her own sphere of activity/work —  Act Local. Feel Global — What might I do to … ?


CL stands for Creative Leadership.

WOW! What separates the Two

July 22, 2011

Here is another famous Zen Koan to crack:

“Knock – Knock”

Question: What separates the two?

Hint: If needed, strike a table with your knuckles to produce the ‘knock-knock’ effect.

IOU – Understanding the Whole

July 20, 2011

This is a famous and well known story but I don’t mind repeating it with a question at the end.

Four blind men went to the zoo and visited the elephant. One blind man touched its side and said, ‘The elephant is like a wall.’ The next blind man touched its trunk and said, ‘The elephant is like a snake.’ The next blind man touched its leg and said, ‘The elephant is like a column.’ The last blind man touched its tail and said, ‘The elephant is like a broom.’ Then the four blind men started to fight, each one believing that his opinion was the right one. Each only understood the part he had touched; none of them understood the whole.

Question: How can one understand the whole?

CL – SWOT analysis of a System as a Whole

July 18, 2011

WOW! — The Cup is Full

July 15, 2011

Nan-in, a Japanese Zen master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Obviously wanting to impress the master on his knowledge on zen he kept on lecturing for an hour. The master listened intently.

The master then invited the professor to tea. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”


What did the master mean?



IOU – The Man Who Knew Too Much!

July 13, 2011

CL — Autonomous Management?

July 11, 2011

WOW! – Question on Enlightened Nature

July 8, 2011

Buddha said that all beings have Buddha-nature (enlightenment nature).

But Zen Master Joju said that a dog has no Buddha-nature.

Which one is right? Which one is wrong?

If you find that, you find the true way.