billkingsbury – Zen Leadership
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May 2022 Newsletter

May 2022 Newsletter

May 04 2022

On my kitchen windowsill is one of my grandmother’s orchids. I brought it home after she passed away earlier this year as it wasn’t faring so well without her particular care and attention – I understood how it felt. Although I’m still a newbie gardener and have zero experience with orchids, it started to revive and I felt the joy of her presence again.

Making Peace in the War of Perfectionism

But in some ways, it can still be beautiful. Just like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where we put broken pieces of pottery together with gold, there is simple beauty beyond perfection in embracing our imperfections and flaws as artfully raw and human.



Feb 28 2022

I am learning about belonging. The teachings of belongingness have come to me slowly from many wise people, communities, and nature. These teachings over the years are like walking a labyrinth, leading me towards the center and away, and towards the center and away from it again and again.  A journey.

Depression: weird friend, good teacher

In this series called “Stuff I’d Rather Not Talk About,” Rebecca Ryan Roshi offers her Zen perspective on different everyday experiences of being human. This month her talk is: “Am I Depressed?” If you or someone you love needs mental health help, please use the Mental Health hotline or its equivalent in your country.



Feb 08 2022

This delightful shift in Zazen shows up off the cushion in the remaining 23 hours and 40 minutes of the day as trust in myself. I approach my work feeling solid in what I have to contribute, not leaking energy with fear of judgments.

Leading as a Wave, not a particle

Let that sink in for a few breaths. This is not just a phenomenon of the exceedingly small, but the nature of reality in which we lead, create families and communities, and make our difference. What it shows us is that process of observing is not passive, but a process of resonance or co-vibration that particularizes something by how it registers with us. In physics this is called “collapsing a wave function” where a range of possibilities condenses into a thing upon our pinpointed observation.

Making the new Year New

By flipping around our usual way of sensing, including our sense of self, we confound our filters, invert our thinking and let the new emerge. Descartes’ famous dictum, “I think therefore I am” flips around into the spacious truth that when we don’t have to reify a self, we don’t have to habitually think the same thoughts. We can put up different antenna and new music becomes possible.

There Are No Superheroes; It’s You!

There is something slightly magical about mid-winter in the higher reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, the short days and long hours of darkness, with the sun rising around 8.00 am and setting soon after 3.30 pm. Stonehenge lies not far from my mother’s house, where our prehistoric ancestors laid out a ring of stones to celebrate these circadian rhythms.

Hark! Our Better Angels Sing: The Greatest Gift A Leader Can Give

In Lincoln’s first inaugural address, he appealed to the nation’s “better angels,” meaning the better aspects of our character, such as good sense and virtue. Seven score and sixteen years later, in the thick of the Trump presidency, historian Jon Meacham spoke to the battle for our better angels in The Soul of America. He recounts the disparities and triumphs of a nation founded on the declaration that all people are created equal and its unequal efforts to live up to that mighty truth.