Pearls of Wisdom

Well-being at Cisco

Guided Meditation

Leading from True Self or Ego (Small Self)

Monique Martineau offers a taste of the power of leading from true self vs from the egoic human self. Even if you have a healthy powerful ego, it’s no match for the power of leading from your true nature.

In this first of six videos, Monique shares Deepak Chopra’s early influence (1994) on her Mindfulness Mentoring and Coaching.



Forbes: Meditate For More Profitable Decisions

 9/25/2013 @ 4:09AM |3,401 views   INSEAD Knowledge, Contributor

   It’s a practice rooted in Hinduism and adopted by beatniks seeking spiritual guidance. Now evidence shows meditation can improve business decisions and save your company from expensive investment mistakes.

By Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Andrew Hafenbrack, INSEAD PhD student in Organisational Behaviour with Jane Williams, Editor, Knowledge Arabia

Meditation has become an increasingly popular practice amongst the C-suite elite. And, with CEOs such as Rupert Murdoch (News Corp NWSA -0.28%); Bill Ford (Ford Motor F -0.83% Company); Rick Goings (Tupperware); and Marc Benioff ( CRM -4.49%) all touting its benefits, executive coaches are picking up on the trend introducing mindful techniques to programmes to calm the mind’s “chatter,” assist focus and manage stress. But new empirical evidence suggests it’s more than just a “feel good” exercise, and as little as 15 minutes of meditation can actually help people make better, more profitable decisions, by increasing resistance to the “sunk cost bias.”

The sunk cost bias–also known as the sunk cost fallacy, or the sunk cost effect–is recognized as one of the most destructive cognitive biases affecting organisations today. Put simply, it’s the tendency to continue an endeavor once an investment has been made in an attempt to recoup or justify “sunk” irrecoverable costs. The phenomenon is not new; psychological scientists have been studying the “escalation of commitment” since the mid-1970s, noting its ability to distort rational thought and skew effective decision-making. Often, it’s a subconscious action, which can result in millions of dollars being invested into a project, not because it’s a sound investment but because millions of dollars have already been spent.

Avoiding the trap

But it’s a mind trap you can avoid as suggested by the paper Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation: Mindfulness and the Sunk Cost Bias by Andrew Hafenbrack, INSEAD PhD student in Organisational Behaviour, Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Sigal Barsade, the Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor of Management at The Wharton School. Their research shows just 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation– such as concentrating on breathing or doing a body scan–helps raise resistance to this problematic decision process, and open the way to more rational thinking.

“Prior research shows the more we invest in something (financially, emotionally, or otherwise), the harder it is to give up that investment and the more inclined we are to escalate a commitment,” Hafenbrack notes. “In many cases negative emotions; fear, anxiety, regret, even guilt or worry over past decisions, subconsciously play a part in the decision-making process.”

Most noted examples include…  (click below to continue)


Harvard Business Review – Compassionate Mgt.

The Rise of Compassionate Management (Finally)

by Bronwyn Fryer  |   8:00 AM September 18, 2013

Don’t look now, but all of a sudden the topic of compassionate management is becoming trendy.

A growing number of business conferences are focusing in on the topic of compassion at work. There’s the International Working Group on Compassionate Organizations. There’s the Changing Culture in the Workplace Conference. Then there’s Wisdom 2.0, dedicated to “exploring living with greater awareness, wisdom and compassion in the modern age.” The speakers are no slouches: eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Bill Ford (yes, that Bill Ford), Karen May (VP of Talent at Google), and Linked In CEO Jeff Weiner top the bill. At TED, Karen Armstrong’s talk about reviving the Golden Rule won the TED prize in 2009 and has given rise to a Charter for Compassion signed by nearly 100,000 people.

More evidence of this trend comes from the Conscious Capitalism movement, whose membership includes companies like Southwest Airlines, Google, the Container Store, Whole Foods Market, and Nordstrom. One of the cornerstones of the movement is to try to take care not just of your shareholders, but all stakeholders (investors, workers, customers, and so on). One member is Tata, the Indian conglomerate, who makes no bones about it: “Our purpose is to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve.”

While the importance of compassion at work has long been touted by scholars like Peter Senge, Fred Kofman, Jane Dutton and others as a foundational precept of good management, managers of the traditional, critical, efficiency-at-all-costs stripe have scoffed. This isn’t surprising: given the number of nasty managers still sitting at the top of organizations, it’s easy to assume that the compassionate ones don’t often get hired, let alone encouraged and promoted. In fact, a Notre Dame study found that nice guys really do finish last, with more agreeable people earning less than those who are willing to be disagreeable. And all too often, compassionate people lack boundaries, thus allowing themselves to be used and abused; they become “toxic handlers” who absorb the organizational pain without much personal gain.

But something in the zeitgeist is changing. At Wisdom 2.0, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner told the audience that he is on a personal mission to “expand the world’s collective wisdom and compassion,” and that he had made the practice of compassionate management a core value at the company. For example, he described a former colleague who was publicly disparaging someone on the team. Realizing that he’d made that mistake himself, Weiner took the fellow aside and said, “If you are going to do this, find a mirror and do it to yourself first. You’re projecting your perspective and assumptions onto that person.”

To manage compassionately, Weiner noted, doesn’t come naturally to most managers. It requires… (for more, click below)

The Rise of Compassionate Management (Finally) – Harvard Business Review


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Bronwyn Fryer is a contributing editor to

Shy or self-conscious? That’s stressful too.

At dance yesterday, a guy from the SF Chronicle came. Sylvie Minot so beautifully honored us by inviting the shy people to the far side of the room. While some of us stayed and did our best to “let go” and dance normally, so he could get a representative photo of dance.

He was packing up his cameras, when a couple of us encouraged him to come out to the floor and dance. I said, “You can’t really write about it unless you experience it.” He said, “No, no, I’m shy.” I said, “2/3rds of the people out there are shy. Just come try a little?” Lori Saltzman, with her gentle mastery, nudged him a little too and he acquiesced. He was greeted with exuberant hooting and hollering and warm smiles. How could he not love that?!

As one who was shy and self-conscious (still), I hid my dancing in high school, then in my 20s swung to the other extreme in bars (with a buzz going)…showing off for the boys. Either way consumes so much energy.

By the grace of Zen and 5Rhythms, my practice has since been to see and feel pure essence underneath the monkey mind of stressful thinking….allowing essence to dance me. Even when ego hijacks the dance at times…guess what? That’s okay with pure nature too. This is unconditional love.

It’s actually beautiful to see and be seen…to allow the personality to live thru me (us). It was a shocker when I realized it was okay to be outrageous and playful…and, yes, even sensual and sexy! To navigate between hiding and showing off, while allowing the innocent human stress to be there too. This is liberation.

Thank you Adya, Lori, Sylvie, and all my teachers!

My facebook postings are usually an exploration of these edges…as well as using life stories to explore consciousness. It can feel risky, as people will interpret my / our activity thru their own filters. That’s okay too. We’re all navigating the best we can.

General Mills, Aetna, Target & Eastern Practices

The Mind Business

By David Gelles

…“It’s about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected,” says Janice Marturano, General Mills’ deputy general counsel, who founded the programme. “That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us – our colleagues, customers – that’s what the training of mindfulness is really about.”

The General Mills initiative is at the vanguard of a movement that is quietly reshaping certain corners of the corporate world. With meditation, yoga and “mindfulness”, the foundational tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism and other pan-Asian philosophies have infiltrated the upper echelons of some of the biggest companies on earth…

The full article can be found at
August 24, 2012


On ABC: Jerry Seinfeld & George Stephanopoulos on Meditation

“As Forbes Magazine says, stress is the black plague of the 21st century.”

“The American Heart Association came out with a study a month ago, that showed that Transdental Meditation, highly effective for reducing high blood pressure, reducing risk of stroke. And actually, reducing mortality rates by almost 50% from people who have been meditating for five years.” (More statistics at

Quotes are from YouTube published Dec 14, 2012:

Retrieved on 7-19-13 from the below website:


Wisdom 2.0 – Leaders from Ford, LinkedIn, Cisco

Wisdom 2.0 Conferences spotlight corporate and political leaders advocating for wiser behavior. Thank goodness the old dominate and drive-em-till-they-drop cultures are being challenged. Tons of videos:

Google’s Search Inside Yourself

Meng is the real deal. We talk shop at the Wisdom 2.0 Conferences.

In designing Search Inside Yourself, a popular course at Google, early Google engineer and personal growth pioneer Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) has distilled emotional intelligence into a set of practical and proven tools and skills that anyone can learn and develop. Created in collaboration with a Zen master, a CEO, a Stanford University scientist, and Daniel Goleman (the guy who literally wrote the book on emotional intelligence), this program is grounded in science and expressed in a way that even a skeptical, compulsively pragmatic, engineering-oriented brain like Meng’s can process.

About SIY

Plantronics people said this…

Presentation at Google

Deepak Chopra & Eckhart Tolle

My former employer mind-body expert Deepak Chopra, MD, (1994) meets with another great leader Eckhart Tolle, whom I was able to visit with in the “green room” between conference sessions in Mill Valley (2012).

Eileen Fisher on Conscious Business

About Eileen Fisher

When Eileen Fisher started her namesake company in 1984, she had $350 in the bank and a basic idea: that women wanted chic, simple clothes that made getting dressed easy. The modular line — pieces can be mixed and matched from season to season — is now available in department stores and 52 Eileen Fisher stores, including one in Irvington, New York, where Fisher, 60, lives and the company is headquartered. In 2005, Fisher sold the $300 million company to her 875 employees through an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. She is now the chief creative officer.