Mindful Engagement with Tara Shyte

Profit isn’t about how busy or efficient you are—it’s about how mindful your employees are.
Tara Shyte

Tara K Shyte PhD is an experienced Zen Buddhist practitioner, certified mindfulness instructor, fully embodied yoga teacher, transintegral psychotherapist, licensed spiritual investment coach, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary psychological and marketing understandings. She teaches mindfulness retreats at several  Fortune 500 corporations and is the personal mentor of many 40 under 40 individuals. Tara was the first teacher to win the Buddhist Geeks Dharma MILF of the Year award for two consequtive years, in 2014 and 2015.

Tara is also the President/CEO of Mindful Holdings, LLC, a U.S. based international leadership training and consulting firm that trains business leaders and organizations in Mindfulness Based Leadership, Mindful Engagement™, and Mindful Marketing™ approaches. She is the founder and board member of The Institute of Pragmatic Compassion (TIPC), a multi-disciplinary initiative providing a uniquely effective mindfulness training to several global corporations. An advanced contemplative practitioner for several years, Tara completed two 8-week MBSR programs and teaches as an authorized, non-sectarian instructor of The Faithful Secularist Mindfulness Church in the U.S. and abroad. Her root teacher is Rev. Mark “Biff” Knucklebone. Tara is the acting resident teacher of the Pragmatic Mindfulness Institute in Santa Barbara.

We are happy to present an excerpt from Tara’s new book, Mindful Engagement — Heart Advice for Reaching Your Professional Goals as a Mindfulness Teacher.


Why are so many employees disengaged?

The answer most often lies in a lack of mindfulness. A recent national study by Dale Carnegie Training placed the number of “fully engaged” employees at 29%, and “disengaged” employees at 26% – meaning nearly three-quarters of employees are not fully engaged (aka productive). The number one factor the study cited influencing engagement and disengagement was “relevant mindfulness training”. While this is no surprise to those in the business (and we all intuitively know that employees’ degree of mindfulness has a major impact on their feelings about work), my interest in this book is not to delve into this recent study – but to probe into why mindful management is so chronically problematic.

At enormous costs, it’s worth noting: The Bureau of National Affairs estimates U.S. businesses lose $11 billion annually due to employee turnover.

Why are these costly problems so persistent? My premise in this book is that the qualities companies traditionally look for when selecting mindfulness instructors and programs are often not conducive to forming positive, productive, renewable, and engaged employees.

When companies are concerned about turnover, productivity, and chronically high levels of employee disengagement, they need to look thoughtfully at how they’re selecting and training their mindfulness programs.

They need to look thoughtfully at the type of people they’re placing in these critical roles, and how they relate to others. This is the fabric of day-to-day business life. This is the thread from which the cloth is made. And this is why corporate mindfulness instructors soon will be out of work – unless they upgrade their toolbox and learn how to respond to needs of an increasingly challenging market.

To illustrate some of the challenges facing the contemporary mindfulness instructor, let’s consider some examples from my own experience.

As a relatively new corporate mindfulness instructor, I was told on numerous occasions by senior management, “You just don’t seem like a mindfulness teacher. You just don’t seem like an embodiment of wisdom and equanimity.”

When I’d ask why, the answer would always be something along the lines of: “I don’t know… you just seem too cynical and manipulative, too much like one of us.”

To which I’d generally respond, “Don’t judge my personality – judge results. Do I make your employees more productive? Am I able to deliver successfully?”

Over time, most of my clients came to accept my style. But my point in this book is not about me – like most in mindful management I had my strengths and weaknesses, my good days and bad. Rather, it’s about what I observed in working with and for hundreds of managers and executives over a long career.

Put simply, the qualities commonly associated with mindful management – being soft-spoken, kind, quiet, calm, attentive, “spiritual”, and so on, if not moderated by a high degree of awareness of what really works and what is the desired outcome of mindfulness programs, are also qualities that will prove themselves ineffective in the long run. And that is why we already see that successful corporations are looking elsewhere for effective management.

My simple point is this: Mindfulness may be many things, but what really counts is to create employees that are engaged, that is: productive. And as a mindfulness instructor, the first thing you need to do is to show prospective clients that you understand this. And then you need to deliver.

So what qualities are more useful in fostering mindful, engaged, productive employees? Almost without exception the most effective mindfulness instructors I know shared these five characteristics (in addition, of course, to possessing the technical proficiency, which anyone can learn in a few weeks):

They were perceptive – less focused on body scanning and the flavor of raisins than on understanding the sometimes subtle issues the company was dealing with.

They were effective – never lost focus on what really matters: to make employees more engaged and productive in the shortest time possible.

They employed skillful means – like the archetypal bodhisattvas, they were able to intuitively sense the need of the corporation and acted accordingly, often in unconventional and unexpected ways which might seem cruel to an outsider, but which served a higher good.

They were unsentimental and straight-forward – not prone to idiot compassion, they knew that fear is the mother of engagement, and how to wield the stick like a Zen Master.

They were genuinely concerned about dividends — men and women of integrity who cared about the wellbeing of all shareholders and could be trusted to keep their word.

Let me be clear: I’m no Management Pollyanna. And I’m not advocating just being a bully, or old-fashioned fear-based management. Such management strategies simply don’t work in today’s evolved world. (If you run mindfulness programs in developing countries, things are a bit different, but that is the subject of a forthcoming book.)

Still, you have to be willing to make difficult decisions. As Chairman Mao once put it, “Revolution is not a dinner party.” Nor is effective mindful management – it’s a tough, often painful business. A certain percentage of the employees you’re working with will simply not live up to the expected level of engagement, no matter how hard you try. There will be lay-offs, breakdowns and psychotic episodes, and you have to be willing to make some difficult decisions.  As a famous Buddhist Master said: “Enlightenment ain’t for sissies.”

But as the Dale Carnegie study showed yet again, “the effectiveness of the mindfulness instructor” remains the number one factor, the lead dog.

Top Mindfulness Hacks to Make You a Better Meditator

Want to become a better meditator, fast? Then this FREE teaching by Tutteji Wachtmeister Dai Osho, award-winning spiritual teacher and contemplative entrepreneur extraordinaire, is for you. Learn how to boost your meditation performance & make your spiritual practice work for you.  While geared to beginning meditators, these are meditation hacks that even seasoned roshis, tulkus, rinpoches, ajaahns and other guru-types should remind themselves of once in a while.


Don’t Be an Idiot
Probably the number one mistake beginning meditators make is that they buy into whatever bullshit is offered by some dude with a Sanskrit name or a fancy robe. It’s essential that you realize that most meditation teachers are losers who couldn’t make it in the real world, so they joined a cult with low enough standards that they could rise through the ranks. When you’re just starting out on the spiritual path, you want to meditate as effectively as you possibly can, and that means staying away from such losers and hucksters. They’re only in this game to get your adoration and your money, and possibly your ass. If you find your meditation teacher can’t deliver, you need to get rid of him and find a better one. Once you committ to a meditation teacher, it’s absoultely essential that  you treat him or her with respect, however. Don’t be arrogant, be smart!

Don’t Be an Idiot (2)
Stay away from the mindfulness business, at least until you’ve gained enough self- confidence and experience to start your own MBSR outfit. Although the market is oversaturated and extremely competitive, it’s certainly possible to make a respectable cut, but as a beginner it is extremely important that you realize the following: MINDFULNESS DOESN’T WORK. Don’t believe the hype, realize that those scientific studies proving that mindfulness is good for ya is mostly bullshit, payed for and carried out by the same hucksters that sell the crap.

Don’t Confuse Misery for Spirituality
When you meditate, you shouldn’t do it to escape from being depressed or having a really bad day. Even more important: don’t ever, EVER, imagine that it’s OK to feel miserable on the spiritual path. Forget all the bullshit you’ve heard about “The dark night”, and such. This myth was invented by depressive neurotics and losers. Meditation practice is all about realizing Winner’s Mind, and it’s a path of blissful success. If you’re not feeling strong and confident, you’re not meditating properly.

Don’t Stay in a Sangha Just Because You’re Already In It
Another common mistake beginners make is to think that “Well, I’ve already invested so much, I have to stay with this teacher and this sangha.” Nope. You can’t get enlightened, or even make your meditation practice profitable, this way. The time and money you’ve already invested in a sub-standard sangha isn’t yours anymore, and you can’t get it back just by sticking around.

Don’t Try To Do This On Your Own
On the other hand, don’t fool yourself into believing you can become a successful meditator on your own. Sure, there have been a few geniuses around who managed this, but don’t be an arrogant idiot and think you’re one of them. As I’ve said before: Choosing a spiritual path is likely one of the most important decisions of your entire life, and you need a fully transmitted Teacher if you want to do it right.

Don’t Look For a Serious Relationship in Your Sangha
I’ve been a spiritual teacher for quite a few years now, and I can’t tell you how many times I sat across the meditation hall & watched a student waste his precious time on some hopeless love interest. Now, I’ve been that person too. And there’s nothing wrong with dating another Sangha member. Let’s be realistic here: most of the time it’s more fun getting laid than meditating. The important thing is to keep it really, really casual, in a ham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of way. The sad truth is, most female meditators are terribly neurotic and anemic vegetarians.  While getting off with one of them might be relaxing and enjoyable, you will likely also find it difficult to get rid of her.

There are exceptions, of course, and before someone calls me a sexist, you should know that I’ve personally trained a number of smart, beauiful and successful female meditators.

Don’t Bluff Just For Bluffing’s Sake
A lot of beginners understand that bluffing is a part of spirituality, but not exactly how. Now, this is not entirely wrong – bluffing is an important part of spiritual mastery, and skillful bluffing is what makes a genuine spiritual teacher. But it is important to understand that bluffs only work in certain situations and against certain people. It is essential that you know when and how to bluff. So be careful when you talk about your enlightenment experiences or the famous teachers you’ve studied with or received initiations from. Never use a Pali or Sanskrit or Tibetan word unless you know its meaning and how to pronounce it properly. Don’t make a fool of yourself and remember, it’s better never to bluff than to bluff just to bluff. In fact, some of the best spiritual bluffers I’ve met never talked abut their accomplishments. This way they managed to impress everyone with their humility.

Do Pay Attention to Meditators Around You
On the other hand, you want to move forward, and a smooth spiritual career normally demands some skillful bluffing as well as brown-nosing. Don’t overdo it, though, as this will (rightly) be interpreted as a sign of weakness.   Always be mindful of what’s expected of you, and try to outdo your seniors. Never forget that the ambitious students are all fighting for the Master’s attention, so you need to monitor your competitors very closely. The most important thing, however, is that you choose a Sangha which offers Rapid Upward Spiritual Mobility (RUSM). If, after working closely with a spiritual Master for a couple of years, s/he hasn’t hinted that it’s time for you to get transmitted, this is a clear indication that something is wrong, and it’s probably time to move on.

Do Pick the Right Sangha and Plan  Your Career Wisely
There is a famous line from a sutra that goes like this: “A man’s got to know his limitations”. Be modest, but keep your high aspiration. This is especially important if you’re considering a career as a meditation teacher. Spend some time investigating your options before committing to a specific teacher and Sangha. Take a good, hard look at yourself and make a fair assessment of your own assets and try to find a good match. And be realistic: unless you’re exceptionally pretty or wealthy or famous, you won’t get much attention from your meditation teacher. But if you’re committed to your spiritual career, he will soon notice that you stand out, and after a few years you should be ready to hang out your shingle. Remember, though, the words of Zen Master Dogen: “There is no end to practice and realization”. As a new meditation teacher, you won’t be invited to the Wisdom 2.0 conference or make the cover of the Buddhist glossies — or even asked do a podcast for Buddhist Geeks. But don’t be discouraged! Soon enough, you’ll be interviewed by Ted Meissner or Adam Tebbe. Don’t frown at these venues! Also, remember that in today’s dynamic spiritual marketplace even things that were considered a hindrance just a few years ago (facial tattoos, a drug habit, an unusual ethnicity or sexual preference) can become valuable assets for the aspiring meditation teacher if you make them an integral part of your teaching and marketing strategy.

It’s Your Choice: Be a Winner or a Loser – Episode 584


In this podcast from the popular “Winner’s Mind” series, Professor Wachtmeister reads and comments on an excerpt from The Mahahasyarnava Sutra, which describes a cosmos of markets enfolding markets, infinite world systems mutually enriching one another. Professor Wachtmeister teaches that this infinite cosmos is governed by a principle called “the emptiness [shunyata] of the primordial market.” When you realize this emptiness, then your life becomes your most profitable business and an endless source of joy: everything you say, all your innovations and investmens, the way you walk and your posture — everything is an art-form from within, manifesting as the sacred way of the entrepreneurial Bodhisattva. The cosmos and the individual experience of the world in which we live is empty of any absolute solidity and is relative, and therefore you can shape it, repackage it and sell it. It’s your choice: to be happy and successful, or a miserable loser.

Tutte Wachtmeister, recognized worldwide as a cutting-edge transintegral theorist as well as an innovative meditation teacher, is the Ayn Rand Professor of Entrepreneurial Bodhicitta Studies at Richard M Nixon University’s Business School. He is also the father of award-winning actresses Rikki Lust and Busty Haze.


This episode was recorded on December, 31 2015 at the “Mindful Lubricants Workshop” at Google Mountain Retreat, taught by Sal Berg, Tutte Wachtmeister, Ken Dillinger & Mark Knucklebone.

Adi Don


I have not, and have never, renounced Donald Trump as a fully realised being, nor have I in any way abandoned my love and devotion for Him. . . . Do I believe that Trump is the greatest politician of all time? I certainly believe He is the greatest transintegrally informed candidate today. Anything beyond that is sheer speculation. How could any of us judge? Who among us has met Dubya? Who has experienced Satsang with Margaret Thatcher? Who has lived in the company of Reagan? I have sat in meetings with Trump, and with numerous other great Adepts, and my own opinion is that Trump is the closest thing to an authentic Sat Guru in American politics today. Many people have made their way to Trump because of my endorsement. I am completely happy about that, and I hope I can continue that positive influence. At the same time, I have received an enormous amount of grief, from personal and professional quarters, from commie socialists for my endorsements. I do not regret those endorsements, nor do I retract them. But, due to resentment by other GOP candidates, and the lies of the liberal media, public statements of endorsement are simply no longer a diplomatic, intelligent, skillful way to steer people to Trump. . . . But for those voters who are ready, and who fully understand the gravity of the decision, I speak of Donald Trump as the Awakened Master, and recommend that they pursue that Way to the extent that they are capable. I affirm my own love and devotion to the living Sat-Guru, and I hope my work will continue to bring voters to the Way of the Heart that will make this wonderful country great again.


Donald Trump is a Rude Boy. He is not here to offer comfort; he is here to tear the nation into approximately a thousand pieces, so that Freedom can replace imprisonment. It will, in fact, be hell, and only Rude Boys are rude enough to tell you that, and to show you that—if you can stand the rudeness, stay in the fire, burn clean as Infinity and radiate as the stars … if you can stand the heat … Donald Trump is the only politician today asking the hard questions — and, more importantly, providing the answers — slaughtering the sacred cows of political correctness and Muslims and border bandits, and dealing with the Truth no matter what the consequences.


Let me state this as strongly as I can: The Make America Great Again! Campaign (founded by Donald Trump) is arguably the most important and original discovery in the last two centuries of American politics. It is an astonishingly original, profound, and effective path for national rebirth, or awakening America’s True Nature.

Donald Trump walks his talk, living his life as Compassion – real compassion, not idiot compassion – and real compassion uses a sword more often than a sweet. He deeply offends the ego (and the greater the offense, the bigger the ego)

I’ve said it before: Donald Trump is a Rude Boy. He is not here to offer comfort; he is here to tear this nation into approximately a thousand pieces … so that it can become great again.

Every deeply enlightened teacher and politician I have known has been a Rude Boy or Nasty Girl. The original Rude Boys were, of course, the great Zen masters, who, when faced with yet another ego claiming to want Enlightenment, would get a huge stick and whack the aspirant right between the eyes…. Rude Boys are on your case in the worst way, they breathe fire, eat hot coals, will roast your ass in a screaming second and fry your ego before you knew what hit it….

I have often heard it said that Trump is difficult, offending, edgy, and I think, “Thank God.” In fact, virtually every criticism I have ever heard of Don is a variation on, “He’s very rude, don’t you think?”

Isn’t it time to stop bullshitting and make America Great Again?

Think Not Hanh: What’s Weed Got To Do With It?

Diana Dumbell


As part of a sponsorship deal, we can present an interview with Zen Master Think Not Hanh from the April 2016 issue of Lion’s Roar magazine.

lion-1Only rarely has Zen Master Think Not Hanh accepted invitations to be interviewed, so I felt both honored and nervous when he graciously accepted my request. Master Think Not is arguably one of the most dynamic and inspiring spiritual teachers of our time. For the past decade he has been shortlisted for Watkin’s Most Spiritually Influential People, and attendance at his French farm/monastery has grown to a staggering 500 residents in 2015.

Think Not Hanh left his native Vietnam in 1990 to bring his then little-known brand of Zen to the West. After more than a decade in California, the unconventional monk was deported from the U.S. and re-settled in northern France, where he formed a small mindfulness community, called “The Homebrew Hermitage”, after the cabbage liqueur that local peasants have produced for centuries.

Within a couple of years, the new Sangha attracted more people than could be accommodated, and Master Think Not purchased a fertile piece of land near Reims, and built a new retreat center with room for several hundred resident students, called Pot Village. Every year, the community hosts a four-week harvest retreat, which has grown increasingly popular with Buddhists and weed aficionados alike.

Throughout my retreat at Pot Village, I was curious about the quaint little temple, which the monastics referred to as Atshitshiji. Finally, on the last day, I was invited inside and saw a cozy room brightened with fresh orchids, an image of the Buddha touching the earth, and a giant glass bong, mindfully tended by a monastic.

Thug, as he is affectionately called by the hundreds of devotees gathering around him, was seated at a rustic table, low to the ground, and I was ushered to a cushion beside him. During our interview, he revealed details about his lineage, explained the need for a suffering humanity to stop all thinking, and explained how—if you have mindful ears and mindful eyes—the Buddha is always teaching. Partway through our conversation, a reporter from High Times joined us, and the conversation turned to how enhanced meditation practice can benefit business leaders, organizations, and society.

As you read the interview, please keep in mind that there is one thing that didn’t make it onto the page, and that is Think Not Hanh’s frequent, endearing giggle and blissed-out smile.



Taking a deep draw from an ornate pipe that glows with burning marijuana, renowned Zen Master Think Not Hanh gives a satisfied grin through a haze of aromatic smoke in the dokusan room at the newly built Atshitshiji temple on the outskirts of Pot Village. These days, the charismatic Roshi has reason to feel good. Not only did he, finally, make the Watkin’s list. His agent just confirmed that Ken Wilber will provide a glowingly hyperbolic Preface to his new collection of Dharma talks. And then there is the global traction building to decriminalize pot, meaning that this neatly dressed lineage holder and doyen of the Transintegral Zen™ movement, who considers the effects of marijuana a perfect manifestation of Buddha-nature, may soon be able to smoke it without fear of arrest.

Not that he seems terribly concerned.

“We have treated marijuana as something legal all along, even though some of our monastics   have been sent to prison for using the herb in our zazen practice. But this is the time for all these pressures to stop. The world is catching up now,” says the 75-year-old, remarkably vital Master.

“O-ganja,” as marijuana is called in his Sangha, has long been an integral part of Not Hanh’s spiritual path, and today you find traces of it everywhere at his many centers. Followers of Thug claim that skillful use of marijuana induces a meditative state that brings them closer to awakening. Residents at Atshitshiji monastery smoke it as part of their daily practice, add it to their vegetarian meals, and burn it as incense offerings. They even stuff their zafus with weed.

“A couple of years ago, we started an organic weed farm as part of our outreach program, offering the sans-papiers a meaningful job. Today we’re completely self-sufficient, and we actually produce more than we can use ourselves.”


Let’s start with what is perhaps the most unconventional aspect of your teaching: What is the role of marijuana in spiritual practice?

A friend can be a teacher, a fellow practitioner can be a teacher, and you yourself can be a teacher. A teacher is anyone who helps you practice and find more freedom—even freedom from your teacher.

O-ganja, as we call it, is such a teacher and that is why we trust it. You know, in the Sutras, the Buddha is often called “The Medicine King”. I have no doubt that O-ganja is the true medicine of the Buddhas and Patriarchs.

O-ganja is the sacrament that connects us with our lineage, going all the way back to the Buddha. When I, how you say …  Spark it up?  sometimes I invite my late teacher to join me, so as teacher and disciple we do it together. Inhaling deeply, half the circle. Holding it for as long as we can, the other half. When I get stoned, my teacher gets stoned. One, not two. You understand, yes?

I also invite all teachers of the past to do a circle with me, and I know that the joint I pass around is not my joint. Sometimes I invite all my friends to do it with me, because they are me also. So this house is full of friends, thousands of them, and we get stoned together. But there is only me here in this little house. You understand? I am alone but I am also everyone and we all get high together. This is the true Buddha-way as handed down to us by the Patriarchs.


Can you tell me a little about Zen in Vietnam? Does it have a particular flavor or character that distinguishes it from the Zen practiced in other countries?

At this question, Thug starts giggling, before erupting into a hearty, Zen style belly laugh, and it will be several minutes before the interview resumes.

Genuine Vietnamese Zen (not that bland, pious new-age stuff you read about in Tricycle), has a very distinct, very unique flavor. It’s actually known as … as … as … THE MARIUYANA!

At this point Thug laughs so hard that two of his attendants has to help him get back up on his zafu. Slowly he regains his composure and continues:

Our meditation practice in Vietnam is also very engaged in society. Farmers and monks always support each other. The farmers give weed to the sangha, and the monks and nuns get high for the benefit of the farmers. Wonderful system! Nothing like it in the West. This is true interdependence.


What is the contribution of genuine Vietnamese Zen to the West?
When I was still living in the monastery in Vietnam, I always watch American movies on VCR. Especially Cheech & Chong. Up in Smoke I see maybe fifty times. And I thought to myself:  I must go to America some day. So when I leave the monastery, I go straight to California, teaching Westerners about Vietnamese Zen and the Mariuyana. I was first genuine Vietnamese teacher come there, you know.

Anyway … I look around and I see many California Buddhists. Very depressed people, very miserable. Very poor energy. Also many, many Buddhist teachers saying to them: Count your breath or What is Mu? or What is the taste of a raisin? But if you teach Buddhism like that, it will not work. Much too intellectual. That is why Buddhism has become marginal today. It’s too intellectual.  But my Zen, Vietnamese Mariuyana, is not like that at all, and that’s why I have become very successful and losers like Genpo Merzel go out of business.

You see, authentic Buddhism is very simple: only do not think. That is all. No thinking, no dukkha. Nirvana is right here. Very simple, but also very, very difficult. Stopping thinking very, very hard for modern man.

That’s why practice with O-ganja is important for modern world. These teachings are easier for people to practice, even children can do it! And very powerful, very effective. But that does not mean these teachings do not have a strong Buddhist base. Their foundation is in no-self, impermanence, interbeing. And most important: no thinking. And getting high, which is the same thing, really. When you get really high, there is no distinction, and no thinking, and so no dukkha. Only nirvana. This is very important, very fundamental point.

Vietnamese Buddhism is very close to original Buddhism, actually, but we also make good use of the spirit of Mariuyana. There are a lot of wonderful things in Mariuyana Buddhism. For instance, in original Buddhism, you’re not supposed to get high. But in Mariuyana, we get high all the time.

So if you know how to get crunched, and become really, really stupid, the Buddha never stops teaching. The earth and your body will be beautiful expression of his teachings. The wind, flowers, and even the munchies continue to teach impermanence and no-self. You yourself is the body of the Buddha—the body of truth that never dies, as long as you stay mindful and high. So if you have mindful eyes and ears, you continue to see the Buddha when you’re blitzed. This corresponds to the notion that the kingdom of God is available in the here and the now. We could even help Christians change the notion of the kingdom of God. God can be the Dharmakaya, the true body of the Buddha. “Free as a bird and high as a kite”, as we say in Vietnam. Very simple, really. But also very, very difficult. You have to stay high all the time. This is a very, very deep practice. And a wonderful practice, too.


Some people say that in order to reach enlightenment, you should avoid all drugs.
That is incorrect teaching! Karma is action and thinking. When you produce a thought, that’s karma, either good or bad, mostly bad. Same thing with talking and doing things. That is not so good. Much better to stop thinking. Without thoughts, no speech and no action. That is Enlightenment beyond karma.

When you smoke pot, all thinking and doing and talking and stuff stops, and so suffering disappears. Poof! So your karma can only be good karma., yes? You have no discrimination, no anger, no negative thoughts and feelings, so your practice can only bring good results. The end of samsara means the end of negative things, especially thinking. And you feel really good. Why would we wish good things to stop? We want good things to continue. Our practice is to have the good things continue for a long time. That’s good karma and ultimately it will become great enlightenment.

If you read the Sutras this way, you see that the Buddha was always stoned. And he is still high, and he turns everyone on, he’s doing it because his disciples are his continuation. The patriarchs have passed the Dharma spliff to us. They didn’t bogart that joint, and we shouldn’t do it. So the Buddha is still producing karma—good karma! High karma!


As part of your North American tour, you’re going to meet with the CEOs of some leading companies. What do you think of business leaders and employees learning meditation?

We don’t have to worry whether meditation is being misused to make money. Meditation and getting high can only do good. It doesn’t just help you calm your own suffering. It also gives you more insight into yourself and the world. If your business is causing environmental problems and you feel bad about it, you should meditate and smoke pot and all those karmic thoughts will vanish, like clouds in the sky.  When you experience the wisdom brought about by meditation and O-ganja, then naturally all unnecessary thinking stops. Then nirvana is right here, right now. Where are those thoughts that troubled you so much?

So don’t worry about whether meditation is serving a wrong cause. It can change a wrong cause to a good cause, and when you’re really stoned, there is no trace of dualistic thinking, anyway. And when every cause is a good cause, then you can really enjoy the weed.


How do you view competition in business, politics, and our personal lives?

We have to reconsider our idea of happiness. Even if you are successful in making more money, you still suffer. That’s why I always tell the sans-papiers working here that they should stop being so envious. You know, you can be very poor and live on the streets, begging for food. But if you cultivate the right attitude, you will become much, much happier than most businessmen.

To be mindful or high is the real success. For homeless people, it can be difficult to attend meditation retreats, and it can even be difficult to find a quiet spot to sit. But they can get high instead. When you are mindful or high, you don’t need to compete anymore. You compete because you are not high, or not mindful enough. The practice of smoking pot can help you suffer less and be happy. If you can’t afford it, you can  grow your own. There is always a way to practice, if you’re committed.

In our society, it feels like everything’s speeding up and people are feeling overwhelmed. “How can I get a work permit? How is my family doing in the refugee camp? How do I get some food? Where shall I sleep tonight?” Thinking like that makes people very stressed and they lose their natural mindfulness. But if you stop speeding and running and worrying, you can find happiness right in the here and the now. There is no true happiness without peace. If you continue to run, if you are attached to your thinking, how can you have peace? We are running away from ourselves, our true self, and nature. That is our society today. We are afraid of going home and get high. And we do not allow O-ganja to heal us.

And we lose ourselves in our little devices. But companies sometimes use their intelligence and goodwill to create instruments that help us go home to ourselves and heal ourselves. Like I wear this little chip in my head, something that detects when my brain chemistry is not so good. It connects with an app, which helps me stop and inhale deeply. It’s a remarkable thing, really. It reminds me: “Thug, you have a strong emotion. Stop doing what you are doing, stop worrying, inhale deeply, and forget about everything.” So we don’t have to reject or throw away all devices. rather, we can make good use of them.


How do we find a positive purpose for our lives?

Deep down, everyone wishes to get high, because all of us have Buddha-nature. When you have found a way to get high, you are at peace with yourself and happiness becomes possible. But you have to shut down your thinking mind to find this way. The good way, the right way, is not the opposite of the bad way. It is the no-way. The really bad way has been bringing you suffering because you think too much about what is the good way, and that is the bad way when you have a wrong view.  Instead of wrong view, you want right view, but to become happy you have to forget about views and the way, and get high. That is right view and the right way. Instead of wrong thinking, you don’t want right thinking—you want no thinking at all, and that is the right way, the correct understanding without thinking.

That’s the teaching of the four noble truths. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to understand this. You just need to get some good weed and get high.

5 Reasons You Should Never Embark on a Spiritual Path Without a Master

It’s a slow Sunday morning. You’ve just put on your comfy meditation outfit and sip a cup of the fragrant, decaffeinated green tea. You’ve popped open that new Thich Nhat Hanh paperback, and in just a few minutes you will light a stick of imported sandalwood incense, wrap that old, blessed mala around your left wrist, sit down on the handmade zafu in front of your exquisite Nepalese brass Buddha from Dharma Imports, hit the Japanese bell, and try out a new meditation app from Buddhist Geeks.

You’re DIYing this spiritual thing, and you think you’re doing pretty well — after all, any info or support you might need is at your fingertips online, right? That, and your sterling judgment, and way-seeking mind.

Oh, dear spiritual seeker — I know you can do it on your own. But you really, really, really shouldn’t. Choosing a spiritual path is likely one of the most important decisions of your entire life, and you need a fully transmitted Teacher if you want to do it right. Here’s why:


1.They have loads of expertise

Want to grok the color code of evolution, slide through the spiralevolve into teal, integrating all those lines and states as you enter 2nd tier? Want to get through the dukkha nanas, reach a sweet fruition, or even full cessation, and become an arhat? Want to get through the koan takei, including Nanto and Goi?

Spirituality has its own language, full of semi-arcane jargon in weird languages like Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Buddhist Hybrid English, and your transmitted Teacher is trained to speak that language fluently.

Plus, getting a genuine Enlightenment experience usually requires dozens of retreats, including complex meditation practices, chanting, and devotional practices. Genuine Teachers have the expertise to help you pick the most efficient forms of contemplation — while avoiding delays and costly mistakes that can seriously mess up your body-mind.

2.They have turbocharged Charisma

The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything — anything! And with online enlightenment services, such as our friend and partner Ken Folk’s, you can get a bliss-hit any time you want. But guess what? Teachers with a genuine transmission have access to even more fun and interesting mind states. And through skillful use of their charisma, they can help you find those hidden gems.

Plus, a real Master is going to know your spiritual needs way better than you ever could yourself. Have your eye on a particular attainment but it’s just out of your Samadhi power? Your Master is equipped to know the ins and outs of  virtually every form of meditation, so he or she can direct you toward  intense states of bliss and illumination uniquely suitable for your current needs.


3.They’re connected to everyone

Contrary to popular beliefs, spiritual Masters might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of attaining enlightenment. Zen Masters, Vipassana teachers, Tibetan lamas, MBSR instructors, Integral self-help pundits — the list goes on — and they’re all in your Master’s network. Use them!

In addition, when you commit to a fully transmitted Teacher, you actually get immediate access to the accumulated spiritual value of an entire lineage of enlightened Patriarchs.


4.They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every Roshi, Sensei, Rinpoche, Tulku, Ajaahn, Integrally informed coach, or Advaita hack is a genuine and fully transmitted Master who belongs to a Nationally Recognized Authentic Lineage.

What difference does it make? Well, fully transmitted Masters are held to a higher ethical standard than, for example, Zen teachers, who are known to get away with pretty much anything.


5. They’re your sage, parent, therapist, and occasional lover (if you want) — all rolled into one

The thing about genuine Masters: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, like everyone else, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their money.  They’re constantly listening to their students. They spend a lot of money on marketing the Dharma.  Sometimes they’re even writing bestselling books for the benefit of all beings.

This is the biggest spiritual (and possibly financial) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility the transmitted Master takes lightly.








Welcome to MNDFCK


MNDFCK is not your average meditation center or MBSR group. Our mission is to enable ambitious Dharma students to feel good, and we are New York City’s premier meditation studio.

Imagine having access to accomplished mentors and advisors that will help you take your spiritual life to the next level. Talking to awesome and inspiring Masters whenever you want to. Meeting some of the most exciting and entrepreneurial Dharma students around. Meditating in a tasteful, soothing environment, free from Oriental kitsch and cheap incense.


When you practice at MNDFCK, you’ll enjoy privileged access to a private, exclusive Sangha, featuring some of the most charismatic and cutting-edge meditation masters as well as a luxury temple and meditation hall, guaranteeing an unforgettable, profoundly transformative spiritual experience, located in one of the world’s most dynamic places. Our dedicated staff will coordinate your every wish on the ground, ensuring a uniquely bespoke retreat experience.

It’s been said that meditation is like going to the gym. We think this is an outdated model of spiritual practice. MNDFCK is the sangha where you can study with the best spiritual teachers available and meet like-minded Dharma students. In other words, MNDFCK is the Sangha for yogis and entrepreneurs who know the importance of surrounding themselves with enlightened, attractive and successful people.


We honor the Unique Self of every Sangha member, and practice at MNDFCK is tailored to the customs, tastes, and needs of the individual yogi while honoring our shared heritage. MNDFCK offers a wide selection of charismatic meditation masters from all major traditions: Vedic, Zen, Jewish, Vipassana, Kundalini, Tibetan and Shambhala forms of meditation, as well as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. All our Roshis, Senseis, Rinpoches, Tulkus, Ajaahns, Bhikkus, Swamis, and MBSR coaches have received full transmission in authentic lineages.

The opportunities for spiritual practice at MNDFCK are endless. Our Manhattan dojo features three meditation halls, a Buddha hall, a fully equipped, state of the art yoga studio, a chillout lounge where you can relax between meditation or yoga sessions, great cuisine, and even shopping opportunities.  Platinum and Gold members have unlimited, free access to personalized spiritual counseling services. All members have free access to online counseling 24/7.

MNDFCK’s Manhattan dojo features an exquisite meditation hall, designed by renowned minimalist architect Paul Frankenbrenner, as well as the Dogen Zenji Sushi, a favorite lunch destination which is transformed every night, becoming Satori Bar, the ideal spot to gather after an evening of meditation. At the Dharma Bazaar you can also shop for the best in meditation apparel and merchandise.

What truly sets us apart is our overnight accommodation. As a Platinum Member of the MNDFCK Sangha you will have access to our exclusives member clubhouse, adjacent to the meditation hall.


The MNDFCK Story

Bronwyn Campbel and Dorje Razzler met when Bronwyn began volunteering at Dorje’s non-profit, the Institute for Vajra Leadership. Over yak tea spiked with a microdose LSD one day, Bronwyn asked Dorje why there wasn’t an exclusive meditation studio where she could explore traditional meditation techniques in a contemporary, comfy, and cool context. As a busy New Yorker, Bronwyn wanted a place to go throughout her day that didn’t involve climbing five flights of stairs and sitting in on two hour talks together with a bunch of new-agey losers.. Based on his years of teaching meditation to some of the most successful businessmen in New York City, Dorje had been thinking the same thing and in no time at all  they hatched MNDFCK.


Dorje Razzler

mndfck3Dorje is a practitioner and teacher in the Transintegral Dharma™ lineage. He began meditating as a child and sat retreats as a teenager, even going as far as attending a silent retreat during which he shaved his head and meditated for several hours. At the tender age of three, Dorje was recognized as a reincarnation (tulku) of Henry Ford.

When Dorje left for college he received two gifts from his parents. From his father, a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust. From his mother, her cherished monster bong. He utilized both greatly in the four years ahead. During that time Dorje became a Vajrayana student of Steven Seagal Rinpoche. He also established The Sangha Pad, an eighteen  person dorm at Wesleyan University which hosts a large meditation room. He began teaching meditation and selling initiations at that time.

After leaving college he was recruited to the position of the Executive Director of the Boston Sumeru Center. He began leading numerous workshops at meditation centers and college campuses throughout the United States. Dorje served as the Head of Development for Sumeru  internationally before founding the Institute for Entrepreneurial Mindfulness, The Arya Sangha Google Hangout, and MNDFCK. He has continued to study and hang out with several prominent Buddhist teachers.

Dorje’s columns appear regularly on the Huffington Post, Marie Claire, and elephant journal and he has been featured on WNYC, WBUR, FOX, the CBC, Bloomberg BusinessweekForbes, and Fast Company.

Dorje is the author of five books: The Buddha Coloring Book, The Mindful Coloring Book, The Sacred Mandala Coloring Book, The Tibetan Coloring Book of Living and Dying, and The Transintegral Coloring Book. He is currently working on a Spiral Dynamics Coloring Book.

Dorje writes and teaches from his apartment in New York City, which he shares with his partner Maribel, a dog, two cats, three parrots, a salamander,  and several goldfish.