My purpose and mission in life is to strengthen the social fabric that exists in the world.

Imagine a piece of fabric covering the world that represents good will. In some places it is evident that goodwill exists. The spontaneous help after the devastation of hurricane, neighbours helping each other in the winters’ ice storm. I am sure you have experienced it, a stranger giving you a hand, yourself helping others spontaneously. It exists in small and large measure.

During this pandemic it is evident that the social fabric is becoming unravelled and not just in our own backyard, worldwide.

This desire to make a difference and change started for me with an interaction with a Peggy Merlin facilitator and led to ZEN Monk Paul Reps. He asked me a simple question! Which changed the direction of my life in so many ways, thank you Reps.

How I strengthen the social fabric is in the simple act of building a company and workshops that strengthen the “individual”. The individual represents a single strand in the overall fabric. As each person is strengthened to express more of whom they are, we all are strengthened.

Why Zen?

I believe that having freedom expression, to be yourself is a fundamental human right. When it is suppressed goodwill and understanding seems to disappear. I believe it is imperative that we stand up for what we believe in, that we create workplaces that respect the integrity and the values of others. It is the suppression of ideas, values, beliefs, and individuals that directly decreases goodwill.

Now that I have expressed my philosophy and what drives me, I must say that I am not always effective and at times feel as if I will never learn all the skills and knowledge necessary to strengthen our society fabric.

At the core of Zen is meditation, self-discovery, self-mastery and mindfulness, which are vital and relevant today. It works because it enables you to make clear decisions and take confident action that’s aligned with your core strengths, your values, your purpose and passion.

Love and peace, Geoffrey.

My Journey Into ZEN

It started for me as a practical solution. I had lot of stress, a family to support and a business to run. As my blood pressure was up and down Dr R. suggested I learn to relax and try Transcendental Meditation. Being analytical I did my usual research and contacted the TM centre in Vancouver. Aeyon Shandrel was my teacher and guide into TM; it was 1976. I still meditate today although I now use a different technique. I started reading various books on meditation and Buddhism.

Self-Discovery July 1985

I knew I needed some help. I wasn’t sure why I was doing. Our what I was doing. I no longer had a clear vision of the life I wanted to create! A good friend suggested a workshop – I took the 5 day The Pursuit of Excellence. Then following up with The Wall 6 days residential program and then onto The Advancement of Excellence 8 week program. This was a new start for me, after the disaster of a failed marriage, I acknowledged I was the real problem.

I entered the 2 year Program Leaders Training; where I studied the background of “The Pursuit of Excellence”, I then facilitated “The Pursuit of Excellence” program for 8 years. I also learned how to the facilitate The Wall and I also facilitated The Advancement of Excellence, but my focus was “The Pursuit of Excellence” program. It was amazing to be in the company of so many gifted and wise facilitators. A special thanks to Peggy Merlin PHD who was the director of education and my coach. I discovered the writings of the Dali Lama which has led to so much more…

My first interaction with a ZEN monk came while at a retreat at ‘The Haven’ on Gabriola Island. I was taking part in a 5-day program called “Come Alive” I had been working on my family issues and personal history.

A Life Changing Encounter

At the end the day I went looking for a place to think and meditate about what I had experienced, in the meditation room. As I entered the meditation room, I noticed a man sitting quietly in the corner. I sat down quietly not wanting to disturb him, he looked up and acknowledged me with a nod of his head and I nodded back. It was then I noticed he was in monks clothing, he smiled warmly.

As he was leaving, I offered my hand and said, “I am Geoffrey” he simply said “Reps” and he gave slight bow and then asked a question, smiled, paused and walked out of the room… With that one question he changed the course of my life – thank you Reps. I have been working on answering that question ever since. I never saw Reps again, I found out his full name later “Paul Reps” ZEN Monk his books have sold more than 1 million copies.

An Introduction

Through two good friends Georgia Nicholls and Judith Dawson I was invited to attend a weekend long meditation practice. When Judith and I arrived it was suggested that I needed to ask Lama Chhyoing, who was leading this very special weekend, for his blessing to attend. I was surprised and said yes, then I got to meet him.

We had tea and chatted, and he asked me “How long have you been meditating?” My answer “more than 30 years”  surprised him so much that he laughed out loud, his response “oh I am sure you can join us” and he than asked me if I would like to take the vow of “Refuge’ and to follow the teaching of Buddha. I said yes, it was wonderful weekend.

My study of Buddhism ran into my solitary life style, I stopped going to the Dharma as I found it to be too full of doctrine and rules – I have always been the rebel. We moved to Victoria on Vancouver Island and I continued to read and study. I came across a book called “Way of ZEN” in Russell Books a new and used book store (I love the place). The book sparked another step in my journey. I finally felt I had found home, simple and yet profound.

Why Zen?

Zen appeared in China because some teachers noticed that Buddhism in China had changed quite a bit. It then was adapted by the Japanese and Zen became minimalist, which is why I like the Zen tradition, and the reason I (usually) refer to myself as a  ZEN student and not something else. I don’t wear robes, I am not inspired by liturgies, but none of that is fundamental to Zen practice, really. People will try to tell you that it is and very likely that some Zen leaders will argue with me.

According to Red Pine:

“One of the hallmarks of Zen is that its teaching is not separated from our everyday lives. Buddhas don’t fall from the sky.”

Zen meditation is mainly about following the breath as well as emptying the mind. It can also include a few deeper practices like meditative inquiry and riddles. I love the riddles and teaching stories. For me it is that Zen Buddhism is minimalist, no haste or waste, learn what you learn. I wish you the very best on your journey, Geoffrey

My Study List

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler

Way of Zen by Tenshin Flectcher & David Scott

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks On Zen Meditation And Practice by Shuryhyu Suzuki  (Editor Trudy Dixon) available as written & audio books

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Ron Di Santo, Tom Steele available as written & audio books

*Alan Watts -The Way of ZEN – The Book -The Wisdom of Insecurity – Become What You Are – The Spirit of ZEN (these are just a few of his books)

I have most of the *Alan Watts books. I also bought his entire audio collection, brilliant and engaging – these are a great philosophical and educational lectures on the history and evolution of Asian beliefs and the evolution of ZEN.   https://alanwatts.org/audio/

*Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer and speaker known for interpreting and popularizing Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York.

 

 

 

A private conversation

Geoffrey X LaneWelcome and thank you for taking the time to read my website information. The challenge in reading the information on a website you only get part of the story and if you are curious, we can talk. During a conversation you can get a sense of ‘who’ I am and I can get to know you. I would like to offer you time to talk and ask questions to see I can be of service to you, click on the red Calendly button, all the best Geoffrey