Why ZEN?

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”– Shunryu Suzuki

Why Zen & Why I Am Doing This

The honest answer is… because I want to initiate change in leadership values… I decided was either part of the solution or I was part of the problem, I decided to be part of the solution.

The way I put this project/program together is more about how leadership ‘is now’ and how to create a new ideas about leadership, rather than how people do it now.

I want to get people like you to become involved in change.  So you can generate interest in what you have to offer as a leader. It’s so much bigger than that but, this is from my heart in hopes that it helps communities, families and small business owners around me.

I am just a catalyst and you will have to follow up and follow through once someone reaches out to you and you find yourself reading this page. My biggest desire is that people realize can make a change for the better, for more inclusive and responsive leadership, for all genders, races, and social status, for our families and friends who matter. This is my way to support leadership change.

Why focus on leadership?

The Trump presidency was the motivation to start thinking and planning a course on leadership. It seemed to me as his presidency evolved many people were inspired by his actions, words, leadership, and his willingness to do anything to achieve power. On January 6 2021 the actions of a few storming the US Congress was the final tipping point. I was either part of the solution or I was part of the problem, I decided to be part of the solution.

Why is Zen and Leadership and what is the connection?

There is an abundance of books, courses, and columns that offer to share the secrets of success and leadership. The concept of leadership has been looked at, researched, and taught, so why are good leaders so rare? I believe the answer can be found in our ability to look inwards. Zen leadership may sound like marketing, but I believe it’s the key to true leadership. I watch many, politicians, CEOs and others project power onto others, forcing their way and imposing their values on those they lead.

You can see examples of forceful, manipulative leadership all over the news recently, with wide-reaching negative impacts upon our society. There are many successful leaders, but are rarely the ones you hear about, they don’t make the news. I believe that successful leaders are the ones who can focus their attention inwards and find a sense of calm and peace that draws others to them. It’s just about becoming more authentic—more real, more human and a better leader.

Why ZEN?

This desire to start and create a new dialog about leadership led me into the world of ZEN. It started for me with an interaction with a ZEN Monk Paul Reps. He asked me a simple question, which changed the direction of my life in so many ways, thank you Reps.

Many leaders struggle to stay successful and vital in these erratic times; we combine the Zen with your experience and your inner wisdom to manifest your leadership skills to strengthen your expression, and reduce stress, so you can lead with flexibility, joy and purpose.

Zen is characterized by mindfulness, meditation practice, insight into our true nature, and (most importantly) expressing what insights we gain in daily life and applying them to being a leader or becoming a leader.

Zen also has some great stories, which many other Buddhist traditions lack. Not that stories are critical, but I like them and stories provide powerful access wisdom.

The really short answer is this: Zen Buddhism is minimalist. Zen meditation is mainly about following the breath as well as emptying the mind. It also includes a few deeper things like meditative inquiry and riddles.

Help me change the world, help me create better leaders…every where Geoffrey

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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 up and down Dr R. suggested I learn to relax and try TM. Being analytical I did my usual research and contacted the TM centre in Vancouver and 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.

As I read James Clavell’s book ‘Shogun” 1975 yes it was fiction and yet so well researched it was my first look at a Japanese culture and ZEN Buddhism. I became quite curious about Japan and the ZEN part of Buddhism as a result.  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 Brief Encounter July 1987

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 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 Fall 2000

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 meet him.

We had tea and chatted, 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.

Way of ZEN 2015

We moved to Victoria on Vancouver Island and I continued to read and study and 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. Things had changed. People were focusing on complicated rituals and philosophical speculation and they had lost sight of meditation practice and of gaining any sort of insight.

It then was adapted by the Japanese and Zen became minimalist, 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 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 every day, lives. Buddhas don’t fall from the sky.”

Zen meditation is mainly about following the breathe 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.

All the best to you on your journey, Geoffrey




A private conversation

Geoffrey X LaneThe challenge in reading the information on a website you only get part of the story and their is more. If you are curious and would like to know more about the coaching and training programs I offer please contact me.

I would like to offer you time to talk and ask questions to see if their is the possibility that I can be of service to you, either as a coach or you joining in one of our training programs, send me an email and lets setup a time to talk – all the best Geoffrey