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#1772 - Monday, April 19, 2004 - Editor: Jerry  

Jerry Katz  

Book Review  

ZenWise Selling: Mindful Methods to Improve Your Sales ... and Your Self, by Lee Godden.  

Lee Godden is a sales trainer, speaker and long time Zen practitioner. He has directed sales for Compaq and other Fortune 500 companies.  

This is a very good book for salespeople and sales managers who wish to bring a discipline of meditation and mindfulness to their craft. It is intended for people who have heard about Zen and meditation, but know little or nothing about them. Godden teaches you.  

The bulk of the book is about how to sell, which is a complex subject. Godden deals with the fine points of sales and its challenges. The book is geared to someone new to sales, fairly new to sales, someone returning to square one in order to avoid sales burn-out, someone coming out of sales burn-out and starting fresh.  

There is enough depth in the sales teachings such that anyone selling anything in any way, or managing a team of salespeople, could learn and re-learn the principles of sales. Added to that is the Zen/meditation component, which is what makes this sales book unique. Godden delivers the nuts and bolts of sales and meditation technique.  

"Appendix A" is a 13-page history of Zen. It briefly tells the story of Buddha and lists the Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Zen in Japan is discussed as well as brief mention of Zen in Taoism, Christianity and Judaism, in the workplace and in the modern world. Like the body of the book, it is a concise and "no-nonsense" while being very readable.  

"Appendix B" provides a list of the best books on Zen, the best websites on Zen, and the websites of several dozen Zen retreats worldwide. Besides the engaged writing style, these two appendices offer another way of demonstrating the author's immersion into Zen.  

I recommend this book for people new to the concepts of meditation and Zen perspective, and who wish to incorporate them into their learning or re-learning of the fine points of sales.  

Here are some excerpts:  

"My central message is that salespeople who understand themselves well, and who live in accordance with their values, are seen by customers as compassionate, ethical and other words, the type of salesperson with whom most customers prefer to do business."  


"The mindful salesperson:

-- Your professional desires and goals are in accordance with your personal values.

-- You communicate with -- and treat -- others in accordance with your personal values.

-- Your expectations of others are in line with their abilities, uniqueness and freedom of choice.

-- You accept fear and failure as necessary components of personal growth, in both yourself and others."  


"To use a baseball analogy, the trick isn't in eliminating life's curve balls. You can't control what the pitcher -- or life -- throws at you. The trick is to see each pitch through crystal clear eyes, and to develop, through disciplined practice, skills that enable you to quickly, calmly and confidently choose if and how you're going to swing in response."  


"Beginner's mind, when used by a sales professional, is an opportunity for a deep connection with a customer. a difficult aspect of beginner's mind is shedding the been-there-done-that approach to any given sales situation. Knowing the tricks of the trade, including the arrogant and optimistic ability to "read a customer like a book" does more to limit a sales experience that to expand it."  

Reviewed by Jerry Katz  

Don't even ask how I put together sales, starvation, and Jack Kerouac...just keep reading...  

Low-calorie diet has protective effect
From AFP
April 21, 2004  

SEVERELY restricting calorie consumption can
drastically reduce the risk of developing
diabetes, a heart attack or a stroke, according
to a study published Monday.  

Researchers at Washington University School of
Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, found that the
people in their 50s or 60s who adopted a
low-calorie diet experienced the same risks as
people who were decades younger.  

"It's very clear from these findings that calorie
restriction has a powerful, protective effect
against diseases associated with aging," said
John Holloszy, a professor of medicine who led
the study published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.  

"We don't know how long each individual actually
will end up living, but they certainly have a
much longer life expectancy than average because
they're most likely not going to die from a heart
attack, stroke or diabetes," Holloszy said.  

Eighteen people ages 35 to 82 who participated in
the study were under a low-calorie diet for three
to 15 years. They were compared to a similar
group of 18 people who had a typical "Western"

The low-calorie diet group consumed 1,100 to
1,950 calories per day, depending on individuals'
height, weight and gender. Of the calories, 26
per cent consisted of protein, 28 per cent fat
and 46 per cent complex carbohydrates.  

The Western diet group ate between 1,975 and
3,550 calories a day, and consisted of 18 percent
protein, 32 percent fat and 50 percent
carbohydrates, including starches.  


That night in Harrisburg I had to sleep in the railroad station on a bench; at dawn the station masters threw me out. Isn't it true that you start your life a sweet child believing in everything under your father's roof? Then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you know you are wrteched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life. I stumbled haggardly out of the station; I had no more control. All I could see of the morning was a whiteness like the whiteness of the tomb. I was starving to death. All I had left in the form of calories were the last of the cough drops I'd bought in Shelton, Nebraska, months ago; these I sucked for their sugar. I didn't know how to panhandle. I stumbled out of town with barely enough strength to reach the city limits. I knew I'd be arrested if I spent another night in Harrisburg. Cursed city! The ride I proceeded to get was with a skinny, haggard man who believed in controlled starvation for the sake of health. When I told him I was starving to death as we rolled east he said, "Fine, fine, there's nothing better for you. I myself haven't eaten for three days. I'm going to live to be a hundred and fifty years old." He was a bag of bones, a floppy doll, a broken stick, a maniac. I might have gotten a ride with an affluent fat man who'd say, "Let's stop at this restaurant and have some pork chops and beans." No, I had to get a ride that morning with a maniac who believed in controlled starvation for the sake of health. After a hundred miles he grew lenient and took out bread-and-butter sandwiches from the back of the car. They were hidden among his salesman samples. He was selling plumbing fixtures around Pennsylvania. I devoured the bread and butter. Suddenly I began to laugh. I was all alone in the car, waiting for him as he made business calls in Allentown, and I laughed and laughed. Gad, I was sick and tired of life. But the madman drove me home to New York.   On The Road, Jack Kerouac    

    From Source to Source: an Endless Spring
Contributed by a reader of The Highlights

Advaita uses certain metaphors to illustrate the nature of 'reality'.

One of these is the 'gold' metaphor: "objects in the world are
portrayed as different pieces of gold jewellery. When the form is
melted down, the gold remains unchanged".

This illustrates the ideas that 'reality is one', and that 'in its
essence, it is ever unchanged - regardless of the forms it appears to

This pointing is clear.

However, some writings go further, indicating an apparent belief that
there really is 'self stuff' which is moulded and formed into shapes,
like pieces on a chessboard.

Sometimes connected with this, is the idea that these forms
are 'enlivened' by the 'life-force' making them move, and giving
them 'individual awareness' - a bit like electricity powering a TV.

In this case, the object is seen as having some
(temporary) 'independent reality', with the 'life-force' being a
simple 'motive force'.

This leads to the idea that the 'body' is a 'bit of self stuff' and
that 'awareness is somehow generated through the action of the life-
force within the body'. It is then assumed that 'this individual
awareness looks out of the eyes of the body - seeing other bits of
self stuff forming the world, including other bodies'.

This extension of the original metaphor leads astray.

Here is another story:

You are seated in a room. On the other side of the room is a door. It
is a lucid dream.

You say to yourself, this is a dream. It is all imagined, there
really is nothing on the other side of the door.

The door opens and you see into a beautiful garden. You get up and
walk through the door into the garden. You smell the warm humus and
damp earth, and the perfume of the flowers. You feel the dew on your
skin as you brush through the foliage, startling at the cry of a
strange bird as it flutters into the treetops. Reaching out, you pick
a yellow fruit and smile at its bitter/sweet flavour.

As you move through this dream world, you are aware of your dream
body. You know you are not in this 'dream-body', it is a part of the
dream - 'in you'. Yet the dream body appears to be 'your body'.

From 'your perspective', there is no head visible, just arms, legs
and torso. And, as your dream body contacts dream objects, there is
the feeling of 'body touching object'. It all seems very real, though
you know it is not.

In this lucid dream, it is clear that it is the whole scene (not just
the dream body) that is inseparable from who 'you' seem to be. 'You'
are defined by the whole experience: "I am walking through a garden
experiencing the flowers, birds and fruits". If instead, there were
the walls of a prison and the thought: 'I am a prisoner' - so it
would seem to be.

In this apparent dream state, it is clear: "observer and observed are
one". Everything seen is 'in' the seeing.

You wake.

The clarity has faded and all that remains is a memory.

There was no room, nor any door, nor any garden beyond. There was
no 'dream stuff' forming the dream world into some pseudo 3
dimensional reality.

There were colours, and odours, and feelings, and flavours and sounds
and the ideas that gave these sensations meaning - thereby 'creating'
your dream world. What is the essence of these sensations and ideas
cannot be said.

Now you are awake.

The seeing that saw the dream world is the same seeing that now sees.
No different.

The hearing that heard the dream world is the same hearing that now
hears. No different.

The tasting that tasted the dream world is the same tasting that now
tastes. No different.

The feeling that felt the dream world is the same feeling that now
feels. No different.

The smelling that smelled the dream world is the same smelling that
now smells. No different.

The knowing that knew the dream world is the same knowing that now
knows. No different.

The senses and the knowing do not look upon a 'waking world out there', any more than they look out on the dream world.

There is no 'stuff', dream or otherwise, that 'forms objects into
separate 3 dimensional entities in space and time'.

It is a world of appearance - not separate from awareness.

What is seen and heard and felt and smelled and tasted and felt and
known is neither 'out there', nor 'in here'. It cannot be located in
space or time. Nor in relation to any 'observer', for the 'observer
and observed are one'.

You seem now to be in a room and there is a door. You believe that
through the door there is a world, and that if you get up and go
through the door you will see it for yourself.

And, if you get up and walk through the door - there it is, just as
you believe: no different than in the dream.

Who is the 'you' that gets up? It is 'your waking body'. This seeming
body has no more reality than the seeming body in the dream. That
which sees and experiences both 'seeming bodies', is no body  .

Identifying with the seeming body, you seem to be a person living in
a world: an individual ego. Identifying with the whole experience you
seem to be the world itself: a universal ego.

Yet that which is, is neither this nor that. It is after all

Does this mean that the world has no reality apart from the image?

Emphatically No.

But that is a story for another day.



Dear Editors,   The following is an excerpt from my new book (not
yet published), The Teachings of Yama: A
Conversation with Death. One can find more
excerpts and my other writings and artwork at Thank you. Keep up the
great work.  

Hari Om,   Janaka  

~ ~ ~  

An excerpt from The Teachings of Yama: A
Conversation with Death, by Janaka Stagnaro

Chapter IX  

“Dear Teacher, you brought me into that hall
where individuals were engaged in activities and
showed me that they do not lead one from your
grasp. Is there any activity that aids in
developing character?” I said to Yama.  

“Of course, but engaging in activity, no matter
what the action, one needs to give up the idea
that I am doing it.  

“Selfless service is best, thinking not about
what is to be gained; yet just doing one’s work
most effectively.”  

“Does this work need be philanthropic, like
feeding the poor?”  

“Certainly feeding the poor and such other kind,
caring work is good to do. It will help open
one’s heart and allow it to expand beyond the
limited needs of one’s self into the greater
needs of others.  

“However let me show you something.”  


We stood in a balcony of a palace looking down
upon a great garden. In the middle of the garden
was a maze of hedgerows.  

Very complicated was the design, with twists and
turns and lots of dead ends. In the center was a

And in that circle, written in the bloom of
flowers, was the word ‘Buddhahood.’  

Standing on high I could see various individuals
wandering lost in the maze in their search for
the center. I shook my head in dismay at their
plight, for the maze seemed impossible.  

“Is it possible to reach the center?” I asked.  

“Keep watching.”  

Then I noticed a man in simple work clothes
carrying a few garden tools. He walked with calm
steady steps upon a narrow, well-worn
path(totally unseen by the other frantic seekers)
that led from the periphery straight to the

“What is that path?” I asked.  

“Oh that. It is simply the path the gardener
takes everyday to do his work in tending the

“You mean gardening is the direct path to
Buddhahood?” I asked incredulously.  

“No wonder I work so hard as Death,” said Yama,
shaking his head, “the way you humans take things
so literally!  

“The gardener does his duty tending to the
flowers daily. Unlike the others in the maze he
thinks not about reaching some enlightened state
in some far off moment; he thinks not about where
he has been.  

“He is simple.  

“The maze is nothing but the mind that constantly
creates an amazing world to fascinate and
hypnotize, creating dead ends and winding

“Look closer at the maze.”  

I did. From a trick I learned as a child I tried
to follow a pathway from the center to the
beginning at the periphery.  

“Hey wait a minute! There is no way to reach the
center by the maze!”  

“Such is the mind.”    

New Swami Satchidananda Web Site

There is now a web site dedicated to sharing the life, wisdom, and
work of the great modern day saint H.H. Sri Gurudev Swami
Satchidananda. Here is the URL of the site:
In my humble opinion, Swamiji's organization, the Integral Yoga
Organization, is one of the most valuable resources anywhere sharing
yoga and meditation knowledge, and well worth checking out if you are
looking for righteous instruction. Their URL is
Peace and blessings,
Bob Rose, President,
Meditation Society of America

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: