Posts Tagged ‘care’

Flexible Focus #71: The 3rd Mandala Chart Festival 2011

by William Reed on September 29, 2011

A day of dedication

The 3rd Annual MANDALA CHART FESTIVAL was held in Tokyo on Saturday 24 November 2011. With over 100 attendees, participants enjoyed presentations, recognition of contest winners, a experts panel discussion, introduction of new Mandala products, and a party to meet and make new friends. The Festival Keynote was delivered  by the founder of the Mandala Chart method, Matsumura Yasuo, with presentation from one of the directors of the Mandala Chart Association, a presentation on how to study Peter Drucker’s philosophy with the Mandala Chart, as well as celebration of success stories using the Mandala Chart method.

This was the 3rd year for the festival to be held, and it was with some reservations with the mood in the wake of the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami disaster. However, the Association decided to hold the festival because of the importance of Mandala Chart education and applications to Japanese society, and to support those who are already dedicated to its practice.

Participants each received a full color copy of the 41 Mandala Chart Contest entries, from which 13 prizes were awarded for excellence and originality, as well as for effectiveness in applications ranging from business management to personal growth. Each entry was in the form of an A-Chart or a B-Chart, featured on the right hand page opposite an explanation of the Chart on the facing page. The explanation itself was in the format of an A-Chart, with the Theme in the center, surrounded by A) Profile, B) Overview, C) Application, D) Benefits, E) Recommended for, F) Why now?, G) Future Projects, and H) In a Word.

Serving as one of the directors of the Mandala Chart Association, I also made an entry in Japanese, the English translation of which appeared in an earlier article in this series, Flexible Focus #63: SAMURAI WALK.

There were also announcements of new Mandala Chart Products, including the annual 2012 Mandala Business Diary, as well as inserts that are created in the same format, Magic Questions for Coaching by Matsuda Hiromi, Wish List by Takezawa Shingō, and 22 Steps to Tarot by Ōhara Sumika, offering people imaginative ways of further engaging in the process.


But the best part of participating in the festival was the opportunity to meet and greet like-minded people, and to discover the wide range of creative and passionate applications which they have developed for the Mandala Chart in their business and personal lives.

Vision for the future

Of course the festival and all of its publications were conducted in Japanese. Part of my role is to take this message outside of Japan to the English-speaking world, both through this column The Art of Flexible Focus, and through upcoming publications and applications in English, to be released within the 2011 calendar year.

The vision for the future is to make the Mandala Chart Method widely available in analog and digital form, so that people may practice and benefit from it wherever they be. It would be impossible to translate the volume of information available in Japanese, although there is much to learn from it in digested form. It is also important to create templates and guides to this marvelous process in English, so that people outside of Japan can begin making their own discoveries and applications.

Perhaps you have seen a juggler in a park juggling 3 to 5 balls without dropping one? It is exceedingly difficult even for a professional juggler to go beyond this number, and yet with the Mandala Chart Method it is possible to juggle dozens, if not hundreds of items in 8 areas of life. Like juggling, there is a knack to this which you can pick up from someone who has mastered it. It requires practice and the inner motivation to engage with it, and with life itself at a deeper level. Peter Drucker described it like a unity of thought and action, in which you can learn from effective action and reflection in an ongoing pursuit of perfection.

The Mandala Chart Festival was enormously stimulating as an opportunity to engage with so many people effectively applying the Mandala Chart in so many walks of life, some for many years. What I found most inspiring was to see how well people have customized their Mandala Business Diaries to their own style of thinking and acting, down to the content, color and style of entries, creating a kind of magic book in which they could reflect on their past and project their future. It was a wonderful reminder of how important it is to fully engage your senses and your body in the process of realizing your dreams, and the added inspiration and assistance you get when you share your dreams with others.

As we approach a New Year in 2012 the world is reeling from uncertainty. With the world in flux we need more than ever to learn the art of flexible focus, and how to achieve balance in the 8 areas of life. The Mandala Chart method is an excellent way to get your bearings, and to develop these very skills. While this column will wind to an end within the 2011 calendar year, it will transform into new products and strategies, soon to be announced. We hope that it will bring you many blessings and abundance.

As the Paradigm Shifts #O: Obligation

by Rosie Kuhn on July 27, 2011

One evening as I was laying in bed, preparing for a restful night of slumber, a voice from inside my head said: “I want to live my own life?” I was shocked with this outburst as I am one of the most independent individuals I know; I live a thousand miles away from my husband, on a secluded island off the coast of Washington; I work independently and live happily in my very solitary existence. What more is required for me to live my own life?

I realized later, that though I live and work alone I carry many people to whom I feel obligated and responsible. They are in my memory as unresolved disappointments that have me burdened, exhausted and keep me from fully taking flight in the way that I imagine. They are the ones that continually remind me of all of those things I should have done but didn’t because, well, I took the road less traveled. What becomes clear is that until I resolve my relationship to my belief about obligations I’ll never truly be living my own life.

All of us carry a tremendous burden with all sorts of obligations and we don’t even know it. Or, we carry them thinking we are obligated to carry these obligations. I mean, where would we be if each of us let go of everything and every one who we no longer wanted to carry? Think of all of those opportunities to say or do what is in your highest truth but because of your sense of obligation you deny your truth for the sake of … what?

The foundation of the work that I do as a transformational coach is to ask these very questions to my clients, giving them an opportunity to figure out to whom and to what they are truly interested in being obligated.

I grew up within the Catholic Religion. I learned early on how to live in a state of obligation. There was a great deal of guilt and shame. Up until I was seventeen, when I left the Church, I was terrified I was doing it wrong – it didn’t matter what it was, I was obligated to do it right, even though I might not know what right was – and right according to whom?

All religious institution require obligations. It’s not just religious institutions but family, community, government, economic – all organizations require some form and level of obligation. How we respond to these obligations generates the quality of life we live, as well as the stress and dis-ease that is so prevalent in our culture.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine decided to visit Orcas for an undetermined about of time. She felt compelled to travel 26 hours from Omaha in order to be on the Island for – well, she didn’t know why – but she had to find out. She called to ask if she could land at my place for a few days and figure out what was next from here. I said sure, and looked forward to seeing her after many months apart.

A week later, I found myself struggling with the fact that part of me was ready for her move on to what was next on her adventure. However, what I was hearing was how she wanted to make the cabin a little more convenient for herself so she wouldn’t be such a bother. We were sliding into conversations that sounded like she’d be staying for the whole summer – maybe longer.

I love my friend but I love my solitude more. And, yet I questioned my desire for my sanctuary to be free of guests. Was that really what I wanted? A part of me felt obligated and responsible to take care of my dear friend, after all she’d come all this way, had no money left for rent, gas or food; she needed a place to stay. Shouldn’t I be willing to help her out – isn’t that was friends are for?

What was my obligation, really? I agreed to let her stay long enough to get her feet under her – that should have taken just a couple of days. And this is her adventure – her journey, and for me to feel obligated created resentment and a slow deterioration of our friendship. I could feel myself begin to withhold and withdraw. It was time to check in with myself and then with her.

My fears have kept me blind to my own truth, yet I was afraid what she might think or decide about me if I asked her to leave with empty pockets, gas tank and tummy. What kind of a friend would do that? I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy but I told her that she needed to continue on with her quest, seeing what else was in store for her. Fortunately, she’s the kind of friend that understood completely and very quickly found a source of income and a new place to stay in a matter of days.

As a professional business person my work life needs to reflect this clarity of integrity too. Where do my obligations interfere with being the most effective at my jobs? Where do I take on obligations that really aren’t mine to begin with? When do I take responsibility for the consequence of other people’s choice-making? When does my own choice-making, based on other people’s problems, cause further challenges to my clients, work environment, and associates?

It takes a great deal of courage to ask yourself these questions, and even more courage to speak or act in alignment with your highest truth. In order to bring spirituality into business we have to ask these hard questions and to follow through. For when we act in our own highest good we are acting in everyone’s highest good.

Stepping onto the path of self-realization is a fascinating journey. It means being open to answers that may initially feel uncomfortable, yet in the long run allows for a greater level of wisdom to emerge, which allows for self-actualization to occur easily and effortlessly.

Obligations are obstacles to being in alignment with our highest truth. This is a very different way of thinking but one that will lead to the paradigm shift.

In Sharing look for Caring

by Guy Ralfe on April 20, 2010

Whenever you try something new and share your idea with others, you get met with such diverse responses. How people respond affects how you see the world too.

Go through a day where you come across three people who spend all their time telling you why you will fail and you quickly start to question your judgment. On the other hand discuss the same idea with three optimists and you suddenly think you are setting your sights too low.

What we must always be aware of is that when you tell someone your idea or ambition their response is always from their point of view. Their point of view appears to be driven by two factors:

  1. Knowledge of the topic or business area
  2. Support – driven by the persons mood, personality, ambition combination

Having reflected on this over the last few weeks I have come up with Guy’s Magic People Quadrant.

Guy’s Magic People Quadrant

Neatly illustrated in the picture there are four quadrants; Partner, Decoy, Fairy, Onion determined by the intersection of the above two factors of Knowledge and Support.

Partner – These are the individuals you need to isolate and partner with for longer term success. These individuals have a keen understanding of the business or topic to be able to advise, mentor and facilitate your success not just provide you with support. These individuals are interested and inquiring into your plans and able to guide rather than just bestow good wishes. They care.
Decoy – These are the individuals you have to watch out for. While they share the same knowledge as the partner group, their moods, personality and ambitions prevent them for providing you support, unless it is for their gain. These individuals (or groups) appear as inquisitive as partners do but are extremely selfish and you are viewed as purely a pawn to achieve their ambitions. They can come across as supportive but will soon show up in conflict with their words through their actions. BEWARE!

Fairy – This group have little to no knowledge of the topic, however from what you tell them they formulate an image based on how they see what you are doing. Your ambition appears to them as grandiose and enviable. For them they cannot see themselves making a similar choice or action, for this they are in awe and wish you every success, and believe that you will have success. These people would help you if they could. In reality this is the fairy godmother talking to you – yes you do feel good but you are no better off when you wake up.

Onion – The next best way to describe this group is disinterested or self important. These people are so selfish that the notion of you having an ambition brings tears to their eyes. Having the conversation with these types is like talking to a black hole – it sucks the life out of you. Keep clear!

One thing to know is that there is a lot of gray between the obvious extremities that I describe above, but if you are going to discuss your ambitions with others be mindful of the individual behind the spoken words before you respond to them. Reputations are earned and past actions are a fairly good indication of future. There is no short cut to gaining Knowledge, but gaining it from people who care is about as good as it gets.

Seek out Partners in all that you strive for in your careers, and bump into the odd Fairy just to keep your spirits up. Good luck!