This blog from business to the Buddha was started when I was completing my MBA. Few of the sessions on economics, marketing, Organizational behavior and supply chain made me realize that there is more common to business, economics, management and spirituality; in particular concepts of Buddhism than what we think. Though I used to feel it since I moved to Mumbai a decade back in 2006. This thought moved into a wordpress blog – business2buddha.wordpress.com because MBA gave me not only a formal education in management but also time to think about the relationship. At that time, I never thought that this choice of writing can be such that I keep on writing for 7 long years. Of course there was a hiatus in 2017 due to some other personal commitments. My thoughts have always been on finding out relationship between business / economics concept to spirituality (in particular Buddhism). The fascination makes me feel that we are on a path of moving from “me” to an “us” society. A society from competition to co-existence, from Business to the Buddha. I wish this comes out to be true.
Off late I am hearing a lot about “mindfulness”. Some months back Harvard Business Review wrote about it. Initially it made me happy. I was thinking that mainstream is accepting the concept which I had been writing about for some time. Occasionally, I feel that this “mindfulness” thing has become more of a buzzword than a real practice. Hope it does not end up being – six sigma, innovation, analytics and big data type hype. The purpose of mindfulness is for “self”, in effect helping organization and society. Hope mindfulness does not end up like the other buzzword of management jargon; hope people do not end up making it a business and “whats in it for ‘business‘” alone and keep it more practical and individual practice than a corrupt practice of survival of business.
The contradiction here has been the approach. I have moved from Business to the Buddha. The movement from business to the self and self realization and coexistence. The approach of management jargon seems to be the other way round. Making business out of the mindfulness or possibly trying to get “competitive advantage” or some sort of “benefit” for business from the path.
I am optimistic about the move from business to the Buddha. In fact when I realized that I might be making a mistake of showing or possibly thinking of a movement from Business to Buddha I bought a domain – www.SaintInSuit.com though I am yet to write on that. I am thinking that I will let people write on the website – their experiences, their relationship between business, management and spirituality. The idea is not to restrict to the Buddha alone. There are other methods, thoughts, concepts and teachings on the path of spirituality that have strong affinity to business. Though I personally can recount more examples on business and spirituality with Buddhism than other religion.
The concept of Saint In Suit is a thought of middle path, the method that says one can be spiritual without renouncing. One can do business without negatively affecting his/her personal choice of following spirituality. We (predominantly in India) think that there is a constraint between business and spirituality, however we miss out – Saint Kabir was a businessman, so were many others just few examples Gora Kumbhar or even the worst you can think of Kanhopatra was a prostitute. Even the Buddha at a later stage of his life accepted that – one does not necessarily renounce to self-realize.
There is neither contradiction nor constraint of being a saint yet a businessman. Though, I am worried if people make business of mindfulness specially when it is a showoff than for real change.
Constraints was a topic for LBC in Sept 2017, as usual I changed the topic a bit and wrote on it well past the week when it was due. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs. Maria, Ramanna Uncle ji, Ashok and Shackman.
Image source – first image my creation and second image – Image source – http://www.bravefury.com/six-reasons-men-should-do-yoga/