Ideals to Consider

Posted in Dharma’s Culture, Social Responsibility.

Image of the word "mindfulness"

Ideals to Consider

I recently attended the annual Wisdom 2.0 conference here in San Francisco, which is billed as the intersection of Wisdom and Technology. ​Attendees from the tech sector, government, local sustainable companies, and representatives from mindfulness/teaching centers were convened to explore how mindfulness practices can impact a business in financial, employee engagement, empowerment, productivity, social impact,​ community building, and in cultural terms. This year, we heard from a who’s who of individuals who have embraced this new way of doing business: people like Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio,​ Eileen Fisher, John Donahue, Chairman of PayPal, Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Insurance, Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks Coach, Jack Kornfield, Spirit Rock founder and meditation teacher, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn, as well as executives from LinkedIn, Indiegogo, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the infamous Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now (you know, from the 60’s. The 1960’s …?)​

Anyway, the discussions shifted from creating a mindful culture to understanding the nature of death and dying. ​One of the panelists on the latter conversation said, “It’s an absurd gamble to wait until death to fully realize one’s potential.” ​Who can argue with that? ​”Step fully into your life right now” was the follow-up comment. Ram Dass, who has dedicated his practice to aging issues was asked, What is death? ​His reply, “Simply a moment in time.”​ The point of this revelation is the point of the whole conference, which can be summed up here: the only known location of love, joy, fulfillment, wisdom, etc., is this present moment. ​Even Pete Carroll acknowledged that​ they teach their players to fall in love with every moment ­– as this is the way to extraordinary performance – both on and off the field!

All of the research and science of the mindfulness movement​ validates Dharma’s business model, which we’ve pioneered since 2007. We believe business can be a force for good, and we stand behind our ideals of social responsibility, fair pricing, honest practices and doing the right thing. Business isn’t just about the bottom line — happy merchants make for a happy workplace, and by cultivating a culture of commerce with compassion, we benefit our community of customers and partners as well as our employees.

I also want to make an important distinction between “bringing mindfulness” into the workplace (as is the current business trend) versus how we have based our culture on a foundation of ethical behavior and attributes we value, such as generosity, compassion, truthfulness, and loving-kindness. What we have discovered is that the byproduct of working and living in this manner supports mindfulness​ with the foundation of coming from the heart. Hence our tagline, Commerce with Compassion. This is a bit like “the chicken or the egg” question, but we have discovered that the practice is to constantly “remember” to be in the moment to experience these qualities. After all, the only known location of any emotion or behavior is in the present moment … hence mindfulness.

Please note: while Dharma was a Registered B Corp at the time of this posting, it no longer is.