By Nishant Arora
In Zen LP, Murli Menon combines Zen meditation and NLP to help you realise individual as well as organizational goals
One day, a monk asks a woodcutter, hacking away at a tree, “How many hours do you need to cut a tree?” “Four hours,” replies the woodcutter. “And how do you cut a tree in four hours?” the monk persists. “I sharpen my axe for the first three hours and cutting the tree takes me only an hour.”
Metaphors such as these can help one get a better understanding of the essential managerial qualities needed for success. Close observation of nature and stories from the animal kingdom can provide insights into the finer aspects of management, without having to rely on esoteric theories or packaged truths. And, if one is willing to learn from them, these anecdotes could well be the mantra to achieving success in all streams of life.
Unhappy, preoccupied and often stressed by the pressures of everyday life, human beings today are looking for a connection, both within themselves and to something larger. Living a workaholic life, bereft of happiness and joy, is leading to the slow depletion of concentration, memory and even innovation.
So what is the way out? ZeNLP, whose origin can be traced back to the Rig Veda, is one way, bringing a unique perspective on how success at work
and in life can be achieved by self-realisation and introspection. A unique combination of the principles of Zen meditation and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), ZeNLP is billed as “software for the brain”.
Written by well-known corporate consultant and trainer Murli Menon, ZeNLP: The Power to Succeed is based on the premise that the entire universe is built of energy, or a sense of cosmic consciousness, of which each one of us is a part. It is through the exploration of this energy within us and others, that it is possible to succeed.
According to the author, ZeNLP has the power to guide managers to their individual and organisational goals by harnessing the infinite power of the mind. It can also be put to use in diverse corporate and individual environments, but is most commonly used for healing, goal setting, goal achievement, communication, motivation and team building. How can managers benefit from ZeNLP? Well, ZeNLP meditation techniques develop the fine art of aligning your energy with the universal energy, thus improving intuition, creativity and problem-solving right-brain thinking.
The ZeNLP theory demands trust, the backbone of motivation, which is, in turn, pivotal for success. Motivation here means insightful motivation.
The book talks about three basic methods of perceiving the world, based on our unconscious NLP mind map exercises (Mind Maps are created by the Buzon brothers as featured in the July 2004 issue of Life Positive) which also have the same task to help you organise your thoughts and achieve success:
All of us have one of these preferred mental maps in our unconscious; we need to recognise that and unleash the right brain activity through mediation, creative visualisation and auto-suggestion. For example, if you are going for an interview, visualise a positive outcome before you go to the venue. Similarly, if you want to overcome a health disability, keep repeating to yourself, “I am getting healthier and healthier.”
A university professor once went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted out. “You are like this cup,” the master replied. “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
This simple Zen story can teach you what a plethora of information cannot. This, and many more small, thought-provoking anecdotes from Zen philosophy in the book have a two-pronged strategy—first, to slide the reader into the main article by keeping his interest alive and second, to create an emotional bond with the readers and evoke their thinking process.
Learning is fun in ZeNLP where teachers use the language of stories, anecdotes, proverbs, folk tales, parables and mythological tales.
The book uses feedback given by the participants at various ZeNLP workshops that they prefer to learn through the language of stories.
Leafing through the book’s pages filled me with the feeling that this is what I was seeking for long. Revolutionary, unconventional and a step-by-step, practical framework gives this book a dimension altogether different from the usual self-development books.
From the chanting of mantras to a high-energy diet (Zen diet), understanding the power of dreams to tree plantation meditation, ZeNLP theories can work in your favour. The last five chapters are unique in their approach as the reader inches closer to Mother Nature, to start learning the lessons of effective management from the animals.
Penguins, ants, dolphins, gulls, owls and trees—all are there to be your guru. Just open your eyes and lo! You have found the key to success.
The book is like a guiding light; it leads you to the water but insists that you have to drink for yourself. One has to practise the ZeNLP mind power exercises on a daily basis to get results. The answer lies in your mind!
The author of ZeNLP, Murli Menon, is the president of Phenomenon Consultants Inc which conducts mind power development workshops for senior managers based on Indian, Buddhist, Zen and Tibetan scriptures. These workshops are result-oriented, focusing on goal-setting and achievement using creative visualisation, dynamic meditation and ancient Vedic, Egyptian, Mayan and Aztec mind power development ceremonies. Menon is currently engaged in research on the effects of Zen meditation on the unconscious mind.
This e-mail interview may not have happened. The editor at Sage Publications, who published Menon’s book, said he is untraceable and is lost somewhere in the Himalayas. Apparently a bindas character, he surfaced and gave the interview. Excerpts:
How was the idea mooted of combining the principles of Zen with NLP?
I practised NLP visualisation exercises since 1994 to lose weight without exercise. My weight was 76 kg then. However, I could not get miraculous results just by visualisation. Hence I started to visualise after putting myself into a deep trance by Zen meditation, which I used to practise regularly. In about six months after combining Zen with NLP, my weight reduced from 76 kg to 66 kg and after 10 years, my weight is now 60 kg. I did not go for crash diets, aerobics or vigorous exercise as I found the secret of success by combining Zen with NLP. One can lose weight by using mind power and mind power alone.
Can lasting changes be achieved by practising ZeNLP?
By regular practice of ZeNLP meditation, creative visualisation, autosuggestion and tribal trance music, permanent and lasting changes can be created.
How does cosmic consciousness relate to your subject?
Cosmic consciousness plays an important role in ZeNLP, as ZeNLP meditation attempts to tap the infinite intelligence within you to achieve your objectives. The individual mind connects to the cosmic mind as ZeNLP connects the microcosm to the macrocosm.
How can stories or anecdotes, which you term as metaphors in your book, help bring success?
Stories are easy to understand, they touch emotions and evoke the thinking process. These three ingredients are vital elements to create permanent and lasting changes in the unconscious. Communicating through metaphors improves the efficiency and effectiveness of managers and helps build trust and rapport with their subordinates. Trust is the foundation for success.
Does ZeNLP have a Vedic connection?
In ZeNLP, Zen means meditation and is derived from dhyana in Sanskrit which metamorphosed into Zhan (modern day Zen) in 12th century Japan. Thus, the roots of ZeNLP are in dhyana yoga that is the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. As the holy Gita is the Lord’s commentary on the Vedas, ZeNLP has a strong Vedic connection.
What role does Mother Nature play in your theory?
In ZeNLP, the elements (fire, water and earth) play an important role in connecting to cosmic consciousness. One of the highest forms of ZeNLP meditation is tree plantation based on your unconscious mental map. The tree to be planted is determined by a simple mind map test that can be taken from our website, that is www.tips4ceos.com/research.htm
What is the response to your ZeNLP workshops?
In countries like Malaysia and Nepal I received an enthusiastic response from the scientific fraternity who are trying to validate the existence of cosmic consciousness through scientific means. In India, we have touched the lives of 5,000 managers in the last five years and they are our goodwill ambassadors now.
Your plans after ZeNLP?
I plan to bring out two more books on ZeNLP in the next two years. The first one will be a collection of articles about ZeNLP meditations for stress management and the second will be Management Lessons From Nature which will enable managers to learn management through metaphors about the lives of reptiles, birds, mammals and fish. By 2010, I would like to set up an ashram named MIND (Mantra Institute of Neurological Development) that will conduct residential workshops on stress management based on tribal meditation techniques.
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