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Skillful Means is: What Works!


Lavender flourishing

During my stay at Ratna Ling this summer, Arnaud Maitland, our skilled retreat leader, helped define Skillful Means on a very practical level, that is, what works. Ratna Ling is full of Skillful Means, at every turn, around every corner. It is a never ending display of beauty. Both natural and human creations flourish there. Ratna Ling and all its activities, however, are not without their own very big challenges.

Can you imagine producing hundreds of thousands of extremely high quality Tibetan sacred texts and shipping them annually halfway around the world?  Then can you imagine creating them with a small handful of English-speaking volunteer workers, with little formal training in the publishing/shipping/distribution business? 

Now imagine distributing them for free (so that means also raising the money to create them) to monks and nuns who are re-populating and re-creating hundreds of libraries in Asia every year for decades consistently, on-time, every year improving the quality?

With such results, inevitably come lots of obstacles.  They are constant!  Yet every day Ratna Ling volunteers are overcoming them.

Being there, I got to witness this.  Our daily work practice was to actually help create the books.  Take a look at this video to see a little of the production…

We got to feel the energy of accomplishment, which looked alot like overcoming obstacles, fast!  Even being there and participating in the effort, it is difficult for my rational mind to fully grasp how this is successfully accomplished year after year.

Majestic redwood trees

Clearly, a structure has arisen that brings out the very best in each worker, not necessarily in their thoughts, but clearly in their actions.  So interesting to see thoughts are not so important in getting really good results.   Even the workers do not fully grasp the magnitude of the vision they are part of manifesting. Every year they accomplish a miracle.  To date, several million traditional Tibetan texts have been given away to monks and nuns to re-populate libraries and places of study throughout Asia.  In November another shipment will head for Asia.

The books are measurably improving literacy rates among the Tibetan diaspora, opening study to women in ways that have never been seen before and keeping a sacred tradition and priceless ancient knowledge alive that is very much under threat in Tibet, now China.  When and if these generous volunteer workers leave Ratna Ling for other life experiences, they are among the best trained in the world, knowing how to accomplish, how to continuously overcome obstacles, how to work in a way that gets truly sustainable results year after year.

View from my cabin every morning

You can imagine just a little of this magic may have the potential to transform American and International business, at least makes things much better. Join us in this coming year as myself and my partners at the Center for Skillful Means re-dedicate and re-double efforts to give business, organizations and individuals the opportunity to create this magic within themselves.  Meetings in Ratna Ling with people from all over the world demonstrate there is a real hunger for this knowledge and practice. We are committed to helping it manifest in ways most helpful to you.

Enjoy these pictures of flourishing at Ratna Ling. And please share your comments below – How might you benefit applying Skillful Means to your efforts?

Sacred symbols of embodied well-being
One of the many Ratna Ling residents
plums almost ready

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