Reflections from Awakened Leadership Conference (Lenz Foundation)


(by B.A.S.)  I almost had to be dragged to the Awakened Leadership Conference that the Lenz Foundation hosted last week.  It wasn’t that I did not want to go.  The reason I was reluctant to attend was that I had agreed months ago to lead a workshop at the conference, thinking that my life would be less hectic by the time of the conference.  It wasn’t.  However, I am extremely grateful and appreciative that I attended. It was life-changing.

I arrived Wednesday evening, just in time to hear a lecture by Susan Salzberg, a meditation teacher, and bestselling author, on the role of compassion and mindfulness. One of my biggest takeaways from that talk was to not rush when giving compassion to someone, but to take my time, and be present.  An excellent reminder. 

On Thursday, there were some more lectures and a panel discussion, and then the workshops. I participated in three Rama student-led workshops on Mindfulness and Business, leading one of them.  We got a good turnout, and even Norman Oberstein attended them.  Several Rama students also attended, lending great energy and support.   Each workshop was fun and high and full of light, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

On Friday, there were more fun workshops, all led by practitioners from other groups.  All of the people I interacted with were nice and even loving.  It was fun to make new friends and to reconnect with old ones.  I felt like I was part of an ever-expanding sangha, something I experience every time I attend a conference hosted by Rama’s Foundation. There is something revolutionary and special about a gathering of Buddhists from varied groups and different locales, drinking and eating together, sharing conversation and best practices.  I always feel Rama laughing and smiling down at us and there are many light-filled and joyful moments.

The highest time for me happened after the conference when 16 or so Rama students gathered with the two Normans from the Lenz Foundation.  We all brainstormed ideas for a 2018 conference.  We all agreed that we wanted to do something special to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of Rama’s liberation from his body.  We came up with some fun ideas around having as many Rama students as possible meet in a Power Spot in 2018 to celebrate and honor Rama.

I did not realize until I returned home and settled in over the weekend what a powerful impact the conference had had on me.  I felt like I had just returned from a two-day Rama seminar, and all I wanted to do was practice loving-kindness every moment of the day and night.