2011-07-28 / Faith

CEO reveals spiritual secret to success

Workshop held at Westlake Village Buddhist center
By Anna Bitong


LOOKING INWARD—Meditation teacher Len Foley leads a class through his half-day workshop, “Transforming Your Working Life Through Spiritual Practice,” at the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Center in Westlake Village on July 23. 
IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers LOOKING INWARD—Meditation teacher Len Foley leads a class through his half-day workshop, “Transforming Your Working Life Through Spiritual Practice,” at the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Center in Westlake Village on July 23. IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers Nearby, in the midst of life’s noisy distractions and stressful challenges, lies a quiet path to lasting happiness and success.

On July 23, a small group gathered at the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Center in Westlake Village for a workshop titled “Transforming Your Working Life Through Spiritual Practice,” led by volunteer meditation teacher Len Foley.

Our minds are the source of everything people seek, Foley said.

“The most important thing any of us can learn and do is understand that training our mind will produce all the results we want in our life. If we want to be happy, feel inner peace, have harmonious relationships, training our mind will absolutely give us everything we want,” Foley told the Acorn.


SEEKING GUIDANCE—Thousand Oaks resident Paul Codd listens during Foley’s meditation workshop. “Anytime we do something good that benefits another human being we create good energy in our mind,” Foley said. 
IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers SEEKING GUIDANCE—Thousand Oaks resident Paul Codd listens during Foley’s meditation workshop. “Anytime we do something good that benefits another human being we create good energy in our mind,” Foley said. IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers Positive thoughts and actions lead to true success, said Foley, who is also CEO of New Horizon Health Inc. in Westlake Village and the founder of one of the largest health events in Southern California, the Longevity Now Conference.

“Anytime we do something good that benefits another human being we create good energy in our mind,” he said, adding that the energy gained through positive thoughts and actions helps individuals bring to light what is most important to them.

Foley advised attendees to practice patience in order to reach their goals.

“Patient acceptance is the most important virtue we can accept in our life.”

Wisdom and clarity are also essential in life and work, Foley said.

“Business is brutal. It’s really tough sometimes. But we don’t have to become brutal to be successful.

We have to become wise.

“Wisdom is something we sorely lack. We miss subtle cues from the world that say, ‘Don’t do this.’”

Clarity also opens doors to success, the CEO said.

“The higher you rise in the food chain, the more clarity you have to have to see what’s going on around you and to have more power in your position.”

One way to gain mental clarity is through meditation, Foley said.

The first step in effective meditation is breathing.

“Breathe through your nose and focus on that feeling. We breathe over 21,000 times a day. And yet most of us don’t even feel ourselves breathing.”

Distractions can be eliminated through awareness, the teacher said.

“The more we see our distractions, the more they become (passive). It’s not that we have to get rid of them, we just have to be aware of them.”

“We don’t pay attention to how we get distracted, and that’s how we get distracted. A distraction observed is incredibly boring,” Foley added.

Anger can destroy the process, he said.

“Something is lost inside us when we get angry. . . . Your positive energy gets burned away. Anger is one of the most detrimental spiritual delusions we have. One moment of anger can destroy a relationship.”

The spiritual mentor started meditating more than a decade ago after seeing a flier for a meditation retreat.

“Twelve years ago, I was a frantic disaster working (hard) running my company. Today, my company’s 200 times bigger than it was then, but I’m not frantic anymore.

“I was always looking for some kind of solution to this struggle,” said Foley.

He met his wife, Rebecca Gauthier, resident teacher at the center, at a retreat. Foley now teaches at the center twice a week.

“The most important thing in our lives is making our spiritual practice the foundation of everything we do,” he said.

Sally Tay of Thousand Oaks said the workshop reaffirmed her beliefs.

“I came because I was curious. I’ve been a Buddhist for a long time,” she said.

Susan Dixon said she came to unwind.

“I’m feeling stressed. I get very compulsive about things. I thought it would be nice to come and learn to relax and reduce some of the stress in my work life and create more harmony.”

The Thousand Oaks resident said she was impressed by the volunteer staff.

“They seem really dedicated to helping people.”

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