Going Zenetarian: The More Mindful Alternative to Vegetarianism

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Telling yourself “Don’t ever do that” isn’t mindfulness… Did you know, the Buddha wasn’t a vegetarian? Well, it’s true. The early Buddhists, including Siddhartha Gautama himself, were mendicants, eating whatever people gave them. In fact, one of the few biographical details credited by most historians about the Buddha is that he died at age 80 […]

What to Expect When You Meditate

By Paul Thomas Zenki

The purpose, pleasures, and pitfalls of sitting… The first thing to know is that meditation is training. Gentle training, but still training. So while it won’t change who you are, it will change you. (It’s tempting to go into it wanting the opposite.) I started sitting in the early 1990s with a martial arts group, […]

Why the Most Productive People Insist on Unproductive Time

By Paul Thomas Zenki

How quieting the brain sharpens your mind … A while back, Fast Company ran an article featuring the “secrets of the most productive people”, a productivity how-to from 11 big hitters spanning industry, politics, media, tech, design, and entertainment, headlined by Oprah Winfrey. (Spoiler, if you don’t already have a kick-ass personal assistant, you’ll want […]

Why Last Impressions Matter More Than First Ones

By Paul Thomas Zenki

2 key points determine what others remember … Whatever interaction you’re in, 2 points will largely decide how the other person feels about it later — and neither one is the first impression. You’re eating a bunch of grapes and there’s one bad one. Which grape do you hope it’s not? Obviously, the last one. It’s better […]

“CEO Syndrome” and Bad Decisions

By Paul Thomas Zenki

When expertise can drive massive failure… Take a look at the photos of the men just above. How much DNA do you think they share? You might guess they’re related. Brothers, perhaps, maybe cousins. But there are obvious differences between them. The man on the left has a narrower head and neck, and less developed […]

Stock Trading Is (Literally) a Bigger Gamble than Poker

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Merely beating the average for 10 years makes you a superstar … One of the largest studies of stock trading was carried out through the 1990s and early 2000s by Brad Barber of UC Davis and Terry Odean of UC Berkeley. Millions of trades pointed to one conclusion — it’s all a giant crapshoot. Odean and Barber […]

The World’s Top Selling Album Was Mixed on “Pathetic” Speakers

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Because you have to be where your customers are … On a cool Wednesday morning in April of 1982, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones showed up at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles to tape a new song with Paul McCartney. It was the opening session for what was to become the biggest selling album […]

Understanding Transgender, for Cis Folks

By Paul Thomas Zenki

It’s not a trend or a social construct. It’s biological reality….   Imagine you wake one morning to find a third arm, fully formed from the elbow down, extending from your solar plexus right in the center of your chest. It looks like your other limbs, you can move it just as easily, and it […]

What Is the Hard Problem of Consciousness?

By Paul Thomas Zenki

It’s a tale of two datasets….   Brad has volunteered to sit in a lab, stare at a screen, and say out loud what he sees. All the while, parts of his brain are being observed and recorded. Later, in another lab, Amy can look at the recordings of Brad’s brain and know when he […]

You Are Already the Buddha

By Paul Thomas Zenki

The trick is realizing it… There’s an old joke: What was the Zen Buddhist’s order at the hot dog cart? “Make me one with everything.” Back when I started sitting, around 30 years ago, that was pretty much the way I approached it. By meditating, I was going to accomplish something. I was going to […]