What Is Buddhist Life Coaching?
Buddhist Life Coaching focuses on contemplative practices to aid your ability to reflect on your life and deepen your sensitivity, allowing you to overcome your obstacles, heal and purify your mind. It is a path for people who wish to live successfully and reaffirm spiritual life by connecting with their true self.
Who Can Benefit from a Buddhist Life Coach?
This program is for people who want to realize their true self while living a successful life in a materialistic world.
We work with people who want to change—creative, ambitious people who want to be held accountable for bringing more goodness into their own life and the lives of others.
Our clients are sincere, dedicated, compassionate, and caring folks from all walks of life: executive leaders, entrepreneurs, designers, artists, writers, and many more.
They are all spiritual souls that want to make the world a good place to live.
Perhaps you want to change. You have a vision of your perfect life but feel trapped. You have a sense of how you want to live—you’ve even tried— but don’t know how to get there. You don’t know how to actualize your dreams.
If so, you’ve become too familiar with one or more of these thoughts:
- You’ve reached a place of comfort and security. You’re still dissatisfied.
- You think you’re not talented or lucky enough. You’ve given up on exceptional and settled for ‘tolerable’.
- You’ve given in to fear rather than confronting it. You won’t do anything scary and new.
- You focus on failure more than success. You’ve concluded that past failures predict future ones.
- You have a fatalistic frame of mind. You don’t work to help yourself; you wait for others to help you.
- You think you’ve missed your chance. You believe it’s not worth it to try to live the life you want.
These dangerous frames of mind get stronger with time. While a negative mindset is never fixed, left for too long it hardens and becomes difficult to beat. You don’t have to resign yourself to such a poor life.
Clients come to us because they are called to make changes and take action in their lives—to make life more creative and meaningful—but they lack a clear path forward or meet obstacles in taking the next step.
Our clients want to see more goodness, calm, clarity, kindness, and satisfaction in their life and the world because they know such a vision is possible—but they’re honest about the difficulty of such a path.
Rather than staying trapped in failure and ignorance, they intelligently seek help to realize their vision. They refuse to feel trapped in a compromised existence, surrounded by mediocre lives, dulled by Thoreau’s miserable, cowardly life of “quiet desperation.”
Unsatisfied, people try to dull their boredom and spiritual malaise by acquiring knowledge, status, and wealth. But the expectation of happiness through ownership and acquisition is misplaced. To embrace such a strategy is to commit yourself to a hedonistic treadmill that never stops running—to live in ignorance.
Regardless of what you achieve living this kind of life, a feeling of emptiness will reappear, moving you to start again, “dark path upon dark path, treading,” as a Buddhist master once put it, chasing new goals, new acquisitions, more money, status, and power. This is the callous, cynical way of darkness and pain, pain to yourself, and pain for those in your life.
We lead lives of compromise when we settle into this dissatisfying chase. Such lives are weak, unfulfilled, unrealized, and cruel.
You may feel that you are leading a life of compromise. Sensing your growing resignation, you find yourself overwhelmed by your circumstances. If so, you’re likely considering any number of things, including working with a Buddhist life coach, to get out of this frustrating state.
Maybe you have also thought to find a basic life coach, a local Zen or Shambala center, apply to graduate school, get a personal trainer or even download a meditation app.
For some creative, spiritual seekers these conventional approaches will not be enough
When the Usual Approaches Won’t Be Enough
Working with a basic life coach ultimately will not be the best fit for you if you are disenchanted, and you are feeling a loss of meaning in your life.
And while it seems obvious, a regular life coach can’t help you if you are actually interested in Buddhism.
Buddhist life coaching helps people who want to deepen their understanding of Buddhism and Buddhist enlightenment. Life coaching alone can’t teach you how or why to live a compassionate, unselfish life and it can’t encourage you to live up to the high standards of beauty, purity and goodness of Buddhist life.
How to realize Buddha Nature is the aim or difference in Buddhist life coaching, as opposed to, say, wellness or career coaching.
It’s not that you don’t need wellness and money in a Buddhist context, but how do you make money and stay healthy in a way that isn’t selfish and doesn’t harm others?
When you focus on achieving the highest goals, like compassion, selflessness, and equanimity, the other material goals become easier to achieve.
Academic Institutions Won’t Tell You the Meaning of Your Life
Academic programs, even in Buddhist Studies or Philosophy are not so much concerned with your life.
If you are seeking meaning and purpose, a scholarly approach in an academic institution will likely not help you.
Academia explores and compares concepts, theories, and abstractions, but with Buddhist life coaching, you use your life for study.
In so doing you gain a deeper understanding and transform your life according to Buddhist principles.
Exercise Isn’t the Answer to Every Problem
I exercise regularly. I enjoy it and like most people, I understand that exercise is vitally important to maintaining a healthy and productive life.
Exercise will improve your self-esteem, it will help you live longer, and it will give you a better quality of life.
Physical activity will improve your mental functioning and can even provide a kind of mental reset that could help you have creative and intellectual breakthroughs.
And while keeping fit is important and personal trainers are becoming internet gurus with inspiring advice and spiritual flair, exercise won’t solve deeper human questions that a Buddhist life coach will help you with, like “Who am I?” and “What is the nature of my suffering?”
Meditation and Meditation Apps Are Tools, They Aren’t Solutions
I teach meditation and I have recordings of my guided meditations for my students.
However, I am certain that meditation alone, in a contemporary secular context, will not bring about deep spiritual transformation.
Meditation is best thought of as a tool, and when it is used correctly, it can be a helpful component of achieving a successful life. You can learn to meditate on your own or with an app, but you will likely seek a teacher or a coach if you are dissatisfied with your life or want to explore your life in greater depth.
Religious Centers May Put You in a Box
Most Zen, Shambala, meditation centers or other religious institutions, have regimented programs, designed to move masses of people through standard behaviors and thought.
They promote an ideology, as opposed to providing careful thoughtful instruction.
With me, you are working one-on-one with a coach who is specifically trained and qualified to teach Buddhism.
This personal, individualized approach ensures that you will get the attention and care you need to study a compassionate and complete life.
What Does Having a Buddhist Life Coach Help You Achieve?
A Buddhist life coach helps you live a successful life without compromising your true self.
You can clarify your core values and simplify your life because real happiness comes by shedding false values and living simply.
Most people think they can’t—or don’t want—to live simply and directly.
But anyone can.
With Buddhist Life Coaching, our clients realize a complete vision of their life by facing hard facts about reality with courage, creativity, compassion, and composure.
Spiritual action and sincerity expand your horizons beyond what you can imagine. With insight and clarity, you will learn to sense what’s best for you, your mind, and the folks around you.
By understanding, cultivating, and practicing the relationship between Being and Doing, you’ll learn how to make, keep, and keep making, long-lasting changes for the better in all areas of your life.
Buddhist life coaching can help you:
- Engage with self-discovery
- Answer the important question “What’s my purpose?”
- Reflect on your life’s deeper meaning.
- Make important life transitions.
- Use time wisely.
- Generate meaningful work.
- Start and/or finish a burning creative project.
- Maintain spiritual hygiene.
- Understand life transitions like retirement, marriage, birth, and death.
- Maintain accountability for value-driven projects and spiritual life goals.
- Develop a vision and strategy for living a free, creative, and prosperous life.
What Does the Process Look Like?
Over the past 10 years, in addition to founding a holistic healing practice, I have helped individuals improve their marital relationships, have children, make successful career changes, develop business programs aligned with exciting, altruistic values, and cultivate satisfying, prosperous careers aligned with a higher good.
I’ve also helped independent professionals start their own businesses.
But perhaps most importantly I teach by example—I have realized my own vision of the Good: writing and publishing essays on Buddhism, life, poetry, and art, while studying Buddhism, living in NYC, building a hermitage in the mountains of North Carolina, and resuscitating a temple for Buddhist study and practice in Kyoto, Japan.
If you want to establish a genuinely creative, spiritual life but know you need a little guidance, mentoring, encouragement, support, and help, feel free to please take advantage of an invaluable opportunity to set up your own Turning the Lights On session.
Take action, explore your situation, and see if this is a good fit for you.
We start with an initial free consultation to get to know each other.
This is an exploratory and explanatory session for both of us.
We’ll get an idea of each other, and whether or not we’re a suitable match. You’ll gain insight into how to make significant changes in your life.
It’s fun with no hard-sell at the end.
You are free to take what you get and run with it.
If we’re a good fit, we’ll determine what approach is best for you. You can decide which program best suits your life, budget, and desired outcome.
How We Will Work Together
When we work together, you will use Contemplative Practices to help you reflect and take action to live a more enlightened life.
Practices include meditation, discussion, spiritual retreat, readings especially assigned to you to support your interests, passions, and goals, and studying spiritual texts from various traditions.
You’ll find your goals, push into what drives you, and discover the values and deeper meaning behind your goals.
You’ll also learn how to overcome whatever is holding you back, including self-limiting beliefs, negative frames of mind, insecurity, ignorance, and doubt.
Together, we’ll help you set realistic goals that will be both achievable and challenging. They will help you to beef up your courage, confidence, and success by giving you positive, inspiring wins.
We will review all of your resources and obstacles and take important steps towards creating a plan of action.
Exploring options, we’ll set actions together, while looking ahead at what obstacles you might face and how you might overcome them.
We’ll ensure that your actions support your end goal and I’ll be there to support your progress and help you stay committed when things get tough until you have your insight and breakthrough.
We start by working within a structured syllabus that includes targeting readings, discussion points, and exercises designed to build your approach to life with a clear vision and plan for action.
Successful coaching usually takes six to twelve months, meeting every other week for an hour with homework between sessions.