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I have this notion that only those who stay in the meditation centers are monks- not true.
Recently, I met an owner of a pharmaceutical company who is a monk, too! (I call raja yoga meditation volunteers/teachers monks.)
"Don't rush. You're here to take a break.", she said to my co-facilitator whom she hired for her company's team-building. It was 7.30am and our program begins exactly at that time and she told her to sit down and finish her coffee!
Prior to that, she was cooking breakfast for us and I went to her cottage to inform her not to bother because we have already eaten. She gently motioned that she'll speak to me later. I noted down that she behaves like the sisters in the centers.
You see, for raja yoga practitioners, food preparation is considered sacred, done in silence and filled with loveful vibrations.
Also, like the monks I hang out with, she had a simple yet profound take on things. I told her that I tried munching on cayenne pepper like she advised (as per her metabolic doctor's orders) but couldn't really take it. "It's so hot", I explained. "Sssh...don't even say the word", she admonished. "It's just mind over matter."
She is Ellen (she refused to have her full name mentioned), the mother of Prosel, a pharmaceutical company she and her husband built for 31 years.
Her gentleness and strength permeates the company's culture, as well.
When I spoke to her company's medical representatives they reported that doctors call them angels (the same as the company's logo).
They never hard sell because the company values relationship more than sales. Moreover, they do not compete with other pharmaceutical companies or even amongst themselves, instead they cooperate and collaborate.
I also saw just how much she values people and how much they love her back. On our way back home, she insisted that she sends us off to the bus terminal. Along the way, we came across their executive secretary and she asked her if she wants to tag along. Without hesitation, she said yes and climbed the van. The secretary would speak to her comfortably like she is an old friend- not a boss. I was also surprised when our guide, their sales manager in Batangas, confided to her (while in the car) about his need for attention which stems back from his childhood.
I have been exposed to the corporate world and it is a dog eat dog world. This monk, however, has managed to build a family within the company. That's really astounding!