Tantra is My New Media Mantra
By Shea Park, President, Ad-Spark.com
Have you ever wondered what living in a quaint mountain town would be like? Today as I dig myself out from 5 feet of snow; I realize it's time to pace ourselves.
Today's weather condition may be as harsh as going to work on Wall Street on Monday mornings of late. Making sales calls to people who do not return calls, or trying to move media inventory to non-existent budgeted clients. We now have to deal with sales people not returning phone calls. They are out of the office, literally, figuratively, physically and worst of all for their families, financially.
Yes, it's catastrophic, but in order to maintain one's sanity, we need to keep perspective that the financial crisis is no bigger than we make it or dwell on it. Call me crazy, detached, or just in left field. Be that as it may, I stay grateful, dedicated and persistently & stubbornly trudge through the daily grind.
First, life truly does go on despite having less $$$$. It is what we make and what we think about all day long of it that is going to carry us through this storm. There is only one way forward and that is straight ahead. The tunnel I dug today to get out of my house resembled the way to surpass this phase. The you-know-what is going to keep piling up and we must keep digging.
In the abyss between implementing media plans and buys, I have been pondering (playing) with words and co-mingling philosophies to life and work. Over the past 3 years, I have diligently practiced Yoga and study its Sutras. Looking and learning a new way of living can feel like climbing mountain of snow each day. Earlier this year I started reading about Tantric practices.
Tantra is not even an esoteric or religious teaching and sensuality is only one facet of this overall lifestyle practice. There are lessons to be learned about how we in the west can draw from cultures and business from the east. Especially considering they have 1000's of years more experience. What did I learn from Tantric?
Tantra, as many of the eastern philosophies are, are definitely not for the weak or undisciplined persons. A Tantra practice involves ones' own behavior. Tantric principles can be applied to every area of life. A thorough study of Tantra can take a lifetime to understand.
With life, economy, marriages, etc. going to HE_| _| in a handbag...why not experiment with something new? Well 2000+ year old "new" technique. What do we have to loose but more customers?
To see if any of Tantra could be applied to media and business, I re-defined some of it's principles into business terms. In looking at several key principles, they can offer some insight as to a new intentional based thinking of how we relate to one another and to our customers.
Several Principles of Tantra
Eastern Yin & Yang: "The concept of yin and yang describes two opposing and, at the same time, complementary (completing) aspects of any one phenomenon (object or process) or comparison of any two phenomena." Lao referred to as the male female energies.
Business Yin and Yang: Checks and Balances, business & customer, give and take, TV & digital, account execs & seniors, win-win or win lose relationships. How in balance are we with our customer are we giving them all of what they need? Are they completely satisfied? Are we opposing forces or complimentary? Are we charging enough? Are we charging too much? How can we make this a truly equal and complimentary experience? Sales Pitches, Missions statements, what are we hearing at meetings, what are we focused on? Are we listening?
Mantras are used in Eastern spiritual traditions to divert the mind from basic instinctual desires or material inclinations, by focusing the mind on a spiritual idea, such as "I am a manifestation of divine consciousness".
Identification with deities. How we worship our bosses, do we do so truthfully. Do we praise our clients? Do we praise our subordinates?
Secret rituals: Rather than a single coherent system, Tantra is an accumulation of practices and ideas which has among its characteristics the use of ritual, the use of the mundane to access the supramundane and the identification of the microcosm with the macrocosm:
The Tantric practitioner seeks to use the divine power that flows through the universe (including one's own body) to attain purposeful goals. These goals may be spiritual, material or both. A practitioner of Tantra considers mystical experience or the guidance of a Guru imperative.
In the process of working with energy, the Tantric has various tools at hand. These include yoga, to actuate processes that will 'yoke' the practitioner to the divine. Also important are the use of visualizations of the deity and verbalization or evocation through mantras, which may be construed as seeing and singing the power into being. Identification and internalization of the divine is enacted, often through a total identification with a deity, such that the aspirant "becomes" the Ishta-deva or meditational deity.
In business we could call these rituals; meetings, luncheons, ceremonies, company parties, conferences and so on. We could all learn allot from making these more beneficial to all by applying Tantric wisdom?
Let's go deeper? Shall We?
Tantra's being-consciousness-bliss has the power of both self-evolution and self-involution. Reality evolves into a multiplicity of creatures and things, yet at the same time always remains pure consciousness, being and bliss.
How is a company evolving? Is it to better the company or satisfy customers? What are the long terms goals? Acquisition mergers? Is it all about the exit strategy? Premature based-thinking. Well I could play with that a bit more with the intimate details on Tantra about withholding one's own desire to "get there". And we won't call that business strategy "bad" per se. Yet the intention is simply premature and selfish thinking isn't it? Why do I love Amazon and Jeff Bezos and Marketing ideas Michael Dell shared back in 1998? It has always been about the customer.
The Method: The Tantric aim is to sublimate rather than negate relative reality. This process of sublimation consists of three phases: purification, elevation and the "reaffirmation of identity on the plane of pure consciousness.
Business Purpose: How can we keep all our dealings clean by applying right action and keeping a clean conscious but keeping all things ethical and pure?
Sensual [Chemistry] Power: We'd have to bleep out a lot on this part, yet we can really learn how to handle conflicts, deeper penetrate accounts, better satisfy our customers? Many right now feel anything but amorous, which is perhaps why Tantric is so necessary.
When enacted as enjoined by the Tantras the ritual culminates in a sublime experience of infinite awareness, by both participants. The Tantric texts specify that sex has three distinct and separate purposes -- procreation, pleasure and liberation.
Rather than a single coherent system, Tantra is an accumulation of practices and ideas which has among its characteristics the use of ritual, the use of the mundane to access the supramundane and the identification of the microcosm with the macrocosm. The Tantric practitioner seeks to use the divine power that flows through the universe (including one's own body) to attain purposeful goals. These goals may be spiritual, material or both. A practitioner of Tantra considers mystical experience or the guidance of a Guru imperative.
Maybe we can think long term as in 10 year growth plans, not immediate self-centered gains. Can we think of others first? And add some healthy care-giving tactics to our business practices?
So for fun, see how Tantric you can be with your spouse, partner, friends, and business relations. Think of holding back your needs and pleasures to give to them. The apply toe, give first, receive-later, method.
I have high hopes the outcomes we will face by staying positive through these tumultuous times will benefit our society and business in the end.
Jeffrey Strain added a fun twist here to Yahoo's financial readers on why we are not Rich:
"The list of reasons you may not be rich doesn't end at 10. Caring what your neighbors think, not being patient, having bad habits, not having goals, not being prepared, trying to make a quick buck, relying on others to handle your money, investing in things you don't understand, being financially afraid and ignoring your finances."
Shea L. Park, Mom first, yogi second, business woman last.
Shea Park is President and Founder of Ad-Spark and has served the internet advertising industry since 1996. Shea Park is a life-long entrepreneur, with 20 years of business management experience, a 12 year veteran of internet marketing, and writer. Ad-Spark.com specializes in customer acquisition and retention strategies, internet marketing and training. She can be reached at Shea@ad-spark.com.