Episode 89 :: Ken McLeod :: Unfettered Mind

Ken McLeod

Ken McLeod speaks with us today about humanity in institutions, and his organization Unfettered Mind.

Hi, everyone. Glad you’re here, particularly for this episode. There have been some very positive things happening recently, including the podcast having over 100,000 downloads, and our Halloween episode last week with our friend David Chapman being referenced in an online article for Tricycle magazine.

There is another development I’d like to share with you all, something you may not have noticed if you subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or an RSS feed. As I’ve been mentioning now and then, there has been a clear message from many of you listeners of the podcast and readers on the FaceBook page, that community building is very important to our practice and understanding. The original website, thesecularbuddhist.com, was only designed to be support for the podcast, and has grown into much more — but still isn’t set up to meet some of our ongoing needs for consistency of the meaning of Secular Buddhism, continuity and connectedness of our various communities, and support for the development needs of Secular Buddhist teachers and leaders.

I’m pleased to announce that, starting with this episode, there is a new site which has been designed to meet those needs and more as time goes on. The link on the FaceBook page for this episode goes to the new site, secularbuddhism.org. Next week we’ll have an episode devoted specifically to the new site’s features, which include commenting directly on the episode page, an online Discussion forum, and of course the Resources so many of you have found of value.

And I’m very pleased to have Ken McLeod as our guest today, as he is uniquely qualified to speak to the challenges we face regarding our growing Secular Buddhist community as we navigate the obstacles of institution. Ken is a management consultant and executive coach who combines an extensive background in Eastern thought and philosophy with practical experience in applying these principles in American culture. He has a graduate degree in mathematics from University of British Columbia (Canada), more than twenty years intensive training in Buddhism, and over twenty years teaching and consulting experience.

Ken has successfully pioneered innovative approaches to teaching Eastern methods of attention and awareness through his organization, Unfettered Mind, which he established in 1990. In 1999, Ken established a consulting practice focusing on executive coaching, team building and personal and organizational effectiveness. His particular focus is on the use of systems thinking to create organizational dynamics that naturally generate productive interactions within the organization.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice herbal tea. Something with mint!

:: Discuss this episode ::



“What we are is different from who we are. And in Buddhism, we’re concerned with what we are, not who we are.” — Ken McLeod

“I only ever cared about the man. I never gave a fig for the ideologies, unless they were mad or evil. I never saw institutions as being worthy of their parts, or policies as much other than excuses for not feeling. I believe that almost any political system operated with humanity can work. And the most benign of systems without humanity is vile. The trick I suppose is to find the system that gives the least leeway to the rogues. The guarantee of our virtue is our compassion. And if you allow this institution, or any other, to steal your compassion away, wait, and see what you become. The man is everything. And if your calling is anything, you will always prefer him to the collective because the collective is humanity’s lowest and the collective is most often spoken for by people who are nothing without it.” — John le Carr√©, character George Smiley




Web Links


Music for This Episode

Shakuhachi Meditations

Shakuhachi Meditations

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Shunyata