The Simple Wisdom of the Lens Grinder

The Lens Grinder

The Lens Grinder: Guiding  You  on the  Noble  Journey to Becoming the Person You were Meant to Be

Big “L” Leaders

As Leaders (Big L), most of us have accepted that any claims we wish to make about how seriously we have taken up the practice of our profession will be measured by our way of being.

Because the path to our authentic self and the skillful means to present our highest self daily in all our relationships, requires that we take the journey into the deeper dimensions of “self.”

Improving Ourselves

So we work continuously to increase our Leadership knowledge and skills, value differences as we develop people, execute best practices, introduce multiple bottom-line strategies, practice continuous improvement, and follow a shared vision, values and purpose model, etc to honor our obligations to our followers.

We lead with a noble purpose, integrity, transparency, trust, mutual respect, kindness, and compassion as our basic core values.

All the time knowing that our total commitment to deep growth in higher awareness, tapping into multiple perspectives, and living from a world-centric principle is imperative on our path to awakening and authenticity.

So below I offer you another measure of the “simple wisdom” of the Lens Grinder as your journey continues.

The Lens Grinder

MY STORY OF THE OLD MYSTICI met the Lens Grinder purely by chance many years ago.  He was wise and a spiritual wonder and I was busy working my way up the executive ladder.

Lens Grinder

He had few attachments and I wanted it all.  He laughed at my ambition and struggles and I thought he was off the meds.  He was barely noticeable in his humility and I was chasing the spotlight.  He said nothing much about himself and I could not say enough about my talents.

He was truly at peace showing no stress and I was a Type A on steroids possibly headed for burnout or an untimely end.  Providence was surely at play the day we met but I didn’t get it until much later.

Since then there have been times when he was my closest advisor and there have been times when he was not around.  But we are always connected.  I treasure our relationship and I am blessed by the guidance of his simple wisdom over these many years.

I have wanted to share his special spiritual and philosophic gifts, and his deep way of seeing and being in the world for a number of years.

Recently, I decided it was time.

His teachings remind us that like the Great Mystery that is Our Life, our journey proceeds with or without our awakening until the meaning is finally revealed or not and our story ends.  Will you be living your own story when your life ends?

“The greatest gift we can give to others is not to walk in front of them, not to follow behind them, but to walk beside them sharing our wisdom and experience.” ~  L. Heft

Life Presents Itself Only Once

The Lens Grinder teaches…  Oh, how foolish we are when our blessed human birth does not inform our consciousness.  It is true; we all enter the world at square one with no say over birthplace, parents, gender, race, health, intelligence, or the people, and culture, etc. that will help shape who we are in the world.

But we are here now and there is no place else to go.

We may not know our purpose in being here, how or if our true gifts will evolve and how we will show up in creating our grown up self.

On Being Fully Awake

We are whole but partial.  We are alive but perhaps not awake.  We know many things but perhaps not the most important.  We are on a great journey and our map may take us towards the shallows or into the deep end of wisdom and substance.  It is our choice even if we do not know it or choose to own it.

We are forever engaged in the embraces and resistances of ego and shadow in the mystical dance of life.  Too often, when our awareness abandons us to the whims of our own distractions, we are uncertain, adrift, and ignorant to our true nature.

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.”  ~  Kierkegaard

On Being Fully Engaged

We create our personal way of suffering and the map to take us there over and over again.  I would not have it so.  I would have you fully awakened, engaged, and presenting your highest self each day.  But I do not seek to change you and in many cases, my beliefs are received as the rant of a fool.

And, so without interior self-work, you cannot see the dream you call life or escape the trickster ego that applauds your false self and cajoles you saying, well done!

“This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine.  There is nothing more confining than the prison we don’t know we are in” ~ William Shakespeare

Do we not know that the Divine is right in front of us and that our authentic self is waiting so patiently to be revealed?  Throughout our life, spirit is anticipating that our true self will show up one day and add our music to the rhythm of the Heavens.

Will you commit to evolve, emerge, awaken, and show up in your lifetime?  Or, will you add your name to the list of the many who never really know who they are, why they are here, or what really matters in a life well lived?

Knowing Your Journey

My friend, the truth is you cannot cheat life even if on your journey you just never arrive.  So I do not say that I know anything for sure that I can teach you.  Yet we both know we will always have so very much to learn.  Is it not the ocean that cuddles its wetness in every wave?  What about you?  Who cuddles your essence?

“For each of us, the only hope resides in his own efforts, in completing his own story, not in the other’s interpretation.”  ~ S. Kopp


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Doug Ramsey

Doug Ramsey is Managing Director at Designed Management, LLC
He serves with Company Building, Growth, Leadership Development, and Coaching
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L2L Contributing Author


  1. Mark Brenner on May 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Love the Lens Grinder! So much disconnect between leadership and self/spiritual awareness. There is no recognition or reward in our system for the intangible investment in self awareness.

    • Chris Smith on May 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Another outstanding post – can’t tell you how moved I am by where you are in your journey. It is so hard, and so essential, to uncover our true selves. James Hollis, PhD and noted Jungian author, submits that our souls depend upon self discovery. As Father Thomas Keating might put it, we must strive to learn God’s calling for us. To do otherwise cheats ourselves – and thus God.

      When we align our interests with God’s interests, the rewards are simultaneously immense and humbling.

  2. John Herr on June 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Hello Doug. I ask you a provocative question…Could it be that you are becoming the wise old sage… a lens grinder yourself? Your words speak as a mystic, providing guidance and reflection. Are you ready to accept this challenge? As Pema Chodron, Tibetan Buddhist and teacher states – “We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.”

    I would like to comment on your statement – “Much of the world is indeed alive and not awake.” YES, well said and I quote Pema Chodron once again as she states – “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” Pema suggests that the job of a teacher is to provoke one to help see the world differently. Gestalt practitioners suggest that spiritual teachers rather evoke behaviors from others. I can see the wisdom and merit from both approaches. I direct the reader to a link where Pema talks of the teacher as a “troublemaker.” It’s an interesting perspective. Doug, I see you as a troublemaker (as defined by Pema).

    Your provocateur,
    John Herr