Gareth reflects on a significant realization during his spiritual journey, acknowledging that he had not been present for his children after his separation from his ex-wife. Initially facing rejection from his kids, he took a hiatus, which led to a positive shift in his relationships with them. His daughter acknowledged the transformation and expressed gratitude for the lesson that adults can change.

In the professional realm, Gareth shares how his approach shifted from a goal-driven, outcome-focused mindset to one centered around building authentic relationships. He illustrates this change through anecdotes from his corporate experiences, highlighting the impact of showing up authentically and prioritizing human connections. Gareth emphasizes the importance of authenticity and genuine human interactions in the business world, leading to personal and professional success.

Gareth details a pivotal moment when he decided to collapse artificial boundaries between his Zen life and professional life. This integration resulted in a 20% growth in his business. He stresses that people are interested in authenticity and appreciate genuine connections. Gareth believes that living an authentic life and embodying one’s values can lead to a more fulfilling and successful existence. The discussion transcends transactional approaches like “paying it forward,” emphasizing the intrinsic value of authentic living over expecting specific outcomes.


In Dottie’s relationship with her partner, Tom, she recognizes him as a significant teacher in her life, echoing the idea that one’s closest relationships can serve as profound sources of learning. She acknowledges a pattern within herself – a tendency to be overly critical, particularly towards those closest to her. This self-awareness, rooted in Buddhist teachings, allows her to hear the critical voice before expressing it, a practice she finds significant.

Dottie shares that she’s developed an increased awareness of her critical thoughts and has learned to refrain from verbalizing them, a seemingly small action that holds profound significance for her personal growth. She emphasizes the challenge of breaking ingrained patterns and the impact Buddhism has had in disrupting and reshaping these habits.

In her interactions with Tom, she discloses that she used to interrupt him when she found his way of speaking convoluted. However, she has consciously refrained from this behavior, allowing him to express himself fully without interruption. This change, though seemingly simple, represents a significant shift in a deeply ingrained habit.

Dottie reflects on how Buddhism has profoundly influenced her, breaking negative patterns and replacing them with more positive ones. She describes this transformative process as a profound shift facilitated by Buddhist teachings, underscoring the power of consciously altering habitual patterns in relationships.


Kim reflects on the challenges of maintaining a healthy romantic relationship, acknowledging the difficulty of letting go of past mistakes and approaching each day with a fresh perspective. She emphasizes the value of mindfulness practice in starting anew and avoiding the trap of dwelling on past grievances. Kim sees parallels between the effort required in a successful relationship and the dedication needed for mindfulness practice.

Highlighting the importance of vulnerability and the willingness of both partners to begin again each day, Kim recognizes that building a strong relationship takes effort over time. She cautions against the tendency to walk away when things get tough, emphasizing that facing challenges is crucial for developing a lasting connection.

In terms of partner selection, Kim admits a desire for a partner dedicated to the practice but acknowledges that different paths can lead to personal growth. She warns against the ego trap of assuming greater evolution due to one’s own meditation practice and stresses the diversity of approaches individuals take to awaken and evolve.

Ultimately, Kim underscores the need for effort, dedication, and a commitment to being present in a relationship. Letting go of past resentments and embracing love and presence are essential tools for creating a beautiful connection between two people.


In Ryan’s reflections on the practice’s impact on significant relationships, he explores its manifestation in his marriage and parenting. In his marriage, characterized by the dynamic of opposites attracting, the Dharma has prompted him to step back from preconceived notions about healthy partnership. This involves cultivating spaciousness in the heart to accept and support his wife’s uniqueness, acknowledging the impermanence of self and personality in each moment. The practice encourages Ryan to offer others, whether intimately connected or strangers, the gift of space to be themselves.

With his daughter, Ryan endeavors to instill openness, allowing her to be her authentic self while navigating the challenges of parenting. He contrasts his approach with the instructor and teacher model he experienced in his own upbringing, emphasizing the importance of creating an open space for his daughter to grow. Struggling with the decision to introduce her to the practice, Ryan eventually incorporates it into their family routine. This decision arises from a desire to provide a spiritual home, a sense of belonging, and a supportive community for his daughter, echoing the invaluable support he has found in the Sangha. Despite initial hesitations, Ryan emphasizes the richness and depth of the practice’s impact, underscoring the universal accessibility and transformative potential of the Dharma.