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Robert Thomas

San Francisco-Mexico City-Vienna

BIOGRAPHY

Mentor for Mindfulness and Meditation Practice: Advisor for executives, 21+ years as ordained Zen Buddhist priest; 6+ years of monastic training as Zen monk; Buddhist meditation teacher and retreat leader; teaching mindfulness meditation in secular settings; Advanced training in Thai Forest Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhist, and Soto Zen Buddhist principles and practices; 20+ years as leader of two international organizations dedicated to promoting mindfulness meditation.

Guide for Personal and Organizational Transformation: 10+ years as nonprofit CEO guiding national organizations;  several Leadership roles as executive; 8+ years managing staff of 150+ employees.

Advisor for the Development of 21st Century Skills: I help leaders understand essential traditional wisdom principles and practices in order to grow as human beings and develop their innate capacities to meet today’s challenges. I advise leaders in the following areas:

  • Developing a greater sense of self-awareness and embodied presence;
  • Managing stress and anxiety, finding balance, calm, focused attention, and equanimity;
  • Embracing the learning of positive habits, spiritual growth, and personal development;
  • Responding skillfully to rapid change and uncertainty, agility in the face of obstacles;
  • Engaging in prosocial behavior, acting with authenticity and ethical integrity;
  • Becoming more resilient, navigating challenging situations, and recovering from failure;
  • Cultivating compassion, kindness, and empathy, for oneself and others;
  • Clarifying priorities and intentions for deeper meaning, purpose, and fulfillment;
  • Increasing emotional intelligence, ability to connect, and appreciate differences;
  • Ability to cooperate, collaborate, and function effectively as a servant leader;
  • Risk-taking, creative adaptation, innovation, boldness, and seeing new possibilities.

WORK HISTORY

  • Senior Advisor, CCG 2020––present
    Affiliated with group dedicated to helping international clients learn and implement traditional wisdom principles and practices for a wide variety of business contexts.
  • Founder/CEO, MeditationLab. 2020––present
    Founding leader of startup online platform bringing people together to support each other to
  • establish a regular meditation practice and contribute positively to broader societal change.
  • Executive Director (CEO), Mindful Schools. 2017––2019, 2+ years
    Led the world’s preeminent mindfulness training organization for educators, training over
  • 50,000 K-12 educators to have a mindfulness practice and impacting over 3 million students.
  • Business Consultant and Coach, San Francisco and Vienna, Austria. 2016––2017, 2+ years, bringing traditional wisdom principles and practices to business leaders.
  • Zen Buddhist Teacher. 2003––current, 18+ years
  • Buddhist teacher (highest level of teaching authority in Zen Buddhism) leading meditation retreats, workshops, classes in U.S. and globally.
  • Director of Online Initiatives, SFZC 2013––2016
  • online courses and virtual offerings on Zen Buddhist practice.
  • President/Executive Director (CEO), San Francisco Zen Center. 2005––2013, 8+ years
  • Led the largest Zen Buddhist community outside of Asia. Responsible for overseeing all business activities of an $11M+ organization with a 200-person staff, developing dozens of organizational leaders and managing a complex mix of commercial business activities.
  • Director, San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center Temple. 2003––2005, 2 years

Other Professional Experience. 1984––1993, 10 years

  • Founding Partner of iconic San Francisco restaurant and club (1990––93). • Editor and Creative Director of two San Francisco lifestyle magazines (1988––90). • Founder/Director of San Francisco-based film production company (1984––88).

EDUCATION

  • Integral Leadership Coaching, New Ventures West, SF, CA. 2016––2017
  • Zen Buddhist Teacher Training, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. 1994––2000
  • Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. 1978––1983. Majored in fine art, graphic design, video art and filmmaking
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