asuhiko Genku Kimura is a philosopher, Zen Buddhist priest and scholar, a teacher of spiritual philosophies of the East and the West, and a consultant to international business leaders and organizations. Yasuhiko has a unique ability to integrate Western scientific thought with intuitive Eastern spiritual insight to bring about radical and lasting transformation. Through his Zen-like, Socratic method of inquiry and dialogue, he awakens the highest level of creativity in people, which leads to effective action and breakthrough results. In 2003 Yasuhiko established Vision-InAction, a sapient circle of thought leaders that develops and implements creative, innovative, and transformative approaches to global challenges that open a new evolutionary pathway for humanity. In 2005, he further established the Vision-In-Action Leadership Institute to develop spiritually awake, intellectually sovereign, and emotionally mature business leaders. Yasuhiko believes that networks will be central to the future of business because of their design for creating synergy. He points to humanity’s need for a transcultural approach, which is based on “alignment beyond agreement.” In the old paradigm, humans are unable to work together when they don’t agree or share the same opinions. However, agreement is not necessary for collaboration or synergy. What we need is alignment, which means sharing the same intention. In transcultural networks, synergy happens in the most powerful ways when individuals align in intention, while being empowered to think creatively and act autonomously.
By Dr. Josephine Gross
Yasuhiko, how did you get started in the work you do?
When I was 16 years old, I had a deep spiritual experience, which led me to study Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. I was ordained a Buddhist priest at 21 in the Soto school of Zen Buddhism in Japan and then spent three years in India studying ancient Indic and contemporary Eastern philosophies. I visited many spiritual places like Varanasi and Rishikesh. What struck me as I traveled around India is that everywhere I turned I found endemic poverty. As a young man in my mid-20s I began to question, “What relevance does my spiritual experience or study of philosophy have for the future of humanity?” In 1980 I was on my way to visit Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta (Kolkata), known for having perhaps the worst abject poverty at that time. A few days before I left Bombay (Mumbai), I read an article in a newspaper about Pope John Paul II’s historical first trip to his native Poland one year prior (June 2 –June 10, 1979). I learned that the trip cost tens of millions of dollars. When I arrived at the mission in Calcutta, I asked a nun, “Is Mother Teresa Catholic?” (I knew the answer but asked anyway.) “Yes,” said the nun. “Is she a friend of Pope?” “Yes, they are close,” she replied. I said, “Do you know the size of the wealth the Catholic Church owns? Why doesn’t Mother Teresa ask the Church to invest money in building hospitals and schools to help people who are suffering from poverty and disease? You could make a real difference in the city of Calcutta and all over the country using the influence and prestige of Mother Teresa. Many doctors and teachers from all over the world will come to volunteer their professional expertise to serve the cause.” Then I told her, “You don’t need to be a jerk to be rich, and you don’t need to be poor to be spiritual.” It surprised me that I said this, as I had no business background. It just came out of my