Buddhism and its beliefs have been around for thousands of years, with now over 520 million ‘followers’ worldwide. Zen Buddhism beliefs are very pragmatic and down to earth. Zen is essentially a practice, an experience, not a theory or dogma. Then there is Taoism, which goes hand-in-hand and is a philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools; in Taoism, however, it denotes the principle that is the source, pattern and substance of everything that exists.
Que-in entrepreneurs such as George Crichlow (of KYNSHO – www.kynsho. com – in New York City) that have immersed themselves in the practices & gonfiabili per bambini philosophies more recently and applied some of them to the way they run and create their businesses. Mixed in with some mediation, and George has found the inner-strength to power forward no matter what challenges come up, while changing his industry and helping open the mind of others along the way.
Asana Journal sat down with George in New York to learn about Zen Buddhism, Taoism, his practice of meditation / self-reflecting, and how he has put aspects of all three together as a recipe for overall personal and professional success…
1. How were you first introduced to meditation and what were your original thoughts even before giving it a try?
I use to study martial arts as a kid and breathing techniques were a core part of the practice, so I’ve always been mindful of using breathing techniques as a tools to focus the mind.
2. You travelled recently to Southeast Asia to immerse yourself in practices like Buddhism and Taoism… what was your big takeaway from your travels and what forms of meditation / mindsets did you learn while there?
In Southeast Asia, Buddhist temples are everywhere. It is omnipresent in the lives of people. For them it is not a religion that you believe in, it is a philosophy that practice everyday. Regardless of what you believe in, it’s more important to put it into practice.
3. Your fashion company Kynsho was born with the mindset of Zen Buddhism… how do you relate the two?
Kynsho is not a fashion company. At its core it is a practice. Kynsho means in pursuit of personal progress in Zen Buddhism. It is the moment when one becomes self aware of their true calling in life and spend every waking moment to realize that potential. We use this idea to rethink the value and purpose of what people wear and carry with them. No matter what goal you are in pursuit of – at Kynsho we design the tools and accessories to help you reach your potential.
4. You say that Kynsho is the first stage of “awareness of truth”, explain this to our readers?
Kynsho is an awakening of selfpurpose. At some point in life, we also have felt an intense moment of passion where we were completely obsessed and focused on achieving something. That might be cleaning your room. Getting to the NBA or getting that job that you wanted. In that moment we are utterly committed to that goal and nothing else matters. That is when we are in synch in mind, body and spirit with ourselves.
5. What is the biggest misperception about meditation and/or Zen Buddhism overall you find?
That mediation is a cult practice. I myself, am turned off by rituals and ceremonies. Meditation is about listening to your inner-self. It’s about visualizing a goal in your minds eye and preparing yourself mentally to exert your will. Often I find that when I declare my intentions to myself, some aspect of that desire comes to fruition.
6. How does the practice of meditation & intuition (in your own form and sense of it) help you on a daily basis as a business owner now?
As a business owner, one’s day can go through many ups and downs. “ Meditating ” or rather self – reflection calms me. It puts things in perspective so that I never get to high or too down on myself. At night I create affirmations for myself. I recite them over and over again until I no longer believe them to be true, I KNOW them to be true. I know within myself what I am do, is who I am and as a result I cannot fail because I am being true to myself.
7. How important is an active, healthy lifestyle to you overall these days?
I consider words like “active” and “healthy lifestyle” to be “loaded” words. For me balance is more important. As a business owner, I work seven days a week. When I get overwhelmed, I do something different. I change up my task to reframe my perspective. Sometimes that might mean going for a bike ride, or getting off a train stop early and exploring a new neighborhood. As long as I am doing things to engage my mind and i’m in control of my time, I consider that healthy. Most people aren’t in control of their time and as a result start to form unhealthy habits. Once you get comfortable with saying “no” to other people and “yes” to yourself, your outlook on life becomes healthy.
8. You currently live in New York City – avery “ fast – paced ” environment – where do you go to get away from the noise and concentrate on you and your work?
For me riding my moped is a sanctuary. I can ride at my own pace, control my destination and just cruise. I like to visit café like Outpost Café in Brooklyn. It’s small and cozy café with lounge chairs. Most people are freelancers or entrepreneurs who are working on their own passions, and that energy gives me life.
9. Is it hard to find time to meditate with your busy schedule?
No, I don’t need a lot of time to mediate. My train ride to my shop is about 20 minutes. I put my headphones on and close my eyes and say my affirmations to myself.
10. What advice would you like to share with other practitioners based on your personal experience or others looking at getting into the same routines and mindset as you?
Write down what’s important to you. Create themes and then visualize yourself doing them. The best advise I can give someone is to just start. Just do it and you will discover what works best for you.
11. Do you also follow a strict diet at all? What are some of your favorite health foods?
I don’t have a strict diet but there are things that I gravitate towards like tea. I’m not particular about what I eat but given the choice I will go with non-GMO and organic options. Naturally I’ve been steering toward vegan options but that might because I’m getting older and want to eat lighter.
12. What are your future dreams and goals both professionally and personally?
My personal and professional goals are one in the same. I want to create a platform to inspire other people. They way I can do that is by doing things that I enjoy, so other people can see what is possible.