Cheri has been a student and teacher of Zen for over 35 years. She is the author of over 20 books on Zen, and founded the Mountain View Zen Center and the Zen Monastery Peace Center. Cheri also founded a non-profit dedicated to transforming lives and ending suffering, Living Compassion, whose primary work is the Africa Vulnerable Children Project in Zambia. Ashwini co-facilitates and creates workshops with Cheri. She runs the operations of the two nonprofits that Cheri founded. Her eclectic background includes degrees in physics, business, and computer science to working in advertising, an investment bank, a social enterprise, and several technology startups in the Silicon Valley. Cheri and Ashwini have co-written multiple books, including their latest Don’t Suffer, Communicate. Today’s episode isn’t just about awareness practice, it’s about a framework for navigating life. A few highlights: Zen isn’t just the practice of keeping things nicely organized, it’s also a spiritual practice largely focused on awareness and where you direct attention. Self-improvement is an endless diss. The very nature of saying we need improvement implies we’re not enough. Cheri and Ashwini share some useful tools to redirect the attention, such as using a recorder to access the wisdom, love, and compassion that is our true nature. We are not our ego. Over the years we are programmed to think in particular ways and believe how things should be. How do we begin to practice presence and become aware of what is really true? Enjoy! Today's episode is brought to you by CreativeLive. CreativeLive is the world's largest hub for online creative education in photo/video, art/design, music/audio, craft/maker and the ability to make a living in any of those disciplines. They are high quality, highly curated classes taught by the world’s top experts -- Pulitzer, Oscar, Grammy Award winners, New York Times best selling authors and the best entrepreneurs of our times.