The Magic Mantra

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad

This is the story of the Ek Ong Kar Mantra and how it became my much loved and favorite Magic Mantra for connecting, releasing and transforming negativity into positivity and optimism.

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First a little history, a couple of love stories and a little culture.

Anjou was born in the city of Ludhiana, located in the Indian state of Punjab. According to her parents, Anjou was conceived at the foothills of the Himalaya on their honeymoon.

How you get your start in the world is everything.

Due to its location in the north of India, the Punjab region has been influenced by both east and west. The Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Turks and Afghan invasions resulted in centuries of bitter bloodshed with today’s Punjab culture combining influences from Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Afghan, British, and Sikh.

Most of the 27.7 million people in Punjab are Sikh. The roots of Sikhism began at the time of the conquest of northern India by the 1st Mughal Emperor. His grandson was Akbar the 3rd Emperor. You may recognize him from the Jodhaa Akbar movie. In contrast to the other Mughal Emperors, Akbar supported religious freedom, tripled the Empire in size and wealth, cooperated with and sought the goodwill of his multicultural subjects and was a patron of the arts and culture. No wonder they called him Akbar the Great!

Anjou was fond of watching Indian movies, and Jodhaa Akbar was a favorite that we watched together multiple times. We were inspired by the tolerance, leadership, romance, sensuality, culture and beautiful aesthetics of the period. We infused our work with tolerance, inclusion, and compassion, and used the aesthetic elements to decorate our home – particularly the master bedroom, domed ceiling and walls in vibrant colors and exotic fabrics.

We acquired objects of art and beauty as well as inspirational and devotional decor to create an environment of sacred beauty that was part, temple, part art gallery. In all main rooms of the house, we installed audio systems and created a playlist of mantras to play in the background 24/7.

Iran at the time of the Shah

Anjou spent her formative years in India, moving to Iran before the overthrow of the Shah and while her father waited for approval to immigrate to Canada, she went to school in London, England. The family moved to a very small town in rural Christian Canada where they were the only Sikh family, her Dad’s Turban caused a commotion on top of no one ever seeing an Indian before! Extreme prejudice…

Looking back on this story, I think it is easy to understand why her mother had a hard time adjusting and why Anjou would be embarrassed by her culture and become westernized in order to fit in and be accepted. It took years for Anjou to re-embrace her heritage.

We talked for hours and hours over many years about Sikh beliefs and how different they are from the Hindu majority of India. Sikhism is relatively new with just over 500 years of history vs 5,000 for Hinduism.

While not a practicing Sikh, Anjou was always proud of her Sikh heritage and at the same time embracing elements from many diverse practices including American Indian, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Buddhism. You could say she was very open-minded and inclusive.

The Two Swords of Sikhism

Anjou was proud of the Sikh symbol of two crossed swords that represent the balance of spiritual and material. In other words, both are inclusive of the other and you cannot have one without the other. Anjou and I talked extensively about how many philosophies encouraged the abandonment of material pursuits in order to achieve spiritual fulfillment and how Sikhism embraced both.

These discussions influenced our holistic ideas of balancing ego with spirit that became the foundation concepts behind GOLDZONE.

In Hinduism, there is one supreme God and according to popular belief, 33 crore deities (330 million). Contrast this with Sikhism where there is only one God.

Going Through the Motions

All religions have beliefs and spiritual practices that are designed to support the practitioner to become a better person, to deal with day to day challenges of life, to explain life’s meaning and purpose and to reach enlightenment or salvation. When performed on a regular basis, these practices become rituals with meaning and if not performed deliberately become rituals devoid of meaning as if the practice itself will automatically “do the job”.

After lengthy discussions over many years, Anjou and I concluded that intentional and deliberate practice of a ritual is where the magic is. In other words, it is in understanding the meaning and contemplating the application where the practice comes alive and produces the most value.

Inclusive vs Exclusive

Some people are of the belief that there is only one true path and that all others are lost and on the wrong path. This form of belief is exclusive, meaning that you are either in the club or excluded from the club. Contrast this with the inclusive attitude that all paths will eventually lead to the same place and it does not matter which path you choose as this is a merely personal preference.

The reason people often fixate on positions of being right is because a fixed view does not allow the viewer to see that things look different from the other person’s position. Meaning that both parties can be both right, both wrong or one right and the other wrong. Typically the person who is the most attached to being right is often the “most wrong.”

It is the inclusive viewpoint that allows for both right and wrong and multiple viewpoints where all parties can be right. From here it is easy to see that multiple paths can lead to the same place.

This perspective will allow you to transcend the singular religion and embrace peoples of all religions and all practices that don’t infringe on the rights of others.

The Magic of the Mantra

Most spiritual practices include some form of repetitive chants, sacred words, prayers, and music. These are sung or chanted as an incantation or prayer.

Many people repeat phrases, statements of belief or truisms that are also mantras. Some are positive and others are counter productive.

“The mantra, taking us into the present moment and beyond the ego, slips through the narrow gate into the city of God.” – John Main, Benedictine Monk.

Some well-known mantras include; Hinduism’s Gayatri mantra, Buddhism’s Om Mani Padme Hum, Christianity’s the Jesus Prayer, and Islam’s the Sufi dhikr.

There are conflicting opinions about how mantras work and if they work at all. One school of thought suggests that mantras are mostly meaningless melodic sound constructs whereas the other point of view insists that they are meaningful linguistic instruments of the mind. At the very least I think everyone would agree that they have a minimum effect similar to listening to your favorite music and possibly much more.

Some mantras have literal meanings and others do not. Many people believe that the universe began with a word or sound from God. Everything in the universe can be related to a vibration or frequency. Mantras are a way of tuning into and focusing this vibration, or sound, in ourselves so that we begin to vibrate at the same frequency of the words or mantra.

By repeating a mantra you are literally tuning yourself to resonate at the same vibrational frequency as the energy or intention associated with that mantra. Eventually, as you resonate more and more at the same frequency as the mantra, the mantra gains its own momentum and as they say in Sufism, “you stop doing the mantra, and the mantra starts doing you”.

At first Skeptical, then Acceptance, then Amazement…

Prior to meeting Anjou mantras seemed confusing and a little woo-woo to me. After lengthy conversations, a little education and some translation I opened my mind to more possibilities and fell in love with mantras as a sacred meditative practice.

What I discovered was a plethora of different types, styles, purposes and methods of mantras. To name a few, Hindu mantras tune you into a specific deity for healing, success or protection whereas Sikh mantras tend to focus on the supreme being, creation, and oneness.

When combined with meditation, education, clean slate, taking positive actions, surrounding oneself with creative and uplifting environments, beauty and aesthetics, healthy diet and exercise, mantras add an extra dimension.

If you don’t solve your problems, or at least, the ones you can do something about and accept that which you cannot change — no amount of positive thinking, affirmations, visualizations, meditations or mantras will alleviate your discomfort for anything more than temporary relief — only to recur again as soon as the effects of the mantra have worn off.

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad

My favorite mantra is Ek Ong Kar. This is reputed to be the most powerful Sikh mantra in at least three variations; Ek Ong Kar, Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad, and Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru.

Here is the translation and meaning:

Ek Ong Kar: “The creator and creation are one.”

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad: “The creator and the creation are one.  All is a blessing of the one creator.  This realization comes through Guru’s Grace.”

Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru: “The creator and the creation are one. This is our true identity. The ecstasy of the experience of this wisdom is beyond all words and brings indescribable bliss.”

This mantra takes a negative thought and reverses it to positive. It is said to contain the essence of the entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib (the holy scriptures and living Guru of the Sikhs).

It is said that this mantra brings about Kundalini awakening, the opening of the chakras, a sense of bliss and is the mantra of the Aquarian Age.

Warning! This is the only kundalini mantra that comes with a warning… it is said to be so powerful that you have to watch your thoughts and actions after your chant it. You will be in such a state of manifestation, that your thoughts will accelerate into being. A good reason to chant it deliberately and with intention.

Lightness of Being

Over the thirteen years that Anjou and I were together we actively sought out and acquired music, videos, mantras and visualizations to use on our own journey as well as to share with others.

Some of the very best pieces we found included music, mantras, and visuals. My all time favorite is the album Lightness of Being by SatKirin Kaur Khalsa, a Los Angeles-born American who converted to Sikhism. She is a beautiful musician, teacher, and yogi. I love her message of unity, love, and compassion. Leaving aside the religious aspects, the mantras, chants and music are incredible!

Here is SatKirin Kaur Khalsa chanting Ek Ong Kar:

In preparation for playing this mantra, I suggest that you create a sacred environment, play the music intentionally, chant along with the words (doesn’t matter if you get them all or not) and focus your attention on a meditative state.

One of my other favorites is Om Mani Padme Hum and Gregorian Chants by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo…

Check it out:

Here is a Sufi Hu Mantra:

Om Mani Padme Hum:

Go on your own personal quest to find chants, music, and mantras that uplift and inspire you and by all means, share your best picks!

Whatever you do — do it with passion and purpose!


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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

CUPID: Musing About LOVE

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– dedicated to the memory of Anjou MacPherson (1959 – 2012)


I often ponder what it is
where it comes from
why so many people long for it and yet deny themselves

I love people, places and yes even things
all will be lost to me, eventually
they grace my life for but a moment

No matter how brief the dance
it is still worth the effort
and the risk

Without risk there can be no reward
and all good things come to an end
that is why they are so sweet

Life is short when you are in love
and ever so long when no love can be found
miserable is the person without love

How can one feel love, if one cannot feel anything?
and yet this is the choice so many make
to live, comfortably numb

I say to hell with comfort
numb is one step from the grave
and we will all meet the grave soon enough

In embracing loss I am free
free to love. Free to lose

Resisting loss I am trapped
in a prison of my own making
loss is the pathway to love

Love cannot be taken
it can only be freely given
and received

By exchanging love it spirals up
and up and up
more and more love to go around

This is the opposite of the Law of the Jungle
everything is scarce and should be acquired
and protected at all costs
dividing and sharing mean less for everyone

Oh, love is so different
the more you give, the more you share
the more there is to go around
more for me and more for you

Love without conditions is free
love with conditions is not love
it is something else altogether

Conditions are Jungle based control mechanisms
if one gives or withholds love with conditions
it is domination
they might love what they get from you
but they do not love YOU

True love comes from within
it comes from inside me
inside you
and begins with acceptance
for one cannot love what one cannot accept

In the presence of a person who loves themselves
I feel love
the words carry the feeling
and the feeling is there without the words

Self delusion, and a high-brow opinion of oneself
is not love
it is ego
and ego is fragile

Love is not fragile
and neither are you

Everything I do, say and express
says “I love you”
most people cannot feel it
because they do not love themselves
Learning to love starts at home

I’ll meet you on the edge of the palisades
where the sky meets the horizon
and the mist rolls in from the sea

I will call you
and I will listen
to the murmur

and I love you too…

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Art de Vivre – Joie de Vivre

It’s all about personal quality of life. What good is it to have wealth, power, influence and yet feel miserable?

It is easy to rush through life, from meeting to meeting, event to event and not even notice the details. Small things. Important things.

Numb seems to be the new normal for many people. Is it any wonder that drug use is at an all-time high? The path from numb to joy of living is long, winding and often akin to playing snakes and ladders. “Back to square one” seems an all too often occurrence.

Unlike board games, in life we can never go back. No matter how it feels we can never unlearn an experience because every event, every moment forever changes us. What we can do is change our mind about what the experience means. Old experiences can offer new lessons.

Accepting emotions – all of them – is the “secret sauce” to experiencing joy in life. Rushing serves to deepen the numbness… lingering opens up the flavors of experience and allows the senses to activate. Feelings rise. Both wanted and unwanted.

Instead of crashing through life, designing a career, a certain amount of money… what would happen if one lived as if life itself were a work of art?

Become your own artist and infuse art into everything you do…

Art de Vivre: your smile… your hair… your clothes… your work… your house… your car… your cup of coffee… your expression… your posture… your writing… your cooking… your dinner setting… your afternoon snack… your hand holding… your conversation… your travel… your love notes… your attitude… your dreams… your nightmares… your lovemaking… your decor… your office… your voicemail… your entertaining… your values… your beliefs… your vacations… your expression when you eat… your hug when you meet a friend… your handshake when you meet a stranger… your desert… your nutrition… your hydration… your garden… your sunglasses… your shoes… your socks… your aging… your death…

Yes! All of life is art. Mastering the joy of living – in the moment – with people you love is what makes life worthwhile.

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Flow no Flow

What doesn’t flow is also flow
blocks to flow provide guidance
guidance is invaluable and rare
opinions are everywhere

everyone has an opinion
gleaned from experience + interpretation
do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that

flow has no opinion
no one can argue with flow
yet so many people insist on going against the flow
or they surrender and float downstream
this is meaningless
for even a dead fish can float downstream

do not be a dead fish

engage with and respond to flow
create flow
follow flow
share flow with others

look for flow no flow
know when to apply force to no flow
and when to let go

Sometimes things don’t flow
because an “attitude” needs adjusting
an expectation needs re-setting

subtle feelings reveal flow
this is void if you are numb
numb is as close to nearly dead as you can get
dead is the total absence of flow

spend time with numb people and you will experience no flow
crazy people have lots of flow… all over the place
subtle wont work on numb
bricks, sledge hammers and massive force are what works

desperate, terror, lost, lonely, sad, angry, happy, are all degrees of flow
they don’t all go in the same direction
some lead up – others lead down
whatever you wont feel – you will suppress
suppression leads to no flow
flow leads to freedom

uncomfortable feelings are not a sign of no flow
they can and often do indicate pending or imminent flow
being comfortable with uncomfortable leads to more flow

freedom is bought with a price
a price most people are not willing to pay
subtle nuances are the realm of mastery
which is acquired through practice

I learn nothing from flow
but sit at the feat of the true master – no flow
when my ego rises and takes over
no flow soon follows

staying humble allows flow leading to flow following flow

I turn off the light
I close my eyes
I do not see black
I see the same thing with eyes open and eyes closed

I see grey with patches of white
like clouds drifting across the sky
flow no flow is everywhere and in everything

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Musing About Romance

Musing about romance
what is it?

Why do so many people associate romance
with sex?

Sensual, sexual, love and affection
These can include romance…

…but they are not substitutes for romance

When you hear an English speaker say it
the sound falls flat

Say it in French… Italian… or Spanish
and you feel something

If ones feelings are muted, how then to
feel romance?

How to feel anything?
Unless it is SCREAMING!!!

Romance is all about feeling, subtle feelings…

Surprise… excitement… mystery… mystique…
adventure… allure… charm… glamour…

Remote from everyday life…

Ahhhhhhhh… I feel something stirring
new pathways are forming in my neocortex

Cheap, entitled, lazy, perfunctory, low ethics,
stress and worry about money are incompatible with

Effort must be invested, creativity and
Lifeforce infused

The desire to create an experience for
another person

Transport them to a far off reality
Where the cares and thoughts of everyday
life are left far behind
where magic and mystery are the currency
Is it possible to live this way everyday?
Is it possible to infuse ones own time
and activities with the essence of romance?

This would shift ones priorities
and have one valuing EXPERIENCES

Why not romance oneself?

Choose the romantic option

Linger over coffee
drive the long, winding way home
waste time on nonproductive things
wander the streets without a plan
burn incense, light candles, play chants
Give 50% or 100% or larger tips


Take moments to look deeply
into the eyes of a stranger
connecting with their soul
See who they really are
allow them to see YOU

Give feelings away
like they were wrapped
in a sumptuous box tied with a ribbon
like they are the currency of life
the most valuable, rare and precious
gifts that they are

So many people are addicted to drama
substances, lack and limitation
when feelings are FREE

FREE! no amount of money can buy
what can be obtained for free

The more you give…
…the more you receive

How cool is that?


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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Little White Lies

Honesty is the best policy:  platitude or truism? How many times are we faced with the decision to be honest or to tell a “little white lie?” No one else may know or find out; however, you know and how do you feel about yourself?

There are many ways to tell the truth without the discomfort that most people avoid. It just takes a little effort to escape the black/white way of thinking.

The Jumping Thoughts

Did you know that energy, thoughts, ideas and feelings can jump from one person to another?  Sounds strange I know, but recent research indicates that this is a bigger problem than you can imagine.  The question is, are you transferring your thoughts to them, or are they transferring theirs to you? This is an important distinction for all leaders…

Straight Line

Most people think that the fastest way to get between two points is a straight line… and yes, they are correct when in a one dimensional reality. This is similar to looking at the horizon and saying that the world is flat.

We live in a multidimensional world and often the most creative solution shows that the fastest way to get from one point to the other is NOT always a straight line!

Are You Present?

Anytime you find yourself making a few little mistakes, experiencing near misses, and forgetting things, take a moment and ask yourself if you are “present, here now?”  Or, is there a part of yourself (your attention and/or awareness) that is stuck on something in the past or on an unsolved problem?

Unsolved problems can cause us to be “not present.”

Just identifying what is going on can help us become more present and the mistakes and near misses will reduce.

Obviously, you are going to have to solve the problem to remain present in the long term.

The Good Old Days

Many times people reminisce about the “good old days” when things were supposedly better than they are now. The truth is that things have never been better than they are now.  There are less wars, people are living longer, health care for most people is better than ever, living standards have risen, incomes have risen and housing sizes have increased.

Yes, some things have gotten worse – like the environment.

Yes, there are still many problems to overcome… especially in less-developed countries where many millions of children go to bed hungry and die early of preventable illnesses.

We are clearly living in a world of “haves and have nots” and for those of us who care enough to do something about it… there is plenty to do!

Someday Island

Many people live on an island called “Someday Isle.” It goes like this: “Someday I’ll do this, someday I’ll do that…”

Today could be your last day alive.  Your last thought could be: “Look at all the love I have shared and all the things I have dreamed of and have done.”  Or, you will regret the things you have not done and people you have not expressed your love to.

You have nothing to lose by living each day as if it were your last… and whatever you dream of doing – do it now.  After all, this is the only way to escape “Someday Isle.”

The Shadow

We all have a shadow self. Many of us who have worked on ourselves for a long time or who have very religious backgrounds often find it difficult to see the shadow part of ourselves.  This part is less than honest, less then forthcoming, has less then pure intentions, etc.

However, the key to becoming a better person is to look at both sides which include all our good qualities and their opposites.

Personal Power

If your Personal Power is limited – then you have little chance of getting what you want. On the other hand, if you have a lot of Personal Power – then you have the ability, skill and capacity to do what you want and to influence other people’s thoughts and actions.

Are you willing to spend one more day not getting what you want?

This is the key question because if you want things to change, then you have to change. The first place to begin is to stop putting up with things the way they are…

Denial of Feelings Can Lead to Irrational Actions

Many people who deny their feelings in order to make rational decisions are inadvertently making emotional decisions.

If you ignore, suppress or deny the emotional aspect – you will end up being totally influenced by the emotion.  All the while, you’re thinking you are using reason and being totally rational!

The best decisions are made after taking into account how something feels – then making an optimum decision that includes logic, reason and emotion.

Five Reasons Why People Procrastinate

There are five primary reasons why people procrastinate:

1)  Too much or too little information
2)  Lack of emotional energy
3)  Hoping things will change on their own
4)  Afraid of making a mistake
5)  Attached to current results

It is a mistake to overlook the fact that no decision is a decision.

The People You Meet

Each day we meet many people for the first and last time. We will never see them again – and they will never see us again, either. The larger the city or country we live in, the more this happens. The smaller the place we live in, the more likelihood we have of meeting again. However, regardless of where we live – there is one person you have to live with everyday… and that is yourself. If you do something that isn’t 100% – the people you meet may not know. You will know – and can’t forget. Make yourself proud.

If Humans Can Crash a Spacecraft into a Comet Traveling at Over 69,000 miles per hour

If we can crash a spacecraft into a comet – then you can design and live your ideal life. On the 4th of July 2005, 130 million KM from earth, a NASA spacecraft launched a 372 KG copper projectile that crashed into the surface of the Tempel Comet. If we can make this happen then you can make your life work in the way you want… Goldzone can help you!


As you communicate more, your Lifeforce increases. Communication is the method through which Lifeforce is channeled and directed in a particular direction for a particular purpose.

Self-expression is about our ability to express ourselves through our clothing, personal grooming, language, tone of voice, laughter, playfulness, articulation, music, dance, art, exercise, etc. Being able to express how we feel is central to our ability to communicate and relate to other people.

As a leader, if we can’t express how we feel, then we can’t move people to action (without threats or demands).

Personal Power is the ability to express and move people – without authority or force.

What Made the Difference?

Three children grew up in the same household, one year apart. They had the same education, the same opportunities, the same upbringing, the same parents, the same genes – and yet, by the age of 40 – each had done very different things with their lives.

What made the difference? The answer to this question is the answer as to why some people are more successful in life than others… It has to do with our response to what happens to us. One response is to feel like a victim at the effect of everything – and take everything personally. A second response is to go into denial, forget and pretend that nothing happened. The third and most powerful response is to see the truth of what happened, and take personal responsibility to change what can be changed.


How many times do you tell people around you (workers, employees, family, etc.) what they have done wrong or the mistakes they have made? Many times we spend more time making corrections and pointing out what is wrong than we do pointing out what is right and acknowledging a job well done.

Think back to when you were a child… How many times did you hear “yes” for every “no”? Most people are craving for acknowledgement and encouragement. As a leader, your job is to support people to get things right – focusing on what is right and acknowledging a job well done will give you many times more results that pointing out what is wrong.

Your Ideal Life

Singapore 2009: About six years ago, we signed a one year lease on a Villa on the cliff in Bali. We spent our days watching the whales, dolphins, fisherman, and the sun rise and set. We sat under a coconut palm and our favorite cashew nut tree. Our maid and gardener took care of everything around the Villa.

That period is one our most memorable because we took the time to unwind from the busy work-a-day world to ponder the future, reflect on who we really were, and what we wanted to do with our lives. The Goldzone vision is the result… What do you want to dream, create and manifest?

Orderliness in the Office

The cleanliness and organization of your office reflects how well the business is managed. If you have piles of paper on the floor, boxes stacked everywhere, piles of files on your desk and in a tray that is bulging… then consider what would happen if you cleaned up and got organized? The results may surprise you!

The level of organization and cleanliness reflects the level of drama and chaos present in the operation. So, does the drama create the disorganization – or does the disorganization create the drama?