HomeVolume 7April 2022The Inner MBA

The Inner MBA

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The Inner MBA

TAMI SIMON is the founder of multimedia platform, Sounds True, and the educational program The Inner MBA. Tami has grown Sounds True into North America’s leading publisher of spoken-word spiritual teachings, and one of the world’s very first organizations to operate along genuinely integral principles, with the emphasis on “multiple bottom lines” of purpose, profit, people, and planet.

In part 2 of an interview with EMILIE MOGENSEN, she speaks about the competitive instinct, celebrating the successes of others through the practice of sympathetic joy, and what it means to be human.


Q: You talked about your competitive side in another interview. It resonated with me in terms of entrepreneurship, as we are often rather competitive people by nature. When you are a spiritual seeker and you are running a rather big business in the USA, having to look out for competing companies I assume, is there a conflict here?

TS: Well, I want to be 100% truthful with you, Emilie. I think this is a growing edge for me. I am not there yet. I’m in the middle of working this whole thing out myself. One thing I know is that there is a healthy and an unhealthy side to competitiveness in me. The healthy side pushes me to constantly innovate, to go for extreme excellence, to always be inventing, and always a step ahead. So, it’s a creative force and that’s good. I think the negative side is when I compare myself with other people. There is something about that which isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful. Everyone has a right to express their best.

The Inner MBA program at Sounds True is a nine-month immersive training program. Lately, we added Spencer Sherman to our faculty, who teaches the inner mastery of money. It’s about bringing dharmic meditative principles together with the world of money.



I learned from him a practice rooted in Buddhism, which you can apply in business and as a competitive person. I noticed a huge transformation through this practice. It’s “sympathetic joy,” which is one of the heavenly abodes. You practice sympathetic joy when other people have terrific successes. When your business competitors have huge successes, a lot more money to work with, or they get a huge account; or when someone writes a New York Times Bestseller while you’re still working on your book; practice actually feeling their joy as if it were your own. You can take this even further and imagine their success becoming bigger! Imagine their face on the cover of a huge magazine, and so on.

It always felt wrong when I was feeling the negative competitive side of myself. I was a spiritual practitioner but not wishing others well. It always felt fishy somehow, not coherent. I have a strong competitive side to my nature, so I wasn’t feeling very aligned within.

When I started the sympathetic joy practice, I felt much freer. I was like, “OMG! That’s the antidote for me.” When I do it, I feel freer and more creative. I’m in my own creative flow, and also not operating at a low vibrational level of not wishing well for other people, which is against everything I stand for and believe.

Q: I am a student at The Inner MBA. It’s a fantastic program. How did this co-creation between four organizations (Sounds True, Wisdom 2.0, LinkedIn, and Mindful NYU) come into the world?

TS: I started seeing more and more businesses saying, “If we can get our employees to practice Mindfulness meditation, they will be less emotionally reactive, they will potentially have more innovative ideas, they will feel a sense of well-being at work, etc. This is wonderful.”



I thought we needed a community,
a program to help people
become aware of this inner voice,
speak to it, and have the courage
to re-create the world of business,
so it’s not a separate world
from the values of their inner world.




As you start getting in touch with the inner realm, which we can call the soul’s voice, you get into a soul-liberating process. You might just do a simple breath practice, but before you know it, in the depth of your being, voices you haven’t heard for so long start speaking to you. When that happens, you need your worklife to be congruent with the values, the callings, and the creativity of your inner life. A lack of congruence makes you crazy until you address it.

That’s why I thought we needed a community, a program to help people become aware of this inner voice, speak to it, and have the courage to re-create the world of business, so it’s not a separate world from the values of their inner world.

One of the instructors of The Inner MBA is a woman named Lisa Lahey, who is a professor from Harvard. She says, “One of the things you need for success is a high level of challenge and a high level of support. You need people to talk to, affirmations, community.” So, we tried to create a program having both challenge and support.



Q: I heard you talk about the “dominant culture” in another interview and it made me think about the massive shift we are in as a collective. I hope we all know what the dominant culture has done to our planet and to humans. How do you see and experience this evolutionary paradigm shift?

TS: I think it’s a great turning point. Another word for dominant culture could be “conventional culture.” I think a lot of us buy into convention for good reasons. We want to be accepted, we want other people to like us, we want to survive and fit in. We don’t want to be “weirdos”, so we try to be successful in conventional terms. The conventional framework is so crushing, and we see the results in our society in so many forms, including environmental destruction. We see the output of that conventional worldview, and at some level, it’s not truly working for any of us. We may not have reasonable air quality in the future, so it’s not working unless you have a bubble with an oxygen tank inside to walk around in.

There is an evolutionary pressure that we’re a part of. Some of us might be on the early adopter side of it, and some of us might be coming a little later, but we’re all getting there. We have to get there!

This is a strong thing to say, but we’re one being. We are all life-breathing together, so we are all feeling this evolutionary impulse moving through us. I think one of the early discoveries we have on the spiritual path is that we’re a part of an interdependent web. It doesn’t take much meditation, or being silent for very long, and tuning into the space around you, to feel connected with people, with the whole world — the sun, the sky, and the earth. It doesn’t take a lot of meditation to sense that inner connection. It’s not a miraculous discovery that only a few great mystics have.

This subtle sensing is available to all of us. We can feel an other person at the other side of the world, right when they are sending us an email. We have the capacity to be so tuned in to the interconnected web we are a part of. And when we get it inside ourselves, we don’t want to work in conventional structures that ignore that.

To say it’s okay for me to gain when other people don’t have anything, that they are not part of this web, that they are separate and different, and my gain can happen at their expense – you can’t work that way after having the experience that all life is breathing together. At least I can’t. To me that would be a type of cognitive dissonance that doesn’t feel sane. We have to reinvent our businesses and organizations in a way that is reflective of that deep inner bodily knowing of our interdependence. And we can do it!

It’s honoring all the stakeholders – our customers, our investors, our employees. I would go so far as to say honoring the future. We hear about 7 Generations, and we take it even further at Sounds True when I say honoring all the stakeholders – the ideas themselves! We honor the great wisdom traditions and their teachings as living beings.\



The universe is always creating and
expressing and growing in love,
growing in expansion.
And it’s going to come
through you with the next,
the next, and the next – the next way
to bring more love to more people.




Q: Beautiful! So, in terms of business and entrepreneurship, we should honor everything as stakeholders, not only the traditional shareholders who put financial capital into the business. What do you feel if I say spiritual capital?

TS: Well, it’s our own inner unlimited strength, capacity, love, our soul’s voice. It’s who we are in our essence. Our Buddha nature, if you will, is the greatest set of capacities any of us possess. In fact, we don’t possess it; it’s something we are. And when we know that’s what we are, we have an unlimited amount of resiliency.

People talk about being resilient, but when you know in your soul who and what you are, you also know that you’re going to be given the next set of instructions you need. Of course! The universe is always creating and expressing and growing in love, growing in expansion. And it’s going to come through you with the next, the next, and the next – the next way to bring more love to more people. And you can rest in that and know that.

Q: I love your interview with Michael Singer about living in a state of surrender. So, is that what we must bring into our businesses?

TS: I hear in your question the idea of separating who we are in our personal space (someone who surrenders) and then being someone different when we are in the business world. When we are in the meditation retreat, we are one way, but in business, we will pick up these old conventional ways, the old mindset, because that’s business. I completely dispute that framework – this whole idea of two worlds. No, there is one world. It’s everywhere we are, this soul resource. Why would we make ourselves small and selfish at work – overly mental and strategic? Why would we do this when we have available to us this powerful creative soul force that is always expressing through us. Why not tap into that all the time?


To be continued.



Interview by EMILIE MOGENSEN



Tami-Simon

Tami Simon

Tami is the founder of multimedia platform Sounds True and the educational program The Inner MBA. Tami has grown Sounds True into North America’s leading publisher of spoken-word spiritual teachings, operating on Integral principles.

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