“This project is the most exquisite orchestration of human technology we have ever seen.”
— West Point Logisticians commenting on the InnerWork Ultimate Warrior Training Program (aka Jedi Warrior) for the US Army Special Forces
“The Leveys’ work has great prospects for bringing the Dharma to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these inner sciences and technologies of mental development and transformation.”
— The Dalai Lama, Nobel Laureate and advisor for a number of the Leveys’ projects
“The Leveys offer a skillful blend of time-proven antidotes to the stress of modern life.”
— Daniel Goleman Author, Emotional Intelligence
“The work of Joel and Michelle Levey has long been a luminous thread in the fabric of the Great Turning. They embody in many ways the epochal transition to a life-sustaining society.”
— Joanna Macy, Deep Ecologist, Author, Widening Circles, Bioneers Lifetime Award Recipient
“You have been so inspirational in the field of mindfulness teaching over so many decades.”
— Chris Ruane, MP, British Parliament
“The Leveys stand beside Steven Covey as pioneering leaders for balancing inner and inner growth and outer productivity.”
— Kent Peterson, M.D., Former MD for President Carter, President of Occupational Health Strategies, Former President of American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Former V.P. American College of Preventive Medicine
“Joel and Michelle Levey have skillfully woven together contemporary insights into the value and need for mindfulness and mind-fitness training with a large number of evocative suggestions for practice. Joel and Michelle clearly have a great deal of experience teaching a wide range of different settings and this is reflected in the precision and vividness of their instructions. There is strength in the simplicity of their explanation of the value of these mindfulness and mind-fitness disciplines and their clear instructions for how to practice.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and Founding Director The Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Author of many books on Mindfulness.
“The Leveys’ Ultimate Warrior Training Program was the most intensive and comprehensive leadership development program to be offered in modern times.”
— George Leonard , Editor , Esquire magazine , and Michael Murphy, Founder, Esalen Institute
“Joel and Michelle bring a profound sense of caring to their work along with their deep knowledge and understanding of the human heart and mind, and decades of experience in helping to transform leaders and organizations from conditions of imbalance and stress to healthy, happy, integrated and whole entities. In my role as a senior organization development practitioner with a major Fortune 500 company, they helped us define an integral model of change leadership.
“I had never met anyone like them in my life. I was delighted to know that there are people like them, these masters at translating perennial wisdom into practical everyday principles and practices. I have had many conversations over the years with them on a variety of organizational and leadership topics and have always come away with a special and enduring insight. And on top of all that, they are just a whole lot of fun to work with. I wholeheartedly recommend them and their work.”
— Bill Hefferman, Organization Development professional in a Fortune 100 company in the computer industry that the Leveys designed a world-wide leadership development program for.
“The Leveys offer us a path to finding clarity amidst confusion, calm amidst intensity, and a joyful confidence amidst the uncertainty of our modern lives. They offer core competencies for increasing our capacity to work with increasing intensity and complexity in our wired world (or the world of modern business.) Joel and Michelle offers solutions that can grow with us as our lives continue to change.”
— Jim Channon (Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, retired), Founder, The Arcturus Design Group, Fellow of the World Business Academy, Author of Evolutionary Tactics: A Manual for the First Earth Battalion, Visionary founder of the First Earth Battalion.
“It’s amazing to see that the work we did together with Joel and Michelle Levey on the Vision Project is still paying off — even after all these years, and all the major changes that the Travelers has gone through. We’ve really used our learnings to work help us through some rough times and I hope that others can draw some inspiration from our success!”
— Suzanne Mamet ,Vice President . The Travelers-Aetna
“Deming did Japan an enormous favor by giving them access to Western Quality Control after WWII. The Leveys have returned the favor by making inner quality control technology and higher order wisdom available to Western business.”
— Bill Veltrop, Founder , International Center for Organization Design
“In a climate of constant change, Joel and Michelle Levey’s work in our healthcare institution (M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center) has provided essential tools for our faculty to deal with complex changes in their internal work environment and their personal lives. They have equipped our medical and research faculty to be more resilient through work in mind-fitness, mindfulness, imagery, meditation and personal mentoring. They have worked with several teams to develop a collective reference point of wisdom and intelligence. All their work infuses loving-kindness throughout their interactions and teachings which is transferred to everyone participating.
“On a personal note, they have influenced my life through their teachings and practices on a profound scale. This provides a basis for me to have an increased capacity to thrive in very chaotic times.”
— Danna Kurtin, Associate Vice President, Faculty Academic Affairs, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
“Michelle and Joel Levey have been to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center many times to share their wisdom with our clinicians, researchers and staff. Those of us who have been privileged to enter into deep conversations with them about the work that we do and the meaning of our work and lives have benefited enormously from their compassion and knowledge. Like thirsty souls wandering in the desert of modern life, we have drunk deeply from their spiritual insight and come to respect, honor and love them. It would take only a minute of observing a room full of doctors, nurses, harried staff, and administrators all gathered round the Leveys, listening intently and sharing openly, to understand what a space they create for people to be authentic and genuine. This is what we hunger for in a world in which we over value the thinking, rational parts of ourselves at the expense of our spirits.”
— Janis Apted, Executive Director, Faculty Development University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
“The Levey’s work with our leaders at Decurion has been a gift. Joel and Michelle bring decades of experience in human potential, mind fitness, clinical research, innovative development programs, mindfulness and the contemplative traditions, and more. And they are able to bring all of this to each moment in a way that left us more whole and integrated. Their program unlocked a new level of potential for us.”
— Bryan Ungard, COO Decurion
The comments below are excerpted from interviews and reports from Dr. Richard Wagner, professor in the School of Business and Economics, at the University of Wisconsin, who has spent years measuring the effectiveness of corporate change programs. As part of his continuing research, Dr. Wagner was invited to independently evaluate the success of our programs with three large clients: The Travelers Insurance, Hewlett-Packard, and Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, a HMO.
Was the InnerWork Technologies program successful? All of the data would suggest that it was a very successful program, especially in the long-run. Compared to other similar programs we have analyzed, this program clearly ranks as a very successful one. The number of significant changes in both the short-run and the long-run was approximately twice the number normally found in programs similar to this one. In addition, the magnitude of the changes was generally greater than the changes we have found in similar programs. We would suggest that programs similar to this be integrated into future training programs whenever possible. The overall impact on team work appears to be a major positive to programs of this type and this one appears to have been particularly effective.”
The InnerWork Technologies program was unique from the start. First of all, few management teams even bother to measure their change efforts. Secondly, I’ve never seen a project seek to make such fundamental improvements in both people and the work environment. The post-test measurements we took for this program are like nothing we’ve seen in looking at over 20,000 change program participants. In this case nearly every one of the 22 measures went up in statistically significant ways. What’s even more impressive is that these measures remain as high or higher, even after six months.”
The depth of this project has the earmarks of a pioneering effort, not only for HP, but for American business. We were grateful that the Hewlett-Packard team asked us to be involved in yet another successful InnerWork Project.
“The Leveys’ work is both artful and practical. Joel and Michelle provide the most up-to-date guidance for living in balance yet bases it on techniques that have stood the test of centuries, even millennia. They help us to gently yet with discipline moves us toward greater mastery of our lives in a way that can be specific to our own needs and opportunities… So no matter what your occupation or role in life, you can settle into the practices so beautifully teach. The Leveys have had more than a quarter of a century of experience of bringing these approaches to people who need them. They will not let you down. The methods of mind-fitness training that they teach us aren’t really optional in today’s world. They’re essential and so their work.”
— Michael Ray, Ph.D. Coauthor, Creativity in Business, Professor of Creativity and Innovation and of Marketing, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
“If you are interested in enhancing the quality of your health, relationships and performance, or in developing the extraordinary potentials of your mindbody you will find tremendous value in Leveys’ work.”
— Jack Cirie (Lt. Col., U.S.M.C. retired) Director of Training & Development , SportsMind, Inc.
“In nearly 25 years of exposure to corporate team development programs, I have never experienced anything even close to the value offered by the Leveys’ programs. Their professional skill and personal warmth has helped us to produce lasting and measurable business results. It is my hope that this opportunity will be made available to everyone in our company and to many other companies struggling to build a humane and effective business in the face of constant change.”
— Mario Narduzzi , Senior Manager , Hewlett-Packard and Agilent
“Joel and Michelle Levey share wisdom gathered through years of working with high achieving and stressed-out people. Their teachings balance a scientific clarity about the negative effects of stressful “out of balance” living with dozens of empowering mindfulness practices to re-center ourselves. The loving presence of Joel and Michelle is an inspiring model of balance in action, making their teachings a gift of the heart.”
— Alex Grey, visionary artist, founder of CoSM, and author of Sacred Mirrors
“It has truly been a blessing to know Joel and Michelle Levey. These teachers walk in grace and offer wisdom with every word. They offer their generous spirits to all who cross their path. We are grateful for the gift they bring to our Mother Earth, who is calling us all to love this big.”
— Alli Chagi-Starr, Arts Activist, Cultural Arts Director for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights’ Reclaim the Future Programand & Ashel Eldridge, music and meditation facilitator with Art in Action, Youth Leadership Program in Oakland
“We have a fairly mature business and organization. We have needed to find ways to increase the organizations ability to change more rapidly. We have also evolved from a product focused business to a solutions focused business. We have focus in two areas, the culture/identify of the division and the business itself. The work we have been doing with InnerWork Technologies and Joel and Michelle Levey, has helped us succeed in building trust and commitment is a core need for a team to be effective. We learned that by building understanding and an open environment, our communication improved dramatically. We have a much stronger sense of operation as a team as opposed to a group of individuals.”
— Forrest Whitt , Quality Manager , Business Laser Division, Hewlett-Packard
“The Leveys’ work offers primer for waking up. Practice their techniques and your life will change.”
— Richard Strozzi Heckler, PhD., Author, Anatomy of Change, Aikido and the New Warrior, and In Search of the Warrior Spirit
“The Leveys offer ground-breaking guidance for developing peace through personal and social action and for developing the qualities of mind essential for effective personal, professional and organizational relationships…. They offer practical strategies for making the personal changes necessary for making lasting and beneficial social and organizational changes.”
— Tom Campbell, M.C.P, Senior Associate , America Speak
“Few people in my life have touched my life in such a positive way as Joel and Michelle Levey. The depth of their understanding, compassion and love inspires me in every creative endeavor I undertake. I highly recommend their work workshops to anyone wanting to go deeper into their creative source. Should their paths cross yours, count yourself as one of the blessed.”
— Sidney Genette, Founder, Lighting Designs, Inc. and Zyzzyzone Music
“Many of the current problems in business and society are the result of limited thinking. Our rapidly evolving, interdependent world requires that we learn to think in a new and integrated way and I believe that these fresh thoughts are born within a still and centered heart and mind. The Leveys help open the door to these much needed human resources.”
— Michael Lindfield, Author of Dance of Change, and former Internal Organization Development Leader at Boeing Aerospace
“The Leveys offer something for everyone interested in self-improvement.”
— International Stress and Tension Control Society
“Joel and Michelle Levey are pioneers and synergy-sensing bridge-builders whose wisdom and experience spans many disciplines. They have spent decades engaged in action research and exploration into the seemingly separate worlds of business, of ancient wisdom teachings, and of modern mindbody technologies necessary for high-order wisdom at work. Their work has positioned them as world-class guides to us in our search for health and wholeness in the midst of ever-increasing change and chaos of our times.”
— Bill Veltrop, Founder, The International Center For Organization Design
There are those who would dismiss the business community/corporate leaders as caring only and selfishly about the bottom line, quarterly performance results, stock market prices, and their own power and wealth. I believe this would be a huge mistake, both because it is not true and because in fact business may be the most important resource we have in transforming our culture/planet into a more just and environmentally sound and conscious society. In reality, business and corporate leaders are highly talented and well positioned to have an extremely important and positive impact on the world, and must be partners in the global transformation. Their skills in creating and managing complex and global systems is of utmost importance for our future; their visioning, organizing and strategic thinking abilities are urgently needed in service of the “common work.” Helping to prepare business leaders, helping to awaken and strengthen their deepest values and providing them with tools for transformation in the workplace is as important a task as exists for the future well-being of our entire planet.
This, of course, is precisely the work that Joel and Michelle Levey do in their real lives in the real world, and what they so skillfully communicate their work in the world. In the process they invoke and support the best qualities and values in all of us, they provide the tools for powerful and well placed business leaders to apply their enormous talents in service of a greater good, both in the workplace and ultimately on behalf of all of humanity and the earth.
Their work and writings are enlightening, which helps us to remember who we truly are and enables us to bring our wisest and most compassionate selves to our work, our lives and the world at large.
The Leveys’ demonsrate a deep wisdom, caring and love for their clients and readers. They are gentle and strong, and consistently express deep respect for their audience. They model the kind of behavior that is needed today, as well as profound knowledge and understanding of the mind and consciousness. They clearly know the path intimately and delight in sharing it–ever with clarity and total integrity. They have complete confidence that these practices will lead to increased capacity, higher levels of performance, greater mindfulness and concentration. They offer many inspirations for “learning to change the world from the inside out;” of “being in the world but not of the world;” of strengthening our inner life and consequently enhancing the quality of our outer work. I can think of no more important work for the caring and intelligent business leader.
— Charles Terry, Director of Philanthropy, The Rockefeller Family Foundation
“What does the Travelers get out of these sessions with the work of Joel & Michelle Levey? We’ve been working with them for over two years now. As a division head, we’ve seen three outstanding benefits that have helped us build a better business as a result of this work. I’m convinced that there is much better team work, much more collaboration, and most importantly much better communications.
“Whether we like it or not, and whether or not you are technically oriented, keep in mind that we are still fundamentally in a people business. We need to work as team. What you’ll get from their work is some personal satisfaction, some personal knowledge, some benefit for you as an individual and as a result the organization will gain. This is a fundamentally worthwhile experience that will continue to produce important business results for years to come.”
— Julian Coolidge Senior Vice President, ISD, Travelers Insurance Company
“Joel & Michelle Levey are consummate teachers because they live the teachings, humbly and compassionately laying out a roadmap that anyone motivated to lead a happier, more balanced life can follow. The simple exercises they teach and questions they ask were like lightbulbs that helped me see my own life more clearly. Their work really does have the power to help you change your life.”
— Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, and A Woman’s Book of Life, cofounder and former director of the Mind/Body Clinic, New England Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
“The Leveys invite us to return to the inner source of wisdom within. Never before have we so urgently needed the clear, compassionate teachings that are so lovingly teach through their work and writings.
— Larry Dossey, MD, Executive Editor, Alternative Therapies
“The Leveys inspired work destined to influence how Americans integrate greater wisdom, balance and strength in their lives.”
— Peg Jordan, R.N., author of Awakening the Fitness Instinct, Founding Editor, American Fitness Magazine; Editor-in-Chief, STYLE Magazine
“Michelle and Joel Levey demonstrate–in a style that is graceful and gentle and personal and inspiring–how balance in our individual minds and lives is both the key to healing the world and the source of our greatest happiness. Their work offers a graceful, personal and inviting presentation of the profound necessity to devote/dedicate oneself to as full a practice of living in balance as one can, without at all trivializing it and making it less profound than it is, but making it sound like everybody can do it–like it’s just normal–which is what it is!”
— Sylvia Boorstein, author of: It’s Easier Than You Think, and, Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There.
“I strongly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to experience the collective wisdom field facilitated so compassionately and expertly by Joel and Michelle Levey. Their light shines through all that they do, and is so clearly grounded in decades of inner work and being in service to such a vast diversity of groups and organizations. If you are seeking to move into the heart of a collective issue or exploration, these are the two who can guide you there with true grace and feeling.”
— Jeet-Kei Leung, Vancouver, Film Producer, The Bloom
See Endorsements for the Leveys’ Living in Balance book
You are holding in your hands a life raft, a generous, life-saving gift from Joel and Michelle. We all are forced to navigate turbulent seas these days. There doesn’t seem to be any firm ground in sight, and at any moment in our day, we can be abruptly knocked off course from our plans and our ideals. But as the seas mount in strength and the winds of change become more fierce, there are ways to feel grounded and peaceful. These ways are in this book—a strong, practical life raft.
It’s important to realize how our modern techniques of goal-setting and planning–the techniques we learned to wrestle the world into the shape we wanted—don’t work in turbulence. In fact, they do just the opposite. As our plans get tossed by the winds of change, we become more stressed. We don’t know how to navigate in uncertainty and ambiguity. But other people who have lived far back in time do know how. Several centuries ago, many great teachers and people struggled with their own fears, and they developed practices and ways of being that are absolutely relevant to our present situation.
This is the great gift of this book. It is a gentle and generous bringing forward of practices and perspectives that have helped people find peace for millennia. But as you accept this gift, it requires that you give a gift to yourself. This is the gift of time, time to pause, to reflect, to practice what’s offered here. For most of us, time has disappeared. This is the Age of Frenetic Activity. Our lives are over-committed, our children’s schedules match our own in craziness, and we feel pressure to be available 24/7. Most of us resent this hyper-activity and, if we ever have time to sit quietly, we wonder about the meaning of these frenetic lives we’re leading. Is all this activity leading somewhere worthwhile? At the end of our lives, will we feel satisfied with what we’ve accomplished? Will we have contributed to the greater good? Are we becoming more effective and helpful, or are we just becoming senselessly busier?
Joel and Michelle provide expert guidance in three types of practices that have generally disappeared from our busy lives. We are guided from dynamic relaxation, to concentration, to meditation. My personal experience with these practices is that once I experienced relaxation, I was eager to go to a deeper, quieter place. These exercises provide so much benefit that you only need to try one or two, and then your whole being will yearn for the next level of peace. When I do any one of these practices, I’m startled to realize what I’ve been missing—silence, breathing, reflection, calmness, centeredness.
I’ve also come to realize that if I don’t care for myself, if I don’t focus on cultivating my peace, that no one else will do it for me. The demands of the world—of work and family—constantly call me away from my peace. It doesn’t take much to pull me off center—it can be the first phone call of the morning, an angry driver on my way to work, a news report, a crying child. But having tasted peace, I now notice what it feels like to be pulled off balance. I no longer like the way it feels to be anxious, resentful, angry, or fearful. I feel the contrast between these emotions and inner peace; I hear it in my voice, feel it in my energy, see it in my thoughts. Having learned how to cultivate peace, I know now that I can consciously choose for peace, in any situation, at any time. But not if I haven’t taken time to do some of the practices that lead me into peace.
Of course I’m too busy, and of course the time I spend on cultivating my peace varies widely with the circumstances of my life. But now, when I find myself slipping into impatience, or fear, or anger, I know it’s time to pay attention to my practice. I know another way of being in my life is possible, if I’m willing to exercise discipline and carve out the time for practice.
I hope you will give yourself the gift of time, experiment with a few of these practices, and discover how much more capable you become to deal with life once you know what inner peace feels like. This world certainly needs more peaceful people. May you contribute to that and so benefit many.
— Margaret Wheatley, Founder, Berkana Institute, author, Leadership and the New Science; Perseverance, etc.