Friday, August 10, 2007

"We Have To Work On Developing The Heart"









World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Thursday, September 8, 2005





Dalai Lama host bares his soul in new memoir




By Tony Evans
For the Express
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Thursday, September 08, 2005

Following his address to the Wood River Valley on Sunday, Sept. 11, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama will give a private address to a group of elite
money managers at the home of investment banker Kiril Sokoloff. The title of
this meeting on Sept. 12 is "Compassion is Good for Business."

Sokoloff is the man behind the Dalai Lama's visit to Idaho and is a close
personal friend of His Holiness. Sokoloff's memoir, "Personal
Transformation: An Executive's Story of Struggle and Spiritual Awakening,"
is introduced by the Dalai Lama and features him on its cover, perhaps
revealing a link between those working to make a difference in the world and
those charged with making a killing in the markets.

"Personal Transformation" is a series of evocative sketches on friendship,
love and loss by a successful investment analyst willing to bare his
"Russian soul" after many years of isolation and despair due to late-onset
deafness and a heart-rending divorce from his wife, Katie. Even as the
author's hearing diminishes, further isolating him from his world of music
and conversation, his deep studies of history and economics bring him, and
many others, great fortune and success.
Born to a Russian 魩gr頦ather, who fled the Russian Revolution, and his
American composer wife, Sokoloff was an only child, raised on the classics
to appreciate European art and culture. Introverted and bookish, he suffered
from an "inferiority complex" made worse by late deafness, which struck
during his college years.

As a young man, Sokoloff learned about the world at the feet of his uncle,
Jim Hunt, an investment banker who worked for the Office of Strategic
Services during World War II and later at the CIA, eventually becoming Head
of Intelligence for Western Europe.

"My uncle said that the securities business and intelligence were the most
interesting of all careers," writes Sokoloff. "It's all a question of
judgment. Who do you believe? ... What is disinformation? What's real?"

As an investigative reporter for the Business Week Letter during the stock
market bust of the early 1970s, Sokoloff began a study of discarded "13D
reports."

These are reports filed by company stockholders with a 5 percent or more
interest in corporations. By studying the habits of these large "catalyst"
investors, he amassed a database that uncovered the successes of Warren
Buffet, Larry Tisch, Carl Icahn, Henry Singleton and many others.

In 1983 Sokoloff went public with an eight-page memo of his findings. The
information proved invaluable to institutional investors and was reported on
by the New York Post and Forbes Magazine.

The client list of 13D Research Inc. grew and evolved through the study of
emerging markets, and bankruptcies and distressed securities, and by
following boom-bust cycles in Germany, Brazil, China and the Americas.
Sokoloff describes himself as "agnostic with regard to change," and he is
known as a "contrary thinker" who spots changes in markets early. Following
the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Sokoloff followed his friend and fellow
investment advisor Dick Strong to the Himalayas for an audience with His
Holiness the Dalai Lama. The subsequent meeting changed his life.

When asked what humanity was most in need of at that time, the Dalai Lama
responded by saying, "Peace of mind ... Peace of mind ... Peace of mind."

When asked why the terrorists have perpetrated such "evil," the Dalai Lama
explained that they have a highly developed intelligence, but their hearts
remain cold. "We have to work on developing the heart."

So began Sokoloff's spiritual journey, alongside various philanthropic
endeavors revolving around the survival and expression of Tibetan culture.
In his paper "The Huge Danger of Destructive Emotions," (available to paying
subscribers of his newsletter at 13D.com), Sokoloff describes the negative
emotions, such as fear, anger, greed and jealousy, as the bane of rational
thinking and disruptive to the mind's equilibrium.

"The essence of destructive emotions is excessive focus on the self," he
writes. "Throwing your ego into a cause or purpose much greater than
yourself, on the other hand, leads to happiness."

How this all shakes out in one's investment portfolio would be a good topic
for future writings. When does "risk-averse" investing become the negative
emotion of fear? When does the desire for increased profits become the
negative emotion of greed? And how closely can the Buddhist doctrine of
"Right-livelihood" be followed in the myriad of transactions of today's
marketplace?

As a memoir of deafness, "Personal Transformation" will be a welcome gift
for the 10,000 hearing-impaired individuals to whom Sokoloff is contributing
free copies. Although his book suffers at times from poor organization and
sentimentality, it is a welcome plea for trust and compassion from within
the culture of investment banking.

Sokoloff's stated ambition is to "restore trust in corporations," and to
help others transform themselves through love and compassion. Perhaps he
will succeed by drawing attention to the place where all great change
begins-within the human heart.




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