Tami Simon

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Tami Simon started Sounds True at the age of 22 with a dream and a tape recorder. Though she had no experience running a business and only a vague idea of what she wanted the company to be, Tami had her guiding principle strongly in place: to disseminate spiritual wisdom. Over its 36-year history, Sounds True has grown into a multimedia publisher that has produced over 6,000 titles, has been included twice in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing companies, and is North America’s leading publisher of spoken-word spiritual teachings.

One of the world’s very first organizations to focus on multiple bottom lines as part of its founding mandate, Sounds True has expanded steadily over the years while staying true to its original mission. Partnering with the leading spiritual teachers of our time, Sounds True now has a successful book publishing program (distributed by Macmillan) and has grown to produce events, certification programs, and transformational online learning experiences.

Tami hosts the popular Sounds True podcast, Insights at the Edge, which has now been downloaded more than 20 million times. She is also the founder of the Sounds True Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing spiritual education to people who would otherwise not have access. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, and in British Columbia with her wife, Julie Kramer, and their two spoodles, Raspberry and Bula.

Author photo © Jason Elias

Also By Author

Tami Simon: Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur

A magazine article about Sounds True founder Tami Simon referred to her as a “spiritual entrepreneur.” At first, Tami wasn’t sure about the label. Yet over time, she came to appreciate and embrace it. Today, the art of spiritual entrepreneurship is a central facet of Sounds True’s Inner MBA® program. 

In this host-only episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami shares her thoughts and feelings about what it means to lead a company dedicated to the well-being of its employees as equally as it is to business success. For anyone looking to bridge their innermost values with how they make a living, Tami reveals seven principles of the spiritual entrepreneur, with insightful guidance on honoring the voice of the heart; leading with presence; why relationships need to come first; creating a culture of care, engagement, and well-being; alternating between high performance and good rest; how to embrace challenges as growth opportunities; claiming our personal agency and doing the work of “cleaning up”; business as a means to address real social needs; maintaining trust in the unfolding process; making a commitment to “lift each other up” in the way we do business; recognizing our interdependence; and more.

Standing Together, and Stepping Up

Dear Sounds True friends and community,

While holding a mirror to our own organizational accountability, Sounds True unequivocally stands in solidarity with the Black community, the family of George Floyd, and the many others who have been victims of police brutality and ongoing racial injustice.

We stand with and for our Black employees, our Black authors and colleagues, our Black customers, and all of the protestors and social change activists—past, present, and future— who are working to put an end to racism in every corner of our society.

And we are committed to not just stand in solidarity but to step up.

Since George Floyd’s murder, we have been having many in-depth discussions among the 125-person staff at Sounds True about the most meaningful actions we can take as a transformational learning company to help educate ourselves and our community and contribute to the dismantling of racism.

We have been asking ourselves questions such as:

  • How can we best use our platform to better amplify the voices of wisdom teachers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)?
  • What’s in our Shadow, as individuals and as an organization? What unconscious areas must now be brought into awareness?
  • And how do we actively address these areas so that we can evolve as an organization and be a force of genuine service in the world?

The answers to these questions are not simple, quick, or easy. It has taken me a while to write this email to you, our beloved customers and Sounds True community, because we have felt as a team the need to listen carefully and look deeply within in order to lay out an action plan moving forward that will contribute to meaningful and substantive change.

Anything less falls short of what I believe this moment is asking of us.

We also want to learn and evolve in partnership with you. We are learning and growing together as a community, and it has been important for us to create a moving-forward action plan that invites engagement from our entire audience.

With arms wide open, I invite you to witness, support, and step up with us in the following ways:

  • Over the next two years, Sounds True will be undergoing an in-depth Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training in the workplace. This training initiative has been in development for over a year, and will be provided by TMI Consulting, led by Dr. Tiffany Jana. Dr. Jana is coauthor of the books Overcoming BiasErasing Institutional Bias, and Subtle Acts of Exclusion. As part of the training, we will be uncovering how unconscious bias, microaggressions, and micro-acts of exclusion show up in the workplace, in our personal lives, and even in our products. The training also includes a thorough audit of Sounds True’s hiring practices, HR policies, marketing materials, and more.

  • Sounds True also wants to include our customers, authors, and partner businesses in the introductory phase of this training process that we will be embarking upon. With that in mind, we are hosting a three-part webinar series on “Healing Racism” with Dr. Jana, beginning on Wednesday, June 24, at 8:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm PT. The series is free, and we are inviting our customers, authors, and business associates to join the Sounds True staff for this online training and to walk this part of our journey together. As someone on our email list, you will be receiving all of the details in future emails.

  • It is clear to us at Sounds True that we need to publish and otherwise amplify the voices of more authors and presenters who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. If you have ideas about new BIPOC authors you would like to see published at Sounds True or included in our summits and online offerings, please write to us at acquisitions@soundstrue.com.

  • The Sounds True Foundation, formed in 2018, is increasing its efforts to raise scholarship funds for BIPOC students to attend our Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program and become trained as mindfulness teachers who will bring this practice to diverse communities all over the world. We will be hosting a virtual fundraiser on June 30 for this initiative and will be emailing you with more details.

As I mentioned, working to dismantle and heal racism—in ourselves, in our organization, and in our world—is not a flash-in-the-pan effort at Sounds True. This is a long-haul commitment to the creation of a different world that is just, kind, and equitable. And we have a heckuva road to travel with you to get there.

And we are committed. We don’t want to simply talk about spiritual awakening. We want to embody it … as individuals, as a company, and as a force in the world. Humbly and boldly, we are going to give everything we have and invite you to do the same. This is the time for us to step up, together.

With love on the journey,

Tami Simon

Founder and Publisher, Sounds True

P.S. You can learn more about our commitment to creating a more compassionate world here.

 

Happy Holidays from Sounds True

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”

—Meister Eckhart 

I believe that if people from all of the different wisdom traditions gathered together and were asked to agree on one focus for a special day of reflection, “giving thanks” would be somewhere at the top of the list. 

Gratitude changes us. Instead of looking at what’s wrong, we turn our hearts for a moment to what’s right. And there are so many things that are right. 

For example, the appreciation of one complete breath (as corny as it sounds, whenever I turn my mind to gratitude, this is the first place I start)—feeling the fluttery exhilaration of the inhale, the excitement at the top of the inhale, the relaxation of a full and deep exhale, and then the interesting open space that awaits when our exhale is complete (you can tell I feel grateful for breathing). 

And then there is the feeling of air on our skin, and the faces of the people we love, and the beauty of trees and the natural world … and we can each go on and on and on and on. 

And let’s do that! Let’s go on and on and on and on about all of the ways that we appreciate what is right and beautiful in this moment (and if you’re at all like me, with a tendency to focus on problem-solving, this might not be your usual perspective). 

And if you do go on and on and on and appreciate the beauty that is right here, you probably won’t need science to tell you that you have shifted the neural pathways in your brain (although scientific studies will certainly confirm that)—you can feel the immediate shift.

As I write this, I feel appreciative of so many beautiful “presences” in my life, including the presence of YOU. I am grateful that you read these posts, that you feel in some way connected to Sounds True, that you are interested in personal transformation, in being wholehearted and of benefit to others. I am grateful that, even though it is through this weird form of a mass communication from me to you, we are connected. 

At Sounds True, we are grateful to the entire ecosystem of which we are a part: to our authors, to the ideas themselves, to our vendors and manufacturers, to the buildings that house us, to the natural world, and to future generations. 

And most of all, we are grateful to you, the individual person who enjoys and derives benefit from the learning programs we create. And we want to make sure we are meeting you “where you are at” and that our programs are accessible and you feel encouraged to explore and learn from different teachers. Like most companies, our deepest discounts of the year are available between now and the end of December, and I want you to know about this, if you are interested. To learn more about these special offers, just click here

Gratitude creates a circle of appreciation. When we express our gratitude, the recipient feels it, lights up, and appreciates our existence in return. I love being in a virtuous circle of appreciation with you. 

 

With love and a grateful heart, 

Tami Simon

Founder and publisher,

Sounds True

 

 

P.S. Once again, our deepest discounts of the year are now available. Please click here to learn more.

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What is the treasure that we all seek? What is it that we are looking for above all else? Contemporary spiritual teacher and author Rupert Spira believes that it’s the feeling of sufficiency, of ease, of peace—or the realization of our innermost nature as being. In this podcast that is at once expansive and experiential, Tami Simon speaks with Rupert about his book You Are the Happiness You Seek and the insights he has gleaned through a lifetime of spiritual exploration and practice. 

Tune in for a liberating conversation covering the practice of pausing or “going back to being”; letting go of resistance and turning toward our unhappiness; bringing a complete “yes” to your current experience; the inquiry, who is the one that’s experiencing?; the pure “I Am”; the original ADD: Awareness Deficit Disorder; the problem with the word “enlightenment”; recognizing the gaps between our thoughts and feelings; why what happens to the body doesn’t happen to our being; the absolute level and the relative level; the practical implications of deepening our recognition of being; love: the felt sense of our shared being; freedom from “the tyranny of ego”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

David Whyte: Everything Is an Invitation

A good poem, says David Whyte, is revelatory; it takes hold of us and surprises us with new understanding. David Whyte is the bestselling author of ten books of poetry, three works of prose, and the celebrated Sounds True audio program What to Remember When Waking

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with David about his writing career, his creative approach to leadership, and the conversation with life to which we are all constantly invited. Tami and David discuss the willingness to have courageous conversations; the generativity of “a well-felt sadness”; reframing regret; the seven steps of invitational leadership; “robust vulnerability” and choosing the path we really care about; anguish, anxiety, and being OK with the unknown; letting go; “apprenticing ourselves to our own disappearance”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Sah D’Simone: Spiritually, We

Friendship is a vital need. Without caring connections with others, we suffer physically, psychologically, and spiritually. In his new book, Spiritually, We, Sah D’Simone shares a collection of teachings, stories, practices, and techniques to “open ourselves to the dance” of relationship and help end the epidemic of loneliness in our time. 

Enjoy Tami Simon’s conversation with the uniquely savvy and always sassy Sah, as they discuss: cultivating friendships that hold and carry you; transformation through trauma; Somatic Activated Healing® and its application with heartbreak; letting go of our stories and coming into our feelings; freedom from conditioning; discovering your “unstruck goodness”; practicing radical friendliness with everyone; the Spiritually, We liberatory equation; healing through community; shifting from intellectualization to embodied insight; the foundational step—taking personal responsibility; inviting people into your inner world; the power of presence; punitive justice vs. restorative justice; social integration; why “connection is the cure”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

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