Taking mindfulness to work

This week our topic is exploring how we earn a living and how our work influences and is influenced by our practice of trying to live more skillfully. Steve will lead on Thursday and Vasu on Friday.

From Steve:

Skillful in the workplace

I interact with loads of people at work, both clients and fellow staff.  Having done this work for 31 years, hopefully I have mastered most of the mystery

Things change constantly, though.  And some newbie will more easily absorb the new technologies and software.  So, in the end, I am paid and useful for the many scars on my back.  Knowing the history of how things got to be here is useful in troubleshooting problems.  And often a new problem is just an old familiar one in disguise.

What has changed, with practicing mindfulness on the cushion and in the precious circle, is a clearer understanding that imparting knowledge is often secondary.  Work presents many opportunities to affirm and lend support.  If I pay attention and am present during a conversation, rather than being off in numbers and Regulations, I can see more clearly the opportunity to smile or laugh.  And when it is important to sympathetically listen.

Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us that how we consume can profoundly affect the work of others.  As we buy electronics for the home or car, we are encouraging the strip mining of rare earth elements.  If we buy local and/or organic foods, we support alternatives to corporate agriculture.  The insight of interbeing tells us that for the things we hold dear to arise, we need to help create the conditions for their manifestation.

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