Working consumes most of our waking life. From childhood through early adulthood, we work hard as students year after year, then we are busy building a career and earning a living. Finally, we retire, and work hard just to survive, to keep body and mind together, and to push away the boredom and isolation of old age. In mundane life there is not much time for anything other than work and sleep.
If we use our work life as a tool for healing, we can transform our lives into an emotional and spiritual gold mine. Here’s how:
* We can transform our lives into a spiritual gold mine by cultivating a peaceful center in ourselves in every situation our work presents.
* Whatever we do – office work, gardening, carpentry, painting, or writing – we can use the work as an expression of our peaceful inner nature. Try to find work that is naturally interesting to you, but also try to be interested in any work that you do.
* When work is going well, enjoy and celebrate it mindfully. When we feel bored or frustrated, we can bring calm and mindfulness to this too. See all of work as likable, or at least find something likable about it.
* Enjoy the people you come in contact with, be glad and satisfied at problems being solved.
* Try to view the struggle of work as a positive challenge, and the negative experiences as an exercise in tolerance and letting go.
* If we feel trapped by a particular situation, we can tell ourselves: “There’s no place else I’d rather be. I like it right here.” By saying this with conviction, our spacious nature can open up.
* Attitudes such as compassion, and skillful means such as meditation on light, are not intended as airy theories. We can bring them right into our work. In particular, the attitude of openness, as experienced upon awakening or receiving blessings in the morning can be the foundation for all our working day. With openness, every situation can merge into spiritual experiences, like snowflakes falling into the ocean.
Adapted from The Healing Power of Mind, by Tulku Thondup (Shambhala, 1996). Copyright (c) 1996 by Tulku Thondup. Reprinted by permission of Shambhala.
Adapted from The Healing Power of Mind, by Tulku Thondup (Shambhala, 1996).