Friday, February 23, 2018

Work - Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a well known Zen Buddhist teachers in the world. His book 'Work' tells us how to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day.

On Work
Work is an expression of our being. It is not separate from our life. We must understand that our work and our home are connected. We must find our home at our work.

Making Work Enjoyable
Work with joy and mindfulness increases our enjoyment of our work.

Being Mindful
Mindfulness is bringing our full attention to the present moment. From the present moment we can be more aware of everything that's happening in the present moment and see it with fresh eyes, without being caught in the past or the future. If you take good care of the present there is no need to worry about the future.

To be mindful is to focus on our breathing and being aware. By breathing mindfully, we unite body and mind. Focusing on our breathing helps us to stop worrying about the troubles of the past or the uncertainties of the future. You will be present. Be present to yourself. You are your responsibility.

Secret to Success
Non-thinking is the secret of success. Don't try to find solutions with your thinking mind. Plant a seed and let it grow.

Practicing Mindfulness
When we wake up every day we can be grateful that we have a new 24 hours to live

"Waking up to the blue sky
I join my palms in gratitude
for the many wonders of life.'

By setting our intention we can live more mindfully through the day.

"Waking up this morning I smile,
Twenty four brand-new hours are before me
I vow to live fully each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.'

Every activity can be done with great mindfulness including brushing teeth, eating, driving, going out of the door, drinking a cup of tea  etc.

"Sitting peacefully, I smile
The new day begins
I make a vow to live deeply, mindfully'

When we find our home at work, we have arrived. A flower has no fear.
When we arrive at work we must accept one thing - Obstacles are our friends, so accept them.
We can set an intention to work with joy and mindfulness.
We can do work in the right spirit.

Mindfulness at work
Some of the activities to practice mindfulness at work are -
  • creating a separate space for mindful breathing
  • having a mindfulness bell
  • sitting for the sake of sitting
  • mindful walking, in the rest room
  • over the phone - words we use
  • releasing and letting go. 
Every moment, say -I have arrived' or 'I am here'.

To be beautiful means to be yourself.

Dealing with our emotions
Our fears, anger, despair - they are our babies. They need us to take care of them. Go to your island and take care of your baby (ies).

To handle strong emotions
1st practice - All emotions are impermanent. Do not fuel the emotions with your thoughts.
2nd practice - Breathe abdominally. Return to your body. Follow your breath.

Handling our suffering
To find a way out of suffering we must accept it and look deeply to understand its true nature and its origins. We are the primary cause of our suffering, not someone else. The other person is just a secondary cause.

Our thoughts, words and actions
Our thoughts, words and actions bear our signatures. When we speak we should be aware of the effect of those words. When angry don't say anything until you calm down.

Mindfulness in communication
Apply deep listening now and loving speech to improve communication. Listen with compassion.
Don't confuse joy and happiness with excitement.

My conclusion
By being mindful every moment we practice being compassionate. We become more aware, more understanding and more knowing. There is no difference then between work or home, this emotion or that. We are deeply observing life as it happens, moment by moment. And in that deep observation we find compassion, creativity and enjoyment.

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