Shambhala Sun Home Free Gift with Order Current Issue Subscribe & Save Half Give a Gift Renew Current Text
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer

spacer






spacer spacer
Print

Shambhala Sun | March 2014

How to Make All Your Work Meaningful

Whether you’re waiting tables or washing laundry, meditating or making art, the key, ROSHI PAT ENKYO O'HARA teaches, is always to savor the task at hand. 

(Click here to view O'Hara's feature from this issue, "The Work of the Moment.")

Find a calm space and sit comfortably. Try to view what you experience as neither bad nor good. Sit at ease and let the sounds in. Feel your body; allow the sensations in your body to be present and not blocked off. Include everything in your experience (annoying or not); allow all of it to arise. Without the veneer of opinion, preconception, and explanation, find the place of intimacy within yourself. Once you do, you’re like a tuning fork. Everything is fresh.

Now you are ready for the exercises.


 

Exercise for Working Alone or with a Group

Set a timer for ten minutes. Try to write continuously for the whole time without stopping to look back or edit what you’ve written. Write about effort in terms of the kind of effort you exert at home, at work, and in your community. Consider how your life and the quality of your effort affects those with whom you are connected.

Set the time for another ten minutes. Write about being intimate and wholehearted in your work. Under what conditions do you enjoy your work? Again, try to write continuously for the whole time, without stopping to look back or edit what you’ve written. 


If you are working alone, look at what you’ve written and notice how it makes you feel. Did you learn anything about yourself? Did anything surprise you? 


If you are working in a group, invite people to share what they have written or understood.

 



Exercise for Working with a Partner
or in a Group Working in Pairs

Sit facing each other. Take a moment to quiet your body and breath. Set a timer for five minutes. The questioner asks, “What stops you from being intimate with your work?” After each answer, the questioner says, “Thank you,” and repeats the question. The questioner’s role is just to be a witness. It’s best not to coach with facial expressions; very calmly, with a relaxed face, take in the other’s continuum of awareness. The dialogue might sound something like this:

Q: What stops you from being intimate with your work?

A: There are so many interesting distractions.


Q: Thank you. What stops you from being intimate with your work?


A: I’m impatient for results.

Q: Thank you. What stops you from being intimate with your work?

When the timer rings, reset it for another five minutes and switch roles. When the time is up, open a discussion of impressions and discoveries.


From
Most Intimate: A Zen Approach to Life’s Challenges, by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, © 2014 by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.shambhala.com




From the March 2014 Shambhala Sun magazine. To see what else is in this issue, click here.

spacer
spacer
spacer
Subscribe | Current Issue | Search Archives | Contact Us | Spotlight | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Employment
© 2008 Shambhala Sun | Email: magazine@shambhalasun.com | Tel: 902.422.8404 | Published by Shambhala Sun Foundation