A guide to developing and maintaining a spiritual life on the job, drawn from the teachings and practices of Buddhist tradition.
Most people associate Buddhism with developing calmness, kindness, and compassion through meditation. Lewis Richmond's Work as a Spiritual Practice shows us another aspect of Buddhism: the active, engaged side that allows us to find creativity, inspiration, and accomplishment in our work lives. With over forty spiritual exercises that can be practiced in the middle of a busy workday, Work as a Spiritual Practice is based on the principle that "regardless of your rank and title at work, you are always the chief executive of your inner life."
Drawn from the author's diverse professional experience—as a Buddhist meditation teacher, business executive, musician, and high-tech entrepreneur—Work as a Spiritual Practice addresses a wide variety of on-the-job problems. Here you'll learn how to:
• perform spiritual practices while commuting to and from work
• meditate while sitting, walking, or standing—a minute at a time
• understand ambition, money, and power from a spiritual perspective
Work as a Spiritual Practice is an essential guide for anyone who wants to bring his or her spiritual life and work life together.
According to the studies Richmond cites, the average American works 150 more hours per year than she or he did 80 years ago. As the dominant force in our lives, work brings with it stress, worry and other pressures that cause us to lose focus on our inner selves and to be controlled by the external forces of the workplace. Zen monk and business entrepreneur Richmond contends that approaching work as an expression of one's spiritual life, rather than as simply a job that one must slog through, will make a difference in the quality of our lives. (When we see our work through spiritual lenses, we might even quit our jobs and find a better one, says Richmond.) After opening chapters in which he discusses the value and practice of Buddhist meditation, Richmond shows how this spiritual practice can be applied to work. In a second section, he explores such issues of conflict as stress, worry and anger and suggests practical ways to deal with each. He then examines the ways that boredom, failure and discouragement lead to stagnation in the workplace. Two final sections discuss elements of "inspiration" and "accomplishment," including ambition, forgiveness, generosity and gratitude. Each chapter contains a set of "practices" to incorporate into our daily work. In lively prose, Richmond argues that "the details of our workday contain within them any number of gifts for our spirit, if only we would allow ourselves to receive them."