Do What You Love And You’ll Never Have To Work Another Day In Your Life!
Remember the times when you have been totally engrossed in something you enjoy? Time flies, there is no distraction and you are in a state of flow? I can tell you now that it is nothing but another form of meditation
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We have all heard this and other versions of this many times in our lives. It is a nice saying but how do we achieve this? Many of us struggle even with work life balance!
The answer lies in awareness. Read on…
Last week, we started looking at a day in my life as a mindful monk. We saw that there could be different kinds of meditation including teeth brushing meditation and walking meditation and we stopped at 9.00 am when working meditation starts at the monastery. Working meditation? But isn't work stressful and something we do for a living? How can it be meditation?
To understand working meditation, one needs to first understand this thing we call work. In this context, we use it as a verb and it means: to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary (merriam-webster).
By definition, it becomes an activity we do for an outcome of money. But what if we changed our perspective? What if ‘work’ is something you do primarily that you love? And money, salary and everything else that comes out of it is secondary? What if ‘work’ is done for the joy of doing it and not necessarily for any outcome?
What then is the difference between work and life? If you enjoyed ‘work’ as much as you enjoyed life, would then there really even be a need to balance work and life?
‘But how do I find work like that?’ you might ask. This answer too lies in awareness! Awareness of what your most important values are and finding a way of aligning them to your motivation and work. So if courage and compassion are your core values, how do you align them with what you do as ‘work’? And then further awareness of what your strengths are and aligning your strengths and your skills also to what you do.
For when you do this, work is joyful. And you get paid for being joyful! I for one have mostly done what I have enjoyed, what speaks to my core values and also my strengths. These days, I teach meditation and travel the world, meet great people and get paid for it. Not a bad job I think.
The second aspect of understanding how work can be meditation lies in bringing awareness to the present moment and the work you are doing in the present moment. In being completely involved in what you are doing, you are in fact in a state of present moment awareness where the monkey mind is not thinking of the past or the future. So what you are doing can, by itself produce a meditative state.
Remember the times when you have been totally engrossed in something you enjoy? Time flies, there is no distraction and you are in a state of flow? I can tell you now that it is nothing but another form of meditation.
So now back to 9.00 am and working meditation at the monastery. Everyone finds something to do, something that resonates with them, adds value to the overall community and then get completely engrossed in it. So for some of the monks it would be working in the fields, for others, working in the kitchen or in the carpentry section or building something.
For some others it would be the administration or accounting or washing dishes or sweeping out the community halls. Whatever the nature of the activity, it is done with complete awareness and dedication to the process. The outcomes? Well, they take care of themselves!
As for me, many mornings were about toilet and bathroom cleaning meditation from 9.00 am to 11.00 am, followed by shower meditation and then helping set up the dining room for lunch at 12 noon.
Shower meditation? I’m hoping that is something you might now intuitively understand. But stay tuned for next week and a deeper understanding of that and more!
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