Do what you love.

Love what you do?

As the year comes to a close we either fall into one of two categories. Those who go on holidays for the holiday season, and those who serve or cover for those who are away for the holiday season. To be honest I am yet to fall into category one, having always worked during the holiday season, however my work has varied with my occupation. It was always horrible coming into holiday season working in frontline retail as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ is a living nightmare for those in positions of service. Busy stores and cranky customers can be very difficult to cope with during extended trading hours and extra pressure from head offices to meet sales targets while unpacking an endless supply of boxes of stock! However, there are some perks to retail during the Christmas season and one of which is knowing exactly how and where to source all the best gifts. That being said, end of year is very much a time when we start to look at our accomplishments in the time that has passed, and decide on where we would like to go in the future. Assessing your workplace scenario is a great place to start.


Zen Practice for Work.

The following practice comes from a book by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara titled Most Intimate: A Zen Approach to Life’s Challenges. It is a short mediation practice on work. Before going into this mediation practice it is important to note perception plays a large part in the idea of ‘work’. O’Hara mentions that the word ‘Work’ is around five thousand years old and refers to ‘something being done’ and can refer to our career or how we make money, our ‘life’s work’ or calling, or our functioning in the world (floor cleaning and doing the dishes). You can choose what work means to you for the purpose of this meditation.

Start by finding a quiet place and sitting comfortably. Come to your practice with a view that what you experience should be neither bad nor good. Sit at ease and allow the sounds of the world around you filter through your consciousness. Feel the sensations of your body flow though, nether attaching to or blocking yourself off from them. Without the veneer of opinion, preconception, and explantation find the place of intimacy within yourself. Once you have found this quiet place you are fresh and ready for the exercise.

  • Set a timer for ten minutes. Try to write continuously for the whole time without stopping to look back or edit what has been written. Write about effort in terms of what you exert at home, work, and/or in your community. Consider how your life and quality of your effort affect those with whom you are connected.
  • Set the timer for another ten minutes. Write about being intimate and wholehearted in your work. Under what conditions do you enjoy your work? Try to write continuously for the whole time without stopping, looking back, or editing.

When you are done take stock and look back at what you have written. Notice any feelings that arise. Did you learn anything about yourself? Were there any surprises? If there are things that you dislike about the way that you currently work are there any measures you can take to make changes?

I hope that you enjoyed this practice. It can be scary to look at the prospect of work because quite often what we do to pay the bills isn’t what makes our heart sing. Have you even left your place of work to pursue your true calling? Did you succeed?Perhaps you failed?¬†Share your story with us below.