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Thread: Work Practice

  1. #1

    Work Practice

    Many of us recognize work as a very vital and pregnant place for practice and seeing the Dharma, but this is coming more from the stance that work gives us the opportunity to be mindful. Whatever chore we are given, or if we are the ones giving the chores, from mopping the floor to trying to seal that million dollar deal; work present us the opportunity to be fully present to whatever we are doing with body and mind. And at the point where body and mind have fallen away. Yet, this is still only one small aspect of the full range that work can present us with. No matter what we do, from banking, to serving coffee, what we are doing, essentially, is serving another.

    When we are working with our manager we are serving them, helping them. When our manger is yelling at us because something did not go right, we must realize that they to are trying to do the best they can, have a relatively stress free-day and support their loved ones. In recognizing this we can give ourselves to service to our company, store, or whatever we are doing to truly help everyone involved. In this way we manifest ourselves as one of the thousand arms of the great Bodhisattva of compassion. In serving, we realize that we have never been separated from the great Bodhisattva of compassion. Saving all sentient beings does not come from intellectually wanting to, but from everyday mindful action.

    When we manifest compassion and the vow to save all sentient beings within our moment to moment life then we are manifesting the tenth ox herding picture. We are returning back to the market place. The ox herding pictures are not stages that one goes through like grades; instead we go through each of them within the course of our day. One selfless compassionate smile in one moment is manifesting stage ten, then in the very next moment we forget ourselves and end up back at stage one. Yet, when we examine closely we see very clearly that stage ten, is exactly stage one. Yet when we are at stage one it is very different from stage ten.

    Moment by moment, breath by breath
    I vow to alleviate the suffering of myself and those around me.
    I vow to realize the Buddha‘s path
    And see clearly into the nature of things.

    Sky is blue. Grass is green. Apart from this where can enlightenment be said not to be found?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Work Practice

    Something to think about as I go to a job interview tomorrow. It isn't for anything big-- just a sign holding job, but is service and some income nonetheless.

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Work Practice

    The ox herding pictures are not stages that one goes through like grades; instead we go through each of them within the course of our day. One selfless compassionate smile in one moment is manifesting stage ten, then in the very next moment we forget ourselves and end up back at stage one. Yet, when we examine closely we see very clearly that stage ten, is exactly stage one. Yet when we are at stage one it is very different from stage ten.
    I would urge you to listen to the introduction the stupid fool I am has given to the Ten oxherding pictures. In saying the above, you miss the mark. Unless, you explain further please. Because my dull mind is very slow. The selfless compassionate smile you are talking about is a shade too romanticaly sweet. There is a flavour which is fishy here. And it is because I am very fond of your prose and a great admirer of your understanding that I say so. But here, I'd rather advise you to chill out.

    take care, Seiryu


    gassho


    Taigu

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Work Practice

    Hi again Seiryu,

    Don't hesitate to come back on this thread. If my words are a bit too harsh, I apologize. The thing you could question here is where your words come from. You see, ultimately, I don't mind about words as much as where they spring from. I can eassily see in you an old habit of mine, a place i often visit. There can be a tremendous difference between these two sentences: "sky is blue" and "sky is blue". working on the Book of Equanimity will be a wonderful opportunity to experience the nature of this gap.

    take care


    gassho

    Taigu

  5. #5

    Re: Work Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Hi again Seiryu,

    Don't hesitate to come back on this thread. If my words are a bit too harsh, I apologize. The thing you could question here is where your words come from. You see, ultimately, I don't mind about words as much as where they spring from. I can eassily see in you an old habit of mine, a place i often visit. There can be a tremendous difference between these two sentences: "sky is blue" and "sky is blue". working on the Book of Equanimity will be a wonderful opportunity to experience the nature of this gap.

    take care


    gassho

    Taigu
    I humbly bow to you.
    I am truly grateful for your compassionate words and teachings.
    My words were like trying to hit a target to my left while aiming to my right.

    Essentially I was trying to make the teachings fit a box that I like. Thank you for pointing that out.
    The box is gone.
    Time to go back to the cushion.

    _/_

  6. #6

    Re: Work Practice

    I've also been thinking about work-practise, perhaps in a different way. As Taigu suggested, I listened to the introduction to the OxHerding pictures this morning, and one sentence jumped out for me: 'Give your critical mind away'. Isn't that the most generous act we can do? Since our critical mind is what we cling to, what we identify with before we start letting go.

    My friend told me that she hates unloading the dishwasher--I don't mind this task much because I like my dishes. At my job, I hate scanning documents into the computer. Every job it seems has parts that we like, and parts that we dislike. All of these likes and dislikes are attachments, are the manifestations of the critical, analytical mind. This is different than that, and I move to this or away from that (both are attachments, whether moving to or from).

    As Taigu said, not to read the text, but let the text read you. I think this must apply to work also...don't do or work the work...let the work flow through you, being open to all that it is, without critical/analytical judgments.

    We think we have control when we process in our heads, but if we give up that control...'give away our critical mind'...then somehow we are filled and we grow and we live (blossom fully).

    Gassho,

    Ann

  7. #7
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Work Practice

    Don't bow to me, Seiryu. Bow to what the fool represents. Your true nature. Nothing else. And thank you for being my teacher, in many so many ways.

    Ann, thank you for paying attention. We don't do things, rather, there is a point, or a non point where things do us. Kill us too. Kill the idea of me and you, this and that. As you go through the ten pictures you will see how they cannot be separated, sliced like moments, snapshots. In every moment they are present non dualistically. Merged with your very bones and marrow. One step to the North is one step to the South.

    gassho to all and I need to sleep now

    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: Work Practice

    Mmmm.. I suddenly saw something in the corner of my eye, but now it's gone. Big debate this is. I'm going to join you with the OxHerding picture series.

    Gassho

    Rimon

  9. #9

    Re: Work Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    The thing you could question here is where your words come from. You see, ultimately, I don't mind about words as much as where they spring from. ...There can be a tremendous difference between these two sentences: "sky is blue" and "sky is blue".
    Taigu, thank you for writing this. For me this reframes everything you've said to me or others completely. You are so right...I see this in myself too.

    That is a good koan in and of itself: "from whence do these words spring?"

    _/_

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