Work stuff. Politics. All of a sudden all this upward mobility/increased visibility, and all I can think is: Uck! It’s throwing me into small mind. Too many opportunities. For things I don’t even want.

It’s the zen work thing again. You sweep the walkways when that’s your work assignment. You clip the roses, and brush off the ants that bite your feet. You just do until the lead monk claps his hands and work period ends.

Very impersonal, very meditative, very free of the self.

Is my real life work supposed to be like that, too?

I generally feel like a huge weirdo in the midst of the organization, but for some reason my boss accepts my weirdness. I’m really trying to find a way to practice zen in the midst of a company. All of the revenue and strategy stuff is just part of the game. It’s a sport, and I try to keep it like any other sport: gauge my own personal practice against previous practices. Leave out the competition with others and the trying to “win.”

Every so often, though, I do have to ask if I am doing what I ought to be doing with my life, and then things get more complicated. I need to have cash resources for My Gift. If I did what I really like to do, I wouldn’t have the cash. Because, really… writing poetry, practicing yoga, maybe some rockclimbing… how much does that pay?

I suppose this could be a crisis, except somehow it’s not. I still feel like there’s a way to merge the current situation and the ideal. I just need some breakthrough of imagination.

And to that end, been reading Ken Wilber. Gosh, philosophy reading in the morning. What a luxury. It makes me laugh. And, at the same time, I was reading Getting Things Done in the bathtub before practice (for what it’s worth: ice, ice, ice, ibuprofen, ibuprofen, hot bath just before practice, and kwan leung oil just before bed is a pretty good answer to hamstring insert irritation). So there is the concept of the holon (yes, of course) and the concept of organizing the in-box (organize or die). And now a dash of zen, perhaps, to make the whole thing impersonal.

Volleyball Guy talked a bit about the need to not personalize things during savasana this morning. I’ve been burnt out recently, so dozed through most of it. Perhaps a subliminal pep talk.

Need to get out of small mind. Need reliable access to big mind. Thanks, IO, for the timely reminder from Ram Dass.


4 Responses

  1. Testing wordpress 1.

  2. Your comments are so insightful.


  3. I’m glad you see the meaning of the koan. It escapes me.

    Anyway. Peace for reintegration on the next level of the organization, if that is what’s to happen. It would be great material for an organizational sociologist, documenting the influences of an efficient zen anomaly diffusing and reincorporating into the character of the greater unit.

    Which reminds me, there’s a short chapter in KW’s Integral Spirituality that would be really good reading vis-a-vis mgmt theory. His critique/incorporation of systems theory. Among other things, he argues that the correct unit of analysis when examining a social system is, rather than individual actors, the participants’ interactions themselves. Networks are made up of action, not of objects. FWIW.

  4. Hi Karen
    Those are beautiful thoughts. I admit to sometimes leaving the zendo before the work period. I rationalize that I have some “temple cleaning” to do at home, or that I need to get on with my day. Not good. But on daylongs, of course, I participate in it. There is no choice otherwise. You’re right about the lessons learned in it and how they might apply to one’s work. It does help to think of giving service to others in our profession, and not to think of competition. And if you’re rising in your organization, the sense of equanimity learned from Zen should help you a lot.

    Hope your hamstrings feel better. I’m terrible at savasana. I tend to pray during it, and I hear you’re not supposed to do that. But that is my practice during this pose. I pray for the upcoming day.

    By the way, when you go to Orlando, Krista will be back from Mysore, probably all charged up. There’s a group getting together for mysore practice at Orlando Yoga Shala ( She’s a real dear.


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