Work as Practice

From Being Zen by Ezra Bayda, Chapter 12 ("Work and Practice"):

Even if we like our work, or at least have no intention of leaving our present job, there are always ways in which we can make awareness practice a greater part of our workday. Perhaps more than anything, this requires a shift from how we normally relate to our work—as separate from practice—to seeing our work as our path. We often forget what our real job—our life job—is. Our life job is to become awake to who we really are. When we remember this, we will be less likely to separate our work from our practice. We'll begin to understand that it's possible to practice with everything we encounter, even at work. To make this shift challenges our long-standing conditioned views and habits; consequently the best way to transform the relationship with our workday is by taking small steps. This is where mindfulness practice, in which we bring attention to the texture of the present moment, can be particularly helpful.

Applying mindfulness is the blue-collar work of practice. There is nothing romantic, mystical, or even exciting about dealing with the nuts and bolts of our mundane daily routine, beyond the subtle satisfaction that comes with beginning to understand that it's possible to practice with everything. We see that picking up a ringing phone, closing a door, becoming aware of sounds, or even going to the bathroom can all be used as reminders to be awake in the moment. Our work then becomes an opportunity to wake up.

(cf. Work of a Lifetime (2009-02-01), Being Zen (2014-05-26), Extended Retreat (2014-07-19), ...) - ^z - 2014-09-05