Dhamma at Work

By Maria D’Souza

I’m navigating some challenging circumstances at work, which I’ve been viewing very negatively. As a result of these circumstances, I’ve strengthened my meditation resolve and have returned to regular daily sitting recently. Such a difference it makes!

An example:

I noticed that I was experiencing every little email or comment from various work colleagues as intentional digs meant to heckle and harass me. These emails would throw me into a heated tailspin, and I would react with mushrooming agitation, allowing myself to become fully consumed in the subsequent crafting of an indignant response to shoot back to the sender. Fortunately, because of my meditation practice and increased self-awareness, I started to recognize my own reactivity at some point before sending the response (an improvement), but not before rolling in significant agitation for some time. And I was still defensive and filled with negativity and dread related to work, overall.

Then it dawned on me the other day—now several days into sitting for at least 1 hour daily—that I have in front of me such a great opportunity to grow in the wonderful path of dhamma! (let yourself hear that last part in Goenka’s voice :). I realized that these perceived insults may or may not be intentional abuses, and even if they are, it is because the poor individuals abusing me must be utterly miserable themselves…just doing the best they can while dealing with their own stressors and reactivity. So, I must have great compassion for them, and show them love rather than anger. Throw water rather than petrol at fires (and keep a water pump ready).

Next, I remembered and felt that the self is an illusion, that my ego must be dissolved. ”No I, no me, no mine…” We are all in this together.

And suddenly, I can see things as they really are.* I am ready to face my work challenges with a new perspective.

*sometimes 😉

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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