July 9, 2012
Zen in the Workplace

The Benefits of Mindful Work

With Zesho Susan O’Connell, SFZC Vice President, and Leo Babauta, simplicity author and blogger, learn how simple mindfulness practices can transform your everyday work life, improving health, stress, effectiveness, relationships and happiness.

Susan has much to say about working with Leo during their upcoming Tassajara retreat as well as the power of mindfulness when applied to our lives in the workplace: “Leo and I are really looking forward to spending time at Tassajara with people whose work lives seem to be, well . . . . difficult.  We believe that there are some simple mindfulness practices we can share that will transform our everyday work life, improve our health, lessen stress, enhance effectiveness, create supportive relationships and make us happy.  A tall order, I know.  But Leo has been studying this and sharing his very practical discoveries with hundreds of thousands of his ‘followers’ for many years now.  His life is his workshop.  And this study connects perfectly with the Buddha’s principal teaching of the Four Noble Truths – which leads us to know the cause of our human anxiety and the path towards the end of this suffering and realization of peace in the midst of constant change.

Photo by Margo Moritz

In the gentle and deeply quiet Tassajara Valley, we can empty out all that is extraneous and look more closely at the very basic causes of our busy-ness and lack of satisfaction in our work.  We can drop the content of what we do, allowing the method of how we do it to emerge and be more easily seen.  Mindfulness is a muscle, and the exercises we will offer will help us exercise this capacity for being present.”

As Leo wrote recently on one of his successful blogs, Mnmlst, “The way everyone else does things isn’t working. People aren’t happy with a life filled with possessions. Driving cars all the time adds to stress, makes people unhealthier, pollutes. People get unhealthy with their standard American diet. Just because everyone else thinks this is the way it should be done, doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Go against the stream — the other fish don’t know where they’re going either!”

He continues, “When it comes to others, be helpful, compassionate, grateful. But don’t live up to their expectations. You’ll be freed of the shackles of meaningless customs, so that you can live as you want.”

Explore simplicity and the experience of having enough with Leo and Susan during their retreat this August 17-19.