In many parts of the world, the official working start to 2016 is on Monday 4 January. In anticipation of that, let’s look at how to combine practice (Zen, meditation, self-inquiry, QiGong, etc. — wherever I use the term Zen state of mind, replace the word Zen with QiGong, Yoga, Self-Inquiry, whatever that state may be) with work.
Firstly, life and work are not separate. Practice and life are not separate. Practice and work are not separate.
It’s not about making time to practice, it’s about seeing every breath as an opportunity to practice.
Do not go to work in your mind, before you have even left home. It is easily done. Driving or riding the bus to work, be with the driving, the bus-riding.
Arriving at work, do your work in a Zen state of mind. Let your body move, when movement is needed. It’s about being in a state of flow. Let every breath be your meditation. Let every movement be your meditation.
If you’re a postman, when a sack of mail needs to be lifted, lift it in a Zen state of mind. Inhaling, allow your in-breath to lift it, allow your out breath to set it down. Exhaling allow your attention to rest on the act, fully present in the movement. Let lifting the sack be your meditation in that moment.
If driving a van is your work, let the in-breath open the door, let the out-breath close it. Again, let your attention rest fully in the opening and closing, not in what comes next.
“We do not see that our life right here, right now, is nirvana. Maybe we think that nirvana is a place where there are no problems, no more delusions. Maybe we think nirvana is something very beautiful, something unattainable. We always think nirvana is something very different from our own life.” — Maezumi Roshi
Appreciate your life. This includes your work. Appreciate every breath of it. Your life, as it is, is nirvana, heaven.
— This post arose as a letter to a dear friend who, following time off sick, is returning to work tomorrow. As guidance on how to return, without losing the momentum of his QiGong and meditation practice, this post arose. Gratitude to him, and to all who inspire words to flow, bring me here to write. I never set out to write a thing.