When work is When you work with all your heart and mind, your work acquires a worship meditative quality and your output becomes extraordinary, says Swami Chaitanya Keerti
Often, I meet people, and as I ask them how they are doing, they start complaining about their work; they are generally bored with the work they do. Either the work is not of their choice or they simply don’t want to work. They are forced to work as they have to earn money. They feel no joy in the work. It is very rare to find someone who is really happy and satisfied. What is missing in their work? I would say, a meditative quality or a prayerful heart. With a person who always finds fault with his work, it is certain that he or she lacks enthusiasm and blames it all on the work. It is enthusiasm that works wonders. Enthusiasm creates energy and changes the quality of work; then it is no longer a burden or a duty. The mundane also becomes sacred.
Do what makes you happy
For example, I know a friend in Denmark who was a good therapist. He was not getting any clients. One day he saw an advertisement in a newspaper: A school needed a cleaner. This therapist applied for the job of a cleaner and got it. He went to this school in the evening and did the cleaning job. He felt happy and healthy doing it all alone (there was nobody around to bother him). As a therapist, he was not so happy listening to the problems of the sick minded people the whole day. Those problems were depressing, and he too was getting affected by them. It is a well-known fact that more psychologists go mad or commit suicide than people of any other profession. Their head is a great sucker.
I am giving this example just to convey that we need to do our work without getting too identified with it or making an ego issue out of it. The ego is poisonous. Also, we should not give too much respect to the so-called high class work. People making roads should be respected as equally as the people working in corporate offices or government offices—they are all interdependent. You might feel pleased.
Giving equal importance and dignity to seemingly ordinary work broadens our vision
if someone comes to clean your office before you come, and you can have a bad mood if it has not been cleaned. The person who cleans your office needs to be treated gracefully, as the work he does is equally important—it can affect your work. Giving equal importance and dignity to seemingly ordinary work broadens our vision.
The dignity of labour
In this way, one can start enjoying life wherever one is, whatsoever one is. If one is a cobbler one remains a cobbler. Jacob Boehme was a cobbler; he remained a cobbler. Gora was a potter and he remained a potter. Talking about him, Osho says: Gora, one of the great masters, was a potter. After his enlightenment, he continued to make pots—that was the only art that he knew. But the art changed totally. His pottery became almost sculpture. Another man Enthusiasm creates energy and changes the quality of work; then it is no longer a burden or a duty. The mundane also becomes sacred. So was Kabir, who was a weaver. When he became enlightened he continued to weave, but his weaving became totally different from that of any other weaver in the whole history of mankind. The love, the blissfulness, the silence—it all became part of his weaving. Raidas, another master, was a shoemaker. When he became enlightened, he continued shoe-making, but now his shoes were such that people loved to keep them on their heads and not wear them on their feet. They were coming from the source. It was no ordinary shoe-making; it had a quality of its own. There are stories of people who were robbers and thieves, who have also attained. What was their secret? Just the same. And I know people who have lived in a Himalayan retreat for their whole life and have not attained to anything. It is not a question of quantity; it’s not how much you do but the quality that you bring to it. You can just walk and it can be meditative; you can just sit and it can be meditative; you can eat and it can be meditative; and you can just take a shower and it can be meditative. There was a Zen master who used to chop wood as an ordinary woodcutter, but when some visitor would come to learn meditation in his monastery, he would go to a particular place and sit there to teach meditation. Zen teaches ordinariness. It exalts in the ordinary. Life is ordinary and if we accept it totally, then the same ordinary life becomes extraordinary. Acceptance makes it so. Accept any work with joy; it becomes sacred and satisfying.
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