From one point of view, work is part of our spiritual practice because everything we do in life is IT - our practice.
Every moment is the only moment we have.
Every moment is a moment to use.
Every moment of unconscious behaviour is a moment wasted.
Full time work is an opportunity to test my kindness, equanimity and love, and opportunities arise every day at work that show up impurities in my thoughts and motivations.
Plenty to work on at work.
Work IMPINGES on spiritual practice
From another point of view, the daily grind of full time work impinges on spiritual practice.
It pulls us into that tiny little work arena - the mind is caught up in tasks, responsibilities, deadlines, management and staff politics, government compliance, obligations, carefully worded speech, carefully planned email and paper trails.... If I wasn't working, my mind could expand out into the universe. I'd have more time, be able to do more yoga and meditation, and spend time communing with nature. I could live a natural, more pure life away from the city, the pollution, the frenzy, the stress. I'd have time to focus fully on deepening my spiritual practice, to reflect and work on my mind with my heart.
Which point of view do you have about work?
If you're like me, you probably swing from one to the other, depending on your stress levels.
I HAVE to work.
I am still financially supporting my son, paying his rent and his bills, buying his weekly food.
I have one small income and two households to keep afloat.
So I go to work at a very busy job - and it occupies a big chunk of my mental space, at times overriding all other priorities.
Outside of work hours I set aside blocks of time to spend with and care for the people in my intimate life, my family and close friends.
Which seems to leave hardly any time for serious spiritual practice. So I do what I can to care for my soul: yoga, meditation, hiking in the bush, retreating on my own once a month, reading Ryokan, and occasionally writing or posting something on this blog.
At this rate, enlightenment is a long way off, but I take full responsibility: my life right now is the culmination of all the choices I have made. And I am grateful for what I have.
Because I know that in a moment, everything can change...