May’s Learning Resources
Our personal practice isn’t just for our own benefit but for others, too. We dive into the meaning of work, consider our gifts, and examine work as an environment to practice being in community and contributing to the greater good.
📚Suggested Resources and Activities:
- To Discuss: What are your motivations and intentions for the work that you do? Which values are most important for you within your work environment? Does your work feel right, natural and aligned with your higher values? How can we transform our work from busyness to awakening? How can we live a meaningful and authentic life and still support our families and ourselves?
- To Read: Feeling A Sense of Failure at Work? These Yogic Principles Will Help By Sally Kempton (yogajournal.com)
- To Watch: How to Find Meaningful Work (The School of Life YouTube Channel)
- Namchak Blog: How to Use Shamata in the Workplace
- Lama Tsomo’s recommended book of the month: The Person You Mean to Be by Dolly Chugh. From Lama Tsomo: “All of us are concerned about the deep-seated racism in this country. In her book, Dolly talks about two categories of people within this issue: believers and builders. Believers see racism as a problem to overcome, yet they don’t see how and don’t actually pursue clear courses of action to affect that change. Builders do find ways to make the changes in the world around them—in the personal, professional, and societal arenas—and pursue them. As a social psychologist, Dolly brings in some wonderful statistics. And at least as important are all of her examples and stories that help us move from being believers to builders, and from mediocre builders to better builders! She does it all with positivity, humor, and kindness.”
- Podcast: Naval Ravikant — The Person I Call Most for Startup Advice (#97) (The Tim Ferris Show)
✨ Monthly Learning Circle Spotlight:
This month we would like to feature our International Soul Sangha, which has members from all over the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Europe! This circle has been together since the beginning of the pandemic around March of 2020. Michael Scott, our Kiwi friend from Auckland, New Zealand, has been a part of this circle since its beginning, and has this to say about his experience:
“Joining an online sangha has been enriching for my practice and my sense of connection to other like-minded people. Being able to connect with others who are exploring Buddhist practices is valuable— we each bring our backgrounds and knowledge to the practice, and can share and discuss what we are experiencing and learning. We rotate roles for each session, and I really enjoy the different meditations or readings that the group members bring to the session. The care for each other is high, and I feel there is genuine curiosity for each other’s well-being and growth. It’s great to have an international flavour too!”
Good on you, Michael! Thanks for the share, and we send a shout-out to all other members of this International group! 🌏😀
One Community Activities:
Video Watched: Allow Things to Unfold and You Will Find Your Purpose in Life featuring Peggy Oki (TEDx Talks YouTube Channel)
With an appreciation of flow and motion, Peggy’s life has been always been driven by passion from surfing and skateboarding to the intimate appreciation of what she calls the ‘Cetacean Nation.’ Discovering the transformative force of participation artwork through her Origami Whales project was the first step to realizing that passion could be harnessed, amplified and ultimately inspired for a deeper purpose.
Questions for Journaling and Discussion:
- What part of this talk did you find most inspiring?
- What does doing meaningful work mean to you?
- What gifts and passions do you bring into the work that you do?
- How can we live a meaningful and passionate life and still support our families and ourselves?
Meditation Practiced: 10 Minutes of Shamata with Lama Tsomo (10 minutes)
When we asked Lama Tsomo which practice goes best with this theme of “meaningful work,” she said Shamata. She used the analogy of sitting by a murky pond. It is murky because there are so many waves and all of the silt has been stirred up, so we can’t see to the bottom of the pond. When we practice Shamata, the waves and the silt settle, and we are able to see all the way to the bottom. This helps us to uncover our purpose and our passions and seeing our meaningful work more clearly.
The Gift of Community
Having spent the dark winter months reflecting on our personal practice and spending the holiday with friends and family, embrace on the new year with an appreciation for both self-compassion and compassion for others, focusing on our interconnectedness and what it means to live in community.
As our awareness of our interconnectedness expands, so too does our sense of belonging in the world. This month, through exercises focused on our individual and shared stories, we explore how we can open our hearts to experience an expansive sense of love and true connection. We’ll look at the four “immeasurable” qualities of Compassion, Loving-kindness, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity.
Modern life brings unprecedented stressors, from personal challenges to global ones like climate change. Shamata helps us expand our mental awareness of the causes of stress, allowing us to cultivate a greater sense of calm in our lives and find the joy that is always available.
Practicing Inclusion + Nonviolent Communication
Examining race and identity, empathetic connection with others, what is life really like for others. Drawing from How to Be An Anti-Racist, we’ll take a closer look at the practice of Loving Kindness. Treating people of all backgrounds and identities with fairness and respect is an ongoing journey for most of us, including our team at Namchak. We share our experience with the practice of non-violent communications, which teaches us how to listen deeply to our own needs as well as those of others, helping us connect to our innate compassion.