Tag Archives: work

Life in the Academic Slow Lane

Looking back at nearly a half century, a lifetime really, spent in academic chemistry (I started my first college chemistry course in 1972 and decided that this was “it” for me), I can see plenty of choices that I made over the years that were guided by the need that I felt to do things faster, to do things bigger, and to just do more. Perform my experiments more quickly. Write a paper that will make a bigger impact. Do three projects instead of one.

Only rarely did I ever stop to consider whether this orientation was in keeping with my natural tendencies or would create a satisfying life for me, a life well-lived. Instead, I labored under the assumption that I needed to set my objectives and perform my work in ways that would please others and the only way to do that was to consistently exceed their expectations.

I was inspired to reflect on all this recently when I read an essay by Dr. Irene Nobeli, “In praise of slow,” that appeared on the back page of Science magazine (Working Life, 2 Feb 2018).  Continue reading

Surviving a toxic encounter at work

There’s a difference between a stressful work environment and a toxic one says Michael Carroll, author of Fearless at Work. Here’s his step-by-step guide to transforming a toxic workplace… (Lion’s Roar, “3 tips for surviving a toxic workplace,” 14 Sept 2015)

This short article gives some tips for creating some space around a bad encounter, but what to do when the shouting is over and our angry co-working has retreated to another part of campus? Continue reading

Boss to Worker: Meditate!

We live in a culture dominated by capitalism. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, then, that virtually every new thing that comes along, whether it is meditation, iPhones, or Cronuts, eventually gets picked apart in terms of how it might affect the bottom line.

The latest entry in this discussion comes from columnist (and meditator) Oliver Burkeman (Meditation sweeps corporate America, but it’s for their health. Not yours, April 7). Burkeman doesn’t quibble with the possible benefits of a regular meditation practice, but he doesn’t think that we should enter into meditation through the gateways of productivity, profits, and worker compliance.

For more on this topic, check out my post from last month: Meditation Training: The Bottom Line?, March 13. Or, just come sit with us this Thursday and see how much work you get done. 😉

Advice for the beleaguered office worker (and anyone else)

5 Buddhist Slogans for the Office

Photo ©istock.com / Yusufgonden, from “5 Buddhist Slogans for the Office,” L. Rinzler, Lion’s Roar, Jan 6, 2015

Has something about your office been bugging you?

Try this maybe: ponder some of the 59 ‘lojong,’ or mind-training, slogans that Atisha (980-1052 CE) brought from India to Tibet a thousand years ago.

Not sure where to start? Author Lodro Rinzler (“The Buddha Walks into a Bar”) says that office workers might find the study of 5 slogans especially helpful: “5 Buddhist Slogans for the Office.”

Meditation Training: The Bottom Line?

Meditation is cropping up everywhere. Take a look around. Probably your neighbor is doing it, your doctor is recommending it to some of her patients, and your chaplain would like everyone to ‘just close their eyes for a few moments’ and give it a try.

Naturally, the media gets involved. And a debate begins to emerge. Some question the practice. Others question its growth. Here are three links to the ongoing ‘debate’ about meditation in the workplace.

Continue reading