What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

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What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by LifeintheNow » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:42 am

Eckhart Tolle has frequently described that our current economic structures on this planet are a product of our identification with the ego. As more and more people become interested in spiritual growth and actually break the identification with the mind, more people will begin to go to work differently. How will that change things?

For me at a personal micro-level, I’ve experienced a series of very positive developments based on gradually being able to be more present in my work:

- From being frustrated when I had to follow decisions I wasn’t in agreement with to better being able to accept things as they are. This has reduced work stress significantly for me.

- From having conflicts (drama) with co-workers who have big egos to being able to see the real good person behind the behavior. This has brought a lot more peace to my work situation.

- From feeling fearful about loosing my position or income related to this or that unfortunate development in my work to reducing a lot of this fear by focusing on what I do in the moment. With less attachment to position and life situation the fear of loss is significantly less.

I’m curios to hear what others are experiencing as they bring presence into their work. How has this changed how you go about your work? As more people awaken, what will business based on less ego look like in your opinion?

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by Sighclone » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:19 am

I try to be honest and direct and upbeat. Did I say "try?" It's actually not "trying." "Trying" is failing, with honor. I actually just "am" honest, direct and upbeat. I suppose, from time to time, I encourage an egoic response in others by my sympathy. That used to worry me. Well, it doesn't amy more. I just stay direct clear and honest.

I also think that intention is important. "What is my intention here?" is a phrase to constantly use to monitor yourself...you can let go of intentional egoic uprisings within you.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by RCharles » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:23 am

Working life poses the greatest challenge to my practice of presence, which is a good thing. I can tell how well I'm doing in my focus on the present by how anxious or irritated I become at work.

That said, I too have experienced more acceptance of the rules and regulations, less complaining, more peace, and greater harmony with coworkers, especially the ones with the big egos.

But it's still a struggle and requires constant vilgilance to return to the present and the stillness when my mind gets caught up in work dramas. It's a race to see which comes first: retirement or perfect peace. I suspect it will be retirement, and though I may gradually live in greater peace, perfect peace will have to wait until heaven. :D

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by runstrails » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:08 pm

Thank you for this thread. I agree with RC Charles that the modern workplace is one of the biggest impediments (and therefore one of the biggest cultivators) of presence. Buddha did not have to deal with the modern workplace and Tolle chose to quit academia after his awakening. I don't know of any spiritual teachers who work in a regular office!

So those of us awakening and working are on our own. This is the first good thing--we have to find our own way, we cannot regurgitate a teaching from a book since it most likely does not apply to our situation.

(i) I find that I can see through my ego quite easily even as I may be doing egoic things. At least, I catch it and identify it for what it is. As SC says, trying and failing is OK. Here I want to work towards catching my ego and then *not doing* the egoic thing, whatever the consequence.

(ii) I find it easier to catch the ego aspects of others and see why they are acting the way they are. This allows me to be more accepting of difficult situations. Here I want to be able to feel the 'oneness' with work colleagues and really wish for their successes, even if they are egoic. Any tips here would be appreciated. It's funny I can so easily feel oneness with nature, children and even inanimate objects--but as soon as I get to the office it goes away :)

(iii) Like the OP, I also find that I care less about the future and this has taken away stress related to future unseen scenarios like losing employment etc..I used to be consumed by this--so this is a huge step for me.

(iv) I try to take as many little breaks as possible to come back to presence--this has really helped me to not identify with the work situation.

(v) I see work as a necessary evil. I actually marvel at how dyfunctional our society is, in that, workaholism is lauded and not considered a disease. It helps to see this clearly--- to not be sucked into it.


I hope others will post on this important issue. Especially those who have found clarity at work--this will really help the rest of us.

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by LifeintheNow » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:09 am

RCharles wrote:It's a race to see which comes first: retirement or perfect peace. I suspect it will be retirement, and though I may gradually live in greater peace, perfect peace will have to wait until heaven. :D

RC
I like your statement. That is funny. :lol:

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by LifeintheNow » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:51 am

Runstrails, like you I observe much unhappiness in the work place on a daily basis. Typical observations are:

- Attachment to opinions and ideas, which leads to tension between colleagues

- Judgment of how supervisors, colleagues, and work conditions are not as they should be

- Daily nervousness/worries (fear) about not achieving a future career dream or not achieving the safety and stability guarantee that many are looking for

- Finding ways to position one self as more superior than colleagues. This is often done directly through feedback or indirectly by talking about others when they’re not there

By practicing presence and witnessing our minds we can become aware of all the judgments and attachments our minds are producing at work. I agree it is often helpful to just observe the egoic condition in others behavior as it helps you spotlight the same behavior in yourself.

This makes the work place a great place for spiritual growth. Imagine if spiritual growth at work made the above list of observations read like this:

- Instead of attachment to opinions, your colleagues have open minds and a desire to really listen to each other to make sure they fully explore ideas and solutions

- Instead of judging the work place as bad, we accept it as it is. We don’t need to have an opinion about this policy, that person, or the new method they are asking us to follow. We work within the condition to make it better if we can. If not, we either leave or surrender to it

- Instead of fear there is a desire for finding joy in our work by bringing presence and our attention fully to what we do in the now

I wonder how products and services would look differently if these three elements where in place? Probably better quality and more innovation.

Anybody who knows about a work place where they work like that?

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by runstrails » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:29 pm

Anybody who knows about a work place where they work like that?

Maybe the Eckhart Tolle foundation :mrgreen:


"Fear" is the most dominant ego trait in theworkplace (fear of not producing, fear of getting fired, fear of not getting that promotion, fear of what your boss will think, fear of not getting that raise, fear of someone else 'scooping' you).

Luckily the more you can see fear for what it is (an illusion), the more it dissipates. So, bringing in more presence at work is really the best solution.

Being present at work means slowing down, taking time out to breathe, not spending so much time at work, not chasing yet another crazy deadline, producing quality and not quantity--none of which is really valued in the modern workplace.

So I think of us as akin to Tolle's frequency holders, we are bringing presence into the workplace--but it won't be appreciated in our lifetimes.

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by snowheight » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:26 am

The whole experience starts with a resume: a reduction of who we are to a set of historical events and points of sale.

The next step is the interview process, in which most of the criteria used for making judgments (the goal of the game) are painfully superficial.

Then from the first day until ones "role" becomes settled to a point where it can evolve in the organization a primary concern is determining the relative positions in the various hierarchies that make up the place of the co-workers we have to interact with.

My personal experience with presence in my current, self-employed workplace is that it has greatly reduced the level of internal stress that is generated when I work with clients, collaborators and contractors. It has been years since I worked in an office, and looking back, I can see how things would have gone quite differently, mostly for the better, had I been awake. I had chosen a path back then of assuming the role of "egoless technician", and while that served me well in many outward respects, it took its toll internally.

Looking ahead, I am in the relatively happy position of entering into a period of outward professional growth, but I am puzzled as to how I can possibly successfully interact with the players that I anticipate encountering and stay true to the path of awakening.

I'm going to have to beat down the doors and sell into ossified organizations for fairly high stakes -- noone will be telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at any point but near the end of these interactions as there will simply be too much on the line. To expect that the phases of delivery, integration and handoff will be free of intrigue, subterfuge and outright attempts at sabotage would be self-destructive naivete. I am planning to re-read "The Prince" and "The Art of War".

And as I go through a period of hiring people, I really see no alternative but the steps above, which are firmly grounded in ego.

I guess I could just give away what I've spent years working on, but why should I pauperize myself to enrich someone or some group just as or even more unconscious than myself? I could abandon the project, but that would simply be a waste.

For the first time in my life I anticipate trying to reach out for spiritual and psychological support to deal with the contradictions between the inner and material worlds.

So yes, thank you VERY much for this thread and I've really gotten quite a bit from reading all of the posts here.
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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by Sighclone » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:34 pm

snowheight -

Trust in the present moment. Let all the egoic games play out. You will sense them, but spiritual growth also means growth in intuitive abilities, so their impact and implications may be more obvious to you. Although the big argument about "free will" remains, you will have some choices to make on a regular basis -- allow some Clarity from Presence to enter that process, and the decision will likely form up.

I would not worry too much -- there are forces beyond our control in all processes and interactions.

Namaste,

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by snowheight » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:08 am

I wanted to point out what is probably obvious, but thought it might be helpful to future readers of this thread, that kiki's answer to the question by the actor seems applicable to this discussion --> http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... f=4&t=7087

When I first read that question my first response was to ponder it, and contemplate the difficulty presented by the problem. My 2nd response was "well, gee, to experience those negative, inherently dualistic states, we HAVE to slip back into the dream". kiki's response is of course much more richly textured and I found it very helpful.

Every day that we go to work, we are fulfilling a role that has been defined by the people who created the position, our supervisors, our co-workers and ultimately ourselves. In performing our function, in living out the straw-man of that role, we are all actors of a sort.

Namaste,

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by kiki » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:28 am

Every day that we go to work, we are fulfilling a role that has been defined by the people who created the position, our supervisors, our co-workers and ultimately ourselves. In performing our function, in living out the straw-man of that role, we are all actors of a sort.
That's right. Just stop a moment and look at all the various roles we play throughout a day - parent, worker, friend, neighbor, lover, student, teacher, seeker. Virtually one's entire day is being spent in one role or another. What usually gets missed is what's beneath the role, consciousness/You/true nature. None of those roles affects true nature one bit, but when true nature gets overlooked the roles become our reality. That seeming reality constructed out of our various roles is only something being played out in the mind. Beneath the role, who/what are you truly? Find that and then the roles aren't taken so seriously anymore. Play whatever role is called for in whatever situation you find yourself in, but know deeply that You are not defined in any way by that role. Know that by discovering true nature.
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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by runstrails » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:21 pm

Just last night I was feeling overwhelmed with all my ‘roles’—career person, parent, spouse, runner, and then I remembered this post and it occurred to me that the only thing that I need to do is to ‘be present’ in whatever circumstances (roles) arise during the day.

That alone is my ‘purpose’ (or inner purpose as ET calls it). The roles will sort themselves out (or not).

This really simplifies life tremendously. Thanks for this terrific metaphor.

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by LifeintheNow » Sun May 02, 2010 1:06 am

One of the roles that commonly are played out at work is the role of being a career success. By trying to live up to the image of the successful engineer, the successful nurse, the successful manager, or whatever, there’s much attention on doing things today that leads to future recognition, higher income, promotion or other similar career goals. Sometimes role playing is driven by fear and performance anxiety related to perceived future risk of loosing one’s position and perhaps stable life situation.

By being present and paying attention in the moment much is revealed:

- An inherent sense of lack and incompleteness that creates a desire for something in the future to fulfill me or make me feel safe

- One’s attention might be primarily in the mind planning and strategizing how today’s activities can lead to tomorrow’s success or prevention of failure

- Unhealthy stress and tension in the body caused by thoughts and feelings about lack and fear

- With attention on achieving in the future and not fully on doing the work in the moment, the quality of the work might suffer. Maybe there are defects, “dropped balls”, poor decisions, poor communication or other less optimal outcomes.

In my experience it is not easy to reveal these aspects in your mind while working. By bringing presence to them they can begin to dissolve and make way for a new work consciousness where attention is on doing the work in the Now and being fully open to what comes next rather than what should come next.

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by runstrails » Sun May 02, 2010 4:04 am

Lifeinthenow, I agree with you totally. Perhaps the best way is to 'just do it and then forget about it'.

Somehow we need to just let go of thinking of all the scenarios of the future (praise and doom), all the strategizing and office politics, all the angling for the next raise or promotion, just let it all go and do the job at hand and then let that go too.

I'm going to try it.

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Re: What will work life look like when we leave the ego at home?

Post by Sighclone » Sun May 02, 2010 8:11 am

Egoic people sometimes sabotage work of others which they perceive as threats. As you innocently do your job, others may plot against you. That's just how egos work, and waking up doesn't necessarily mean allowing that to happen. There is something Eckhart calls a 'quality no.'

If you sense something like that, you can approach the individual in private, after all the evidence is pretty clear and be firm...giving them a chance to stop it. They should know, in that meeting, that that is the last meeting, and that you will go forward with the issue, without consulting them, if it does not stop. Get very clear feedback from them, and make notes from the meeting (even if they deny it) and save the notes in a safe place, perhaps at your home.

All this might sound very fearful and paranoid...and not nondual. However, the world stage is full of duality, and to do something less is denying real forces working around you, and is actually not living in the present, but some fantasy version of it. Of course, you have the option of just letting the universe work, and allowing the sabotage to go unchecked. It could mean you lose your job, and, like Eckhart, sit on a park bench for two years. I'm not saying that is bad. I am saying that there are real-world games that exist, and you have a choice in how you respond to them. I've had this experience twice, by the way. Once, the person in question was 'caught' by another, in the other situation, I left that place of employment.

Ah, the trials and tribulations of workplace samasara...reminds me how close I came to joining a Zen monastery...

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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