I was so moved by this email I received from Peter Cutler, an Order of Interbeing Member with the Dharma Name True Sangha Virtue, that I requested his permission to share it with you. Peter is a member of Boston’s Old Path Sangha. He is a spiritual teacher, Zen artist and founding member of the Sacred Circle in Sedona, Arizona.
Suffering is universal, and if we really think about it, we all know what makes us suffer. Often we are stuck to it, and we feel that we have no power—no courage—to cut off from the roots of our suffering.
But we can cultivate the spiritual power to transform our cravings, our anger, our frustration, our suffering and our despair! We can transform all of our afflictions, because like everything else in the universe, they are impermanent.
When we are able to cut off from suffering, we become free people. In this freedom, we find happiness.
Why does Thay say that smiling is the most basic kind of peace work? A smile not only helps to relax ourselves, releasing our own tension and anxiety so that we can touch more peace. The smile on our face will bring more pleasant feelings to others.
Thay sees smiling as integral to mindfulness practice:
Work environments are not always easy places to remember and engage in our mindful practice. It is important to act mindfully in this space though, as it will bring more peace, happiness AND productivity. When we act mindfully, we form better relationships with our co-workers, respect our body’s need for movement, listen to signs of hunger and fatigue and ultimately we are better at our jobs.
Here are some tools that encourage mindfulness in the work place: