- Paperback: 237 pages
- Publisher: SHAMBHALA - TRADE; 1 edition (3 April 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590302729
- ISBN-13: 978-1590302729
- Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.7 x 19.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Awake At Work: 35 Practical Buddhist Principles for Discovering Clarity and Balance in the Midst of Work's Chaos Paperback – 3 Apr 2006
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About the Author
For over two decades Michael Carroll worked on Wall Street and in the publishing industry, holding executive positions at Shearson Lehman Brothers, Paine Webber, Simon & Schuster, and the Walt Disney Company. Founding director of AAW Associates, Carroll consults with major corporations on bringing mindfulness into the workplace. He is a longtime student of Buddhist meditation and an authorized teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. Carroll has taught mindfulness meditation at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia University, Kripalu, and the Cape Cod Institute. For more information, visit www.awakeatwork.net.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
How many of us work in companies where the environment isn't as healthy as we want it to be? Yet at the same time, we're often unconscious about these toxicities--maybe even distance ourselves from them or the jobs that create them. We often attribute the job of bettering the work experience to "them"...or maybe even change the environment for our own groups or for the company at large...but in effect treat the people we want to benefit (and ourselves!) as relatively passive participants.
"Awake at Work" sheds a whole new perspective on the workplace experience. NOT just enabling people to see their own role in how they experience work. But giving very specific lenses (35, in fact) on how to change the way work feels FOR US for the better, without the environment having to change one iota. Brilliant! And a very easy, almost poetic read, too. How many books give you a whole new and very positive way to think about and experience a place you spend a lot of your time...can be used in a practical way (e.g., chapter a day)...and are just a good read in the bargain? I found Michael Carroll's "Mindful Leadership" great, too--but "Awake at Work" is entirely unique in my experience of management literature.
The obvious benefit being "Awake" provides: you'll find work a much more pleasant, productive place--if only because you'll be better engaged with what you're doing, no matter how engaged you already are, or how yucky work seems. In addition to that, because you'll be better engaged, you'll probably find some ways to actually improve what's going on around you. And, while most readers will suddenly like their jobs more, others may realized it's time to move on--but will be much more productive in doing so, since a lot of energy lost in complaining and distancing yourself in the job you don't like is more positively directed while you're in it, and finding a new one.
Get this. Read it. Re-read it. Pass it on!
For the last three decades I have been asking three questions:
"Why do so many people sleep walk through life?"
"Would they thank us if they woke up?" and
"What could we do to help them wake up?"
The author of this important book helps provide some answers. He founded Awake at Work Associates, a consultancy that specializes in helping organizations and individuals apply mindfulness awareness in the workplace, to help both recover balance and well-being in work. Michael Carroll is both a practicing Buddhist who is an authorized teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and has over two decades experience in human resources in several large companies. He teaches mindfulness meditation at the Omega Institute, New York Open Center, and the Wharton Business School in Philadelphia.
Michael encourages us to explore our relationships to work and his book is full of practical and uplifting suggestions that are grounded in his work in meditation.
One good example is this: he points out that if we are going to be awake at work, we need to understand how we fell asleep. In Tibetan Buddhism, meditators study the six confusions or "mindsets that describe how we imprison ourselves at work." He then applies these six confusions in the workplace:
Work as drudgery
Work as war
Work as addiction
Work as entertainment
Work as inconvenience
Work as a problem
As he says, "recognizing that we, not work are imprisoning ourselves is critical if we expect to discover well-being in our livelihoods." So he provides precise ways of "letting go" of the imbalances that work can introduce into our lives by cultivating authenticity and a right code of conduct.
He also describes a practice that he calls "enrichment," that can be used to used to resolve conflicts. The idea is that in an adversarial situation, we should not try to defend our own truth or position, or to find some way in which we can benefit, but to act with good will to produce an outcome that is mutually beneficial. This is more than just trying to find the win/win in a situation: it is a broader concept that goes beyond personal gain to try and find the greater good. This may sound like something easier said than done, but the book contains good advice on how to attain this.
What I particularly like about this book is that it is an exercise in practical spirituality. A spirituality that we visit for an hour or two a week may be fine for some people, but the real value of a spiritual life is that it can be something that can inform all of our actions, from education, to work, sex and politics.