Awake at Work: 35 Practical Buddhist Principles for Discovering Clarity and Balance in the Midst of Work's Chaos

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Work can often be frustrating. On the job we frequently face conflicts, difficult personalities, disappointing results—a variety of challenges and obstacles. In this unique book Michael Carroll, a Buddhist meditation teacher and a corporate executive, shares Buddhist wisdom on how to transform the common hassles and anxieties of life in the workplace into valuable opportunities for personal growth, heightened wisdom, and enhanced effectiveness. Carroll shows us how life on the job—no matter what kind of work we ...
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Awake at Work: 35 Practical Buddhist Principles for Discovering Clarity and Balance in the Midst of Work's Chaos

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Overview

Work can often be frustrating. On the job we frequently face conflicts, difficult personalities, disappointing results—a variety of challenges and obstacles. In this unique book Michael Carroll, a Buddhist meditation teacher and a corporate executive, shares Buddhist wisdom on how to transform the common hassles and anxieties of life in the workplace into valuable opportunities for personal growth, heightened wisdom, and enhanced effectiveness. Carroll shows us how life on the job—no matter what kind of work we do—can become one of the most engaging and fulfilling areas of our lives.

At its heart, Awake at Work offers thirty-five principles for developing a new way of relating to work that is characterized by honesty, openness, courage, maturity, and endless learning. By contemplating these principles on a regular basis in the context of our daily work lives, we can begin to explore and overturn the misconceptions and mental habits that keep many of us in a state of constant frustration and dissatisfaction on the job.

Carroll invites readers to contemplate these slogans and to use them on-the-spot, in the midst of work's chaos, to develop clarity, wisdom, and inspiration. Along the way, Carroll presents a variety of techniques and insights to help us "acknowledge work, with all its complications, as a valuable invitation to fully live our lives." In an engaging, accessible, and often humorous style, Awake at Work offers readers a path to rediscovering a natural sense of intelligence, confidence, and delight on the job.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Carroll, a businessman and graduate of a Buddhist seminary, brings the sitting cushion into the boardroom with this collection of teachings designed to illuminate the power that mindfulness-"being somewhere completely"-can have at work. By surrendering to the moment, one becomes "alert, open, and unusually skillful," and in this way, Carroll asserts, "our work actually becomes our spiritual path." In brief, accessible chapters, Carroll expounds some 35 slogans designed to be both fodder for meditation and mnemonic devices for when that particular message can help the most, during an opportune moment at work. Many of the slogans are catchy, and their teachings are pointed and easy to recall: "Welcome the tyrant" helps one to disarm a cranky boss; "Avoid idiot compassion" reminds one to eschew giving merely superficial help. But other slogans are more obscure and their teachings more convoluted: "Study the six confusions" and "Extend the four composures." Carroll relates the spiritual principles to practical business settings-such as cherishing the "small boredom" of an elevator ride-and casual readers will gain some helpful tips for handling their professional lives. Yet for the uninitiated, Carroll's simple mindfulness slogans may appear merely simplistic, leaving the slogans' greatest impact for those who already have some experience with-and faith in-the practice of mindfulness training. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"If you're thinking about really showing up for the tens of thousands of hours you'll spend working during your life, you'll want to read this book."—Shambhala Sun

"One of the best books ever written about practicing spirituality on the job."—Spirituality and Health

"Highly recommended."—Mandala

"Refreshingly practical and down to earth."—The Beacon

"A revelatory book that brilliantly applies Buddhist principles to the life of work and vice versa."—Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California, and author of On Becoming a Leader

"Michael Carroll does not just write about being awake at work; he has lived that awakening, thoroughly and inventively. His adaptation of Buddhist mindfulness to the complexities of modern employment is a singular and valuable accomplishment, giving us pithy exhortations and detailed instructions for being awake and aware in every workplace situation."—Lewis Richmond, author of Work as a Spiritual Practice

"An invaluable guide to surviving—and thriving—in today's demanding business environments. I've drawn on Michael's brilliant and wise advice for years. Now everyone can benefit from his wealth of insight and experience."—Deborah Dugan, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide

"A truly unique book. The wisdom that has been developed in two very different realms—that of business and spiritual practice—join together to create much richer insight and wisdom. Given the struggles of these times, these teachings are extremely important."—Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570629839
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/14/2004
  • Edition description: 1ST SHAMBH
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Changed my attitude toward my job!

    Love this book! It has helped me change my attitude toward my work. I love the concept of "Idiot Compassion". Now, more often than not, I am able to reflect on one of the many "slogans" in the book which helps me reframe my attitude and my actions. I have the Nook version for home and keep the paperback version in my office.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Awake at Work Brings Peace

    I read and re-read Awake at Work often. Yesterday, I re-read a chapter about the silence of fear. Carroll posits that fear is powerful because we experience it in silence. After making an embarrassing mistake at work, I remembered what I had read and decided to address the mistake openly. Before remembering what I read and making the decision to be open I was seriously considered attempting to cover up my mistake. Because of the book I found acting with integrity a little easier.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2013

    A Mind Changing Book

    Not a self help, not a management style book. You don't even have to read this cover to cover. Just open it to any page on any day and read. It will change the way you THINK about work as it relates to your life. I find I go back to it over and over when I am frustrated or feeling lost in the chaos of work. A reminder of fundamental principles of life that apply to work as well as all aspects of living.

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