White Collar Zen: Using Zen Principles to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Your Career Goals

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It is said that in traditional Japan the samurai embraced Zen because it helped them to be fearless in adversity, to act quickly and decisively, and to keep focused on their ultimate goal. In White Collar Zen, Steven Heine shows how, by applying Zen principles in our working lives, we can achieve the same results for ourselves.
Heine describes the way Zen embraces two different yet harmonious paths. The Way of the Hermit teaches detachment—the mental clarity you need to view your situation dispassionately and impartially, to perceive who is an ally and who is a competitor, to understand what is possible and what is not. The Way of the Warrior teaches the ability to act without hesitation at the proper moment. Together, they can prepare you to meet the challenges of the modern professional world. Heine offers a step-by-step approach to attaining these skills and applying them in daily life. Using real-world examples interwoven with sayings and stories from the Zen tradition, he shows how Zen can help in situations ranging from gaining a deserved promotion to overcoming obstacles that arise from a breakdown in teamwork. He makes it clear that in Zen the path to personal success must be one that values integrity, respects every individual, emphasizes cooperation, and serves the goals of the larger group.
Replete with practical advice, White Collar Zen will appeal to many of the same readers who have made The Art of War and The Book of Five Rings so successful. It will certainly fascinate anyone interested in applying Zen principles to achieving professional excellence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Heine deserves credit for offering a bold alternative to the conventional wisdom that has dominated discussions of career success in organizations." —Academy of Management Review

"A sly, good-humored book [about] applying Zen attitudes and concepts to your work and career.... Reach for this book when work makes no sense and people are getting on your nerves."—USA Today

"Heine wisely avoids pop spirituality and instead uses thoughtful examples straight out of the Zen tradition, including effective use of stories and quotations, some from Eastern philosophies and others that may be familiar yet are very Zen-like. Heine, a recognized authority on Buddhism and Japanese culture, gives workshops on the techniques described in this book."—Booklist

"Buddhism authority Heine lays out, in a non-pop psychology fashion, how embracing Zen's two counterbalancing viewpoints (that of the objective, detached 'Hermit' and the decisive, nimble 'Warrior') can bring rewards in the workplace and on a career path."—Washington Post

"If you're looking for a more thoughtful way to approach your work life look no further. White Collar Zen translates ancient wisdom into practical advice for today's business professional. And the way Heine seamlessly weaves Zen teachings and modern work examples together makes for an easy and pleasurable read." —Mark McNeilly, author of Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers

"A gem that accomplishes one of the prime missions of Zen, the ageless directive to introduce insight and compassion into the situation at hand. Via the inner dynamics of the Zen encounter, Steven Heine presents for modern use a major Zen motif, the deep balancing of contemplative awareness, here symbolized by the Hermit, and its application to the world, represented by the Warrior. This book will help foster individual success through practical lessons presented humorously, with contemporary examples as well as venerable Zen stories that offer wider vantage from which to function freely and think outside the box of stale structures. But more important than personal advantage, these guidelines for good teamwork will promote beneficial cooperation in our world, at a time when we surely are in need of such." —Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes, and translator of Dogen's Extensive Record

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195160031
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Heine is Professor of Religious Studies and History and Director of Asian Studies at Florida International University. A well-known authority on Buddhism and Japanese culture, he gives workshops based on the techniques described in this book. His books include Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters and Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition. Dr. Heine was recently awarded the Kauffman Professorship in Entrepreneurship Studies at the Florida International University Business School.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : applying Zen 3
1 Zen and professional leadership 12
2 The power of Zen 25
3 Everybody must get foxed 45
4 The greater the doubt, the greater the enlightenment 68
5 Seeing the forest, but not missing the trees 87
6 Returning to the marketplace 107
7 All's well that ends well 128
8 Coming from nowhere to somewhere 155
App Koan translation ("Te-shan carrying his bundle") 191
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    Business the Zen way: sharper than you think

    Building on Buddhist parables and using sources as diverse as St. Augustine and Alice in Wonderland, author Steven Heine offers a little book with big ideas, such as applying the Zen values of detachment and resilience to workplace dynamics. He tells stories to illustrate intricate, thoughtful ways to assess and react to various business scenarios and disputes. Then, with a relatively low dose of philosophical double-speak and, perhaps, a few too many oblique Eastern-sounding aphorisms, he encourages you to take the high ground. We recommend this illuminating guide to those of a philosophical or spiritual bent. Heine¿s knowledgeable explanation of the practical application of Zen ideas in business will help you remain philosophical in the face of workplace triumphs, puzzles or setbacks. While it is hard to see the Buddha inside a bull-headed rival, it may help to try.

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