Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Discipline has caring quality

Cover image: Mastering Successful Work
Cover image: Mastering Successful Work
During the bus ride home today, I encountered this passage in Mastering Successful Work by Tarthang Tulku (Dharma Publishing, 1994):
“Discipline is often thought of in negative terms as a harsh restraint imposed upon us by an external authority. But true discipline has a caring quality that emerges from inner knowledge. It takes form when we understand the value of our time, our energy, and the goals we have chosen to pursue. Rather than forcing us against our will, it embraces the power of willingness.”
The passage resonated with me and when I read it to Jonathan he summarized succinctly as “an expression of freedom instead of restraint.” I have the freedom to choose goals and objectives and then commit to them with follow-through.

The focus of this chapter of the book is upon overcoming breaks in concentration that undermine quality of work. It suggests using awareness, concentration and energy as yardsticks to measure our work:
“The standards and measurements we apply in our work apply equally well in our personal life, and can also be used to assess the success or failure of organizations, educational systems, and even national and international policy-making.”
Between these three yardsticks, a balance or interplay must occur. According to Tarthang Tulku, it is possible to identify and correct imbalances in this interplay.

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