Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ask a Buddhist: My Boss is Stressing Me Out!

Your shoulders bunch. Your jaw clenches. “No!No!No!No!” screams a voice inside your head. "Hello!!" you hear yourself saying – just a little too brightly – "How are you?" 
This sort of reaction to the sight of your boss (or spouse, or anybody at all) might have some real history behind it. Perhaps you've decided that she's a vicious tyrant or a wearying pontificator. Maybe she's the embodiment of everything that drives you nuts about your mom. Maybe she feels exactly the same way about you. 
But however numerous and well-documented your grievances may be, your boss isn't manufacturing your stress – you are. "You have created the stress-inducing boss," says Kadam Morten, a Buddhist teacher in the New Kadampa tradition, founded by Buddhist leader Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the author of Modern Buddhism. Stress, Kadam Morten suggests, is the result of "uncontrolled mind states" like anger, or a sense of professional inadequacy. Buddhists practice meditation to understand and transcend these states. The point is that whether or not your boss is verifiably horrible, it's up to you how badly she stresses you out. ...

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