A life of joyless obligation


Damn.  I’ve depressed myself further by the mere title alone.

But sometimes it feels like that.  Work is most definitely a joyless obligation.  It’s a paycheck.  A good one at that.  The benefits are also good, along with a ridiculous amount of Paid Time Off.  My boss isn’t an ogre, and lets me work from home one day a week without question.  I’m fortunate on many levels.  Yet, I’m bored.  Very, very bored.

My work at my dharma center has also become a joyless obligation.  This is not expected, nor is it something I have to put up with (unlike work).  Your spiritual path should not be a source of suffering.   The tendency is to blame the teacher for the lack of joy at the center.  She’s a damn fine teacher – knows her shit and her teaching manner is warm and inspiring.  It’s when she is interacting with her students that the problems begin.  Like us, she is a troubled human being with good intentions.   It is not her intention to come across as cold, judgemental and brusque.  But, she does.  And as a teacher, people look to her for warmth and acceptance.  That is not her strength.  So people are disillusioned and hurt and have fled the center, leaving only a small handful of us.  And it has become a drudgery.

Festival is just about over, and our teacher and Admin Director will be coming back, probably full of ideas and enthusiasm.   I am dreading it.  Really and truly dreading it.   For the last few months, my work there has been a joyless obligation.  I made promises though, so I felt obliged to deliver.  I don’t want to make any more promises.  I’m tired of holding that place up.  Something has to give.  There are options.  I just need to think and meditate on this more.

The relationship is pretty good right now, though there are definitely periods when it feels like a joyless obligation.  He’s trying to be understanding that I’ve been going through a hard time.  We’re going to take a weekend roadtrip up to the Gold Country.  The cats will be OK for a night.   It’ll be good to get away and stop stewing in my own juices for a day or two.


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