How We Work
From its inception, Dharma Publishing has had the good fortune to have an inspired guiding vision that merges spiritual practice with work and emphasizes results attained through cooperation and virtuous action. Dharma Publishing offers individuals opportunities to develop awareness, concentration and professional skills while engaging in a purpose that transcends personal gain. The clarity of this purpose has been a major factor in Dharma Publishing’s growth and development. Working with others who appreciate the value of preserving and transmitting the teachings of enlightenment fosters an environment that supports compassion, integrity, and cooperation and encourages success.
Noting that most Americans make strong distinctions between work and their private time, tending to regard work as a burdensome necessity rather than as an opportunity for growth and accomplishment, Tarthang Tulku introduced Skillful Means as a way to help readers find greater satisfaction in work and life. Published in 1978, Skillful Means, is a collection of teachings and practices that guide students and volunteers toward a work experience that is meaningful and satisfying. For Dharma students, work can be an effective spiritual exercise, a practice in mindfulness and the means of perfecting six spiritual qualities, from generosity to discipline and patience, foundation of vigor, concentration, and wisdom.
Including Skillful Means there are 4 books in the Skillful Means series, worked with alone or together they provide a comprehensive structure for human development, that is relevant and practical for the modern workforce.
Adhering to the principle that no money genrated from the sale of Dharma materials may support salaries or individuals, Dharma Publishing has steadily progressed toward its goals. The first Buddhist publishing house in America, its books have been adopted for use in over seven hundred courses in colleges and universities and translated into twelve languages. More than five hundred thousand copies have been distributed worldwide, and well over a million readers have benefited from its publications.
Today Dharma Publishing’s staff continues to study and practice using Skillful Means as a practical guide for turning work into “work practice”; using work as an opportunity to train our minds and gain deeper insights. Practicing throughout the week, each individual is given countless opportunities during their regular work day to cultivate greater self-knowledge and use the insight and experience of their practice to make positive changes in their work and life.
For those who are interested in a structure for human development like Skillful Means, we offer consulting, retreats, and presentations on this way of working through the Center for Skillful Means.