Words at Work: Part One

in What's New

In this new mini-series, follow the happenings on the homefront of Dharma Publishing, Yeshe De, and Ratna Ling Retreat Center and watch how the wisdom embodied in the works of Tarthang Tulku truly manifests behind the scenes. Discover new perspectives on Dharma Publishing classics and see just how these lessons can help open life to a whole new world of opportunity.

Today, we are pleased to have Leah Rezac, one of our resident gardeners at Ratna Ling Retreat Center, share her experience with Tarthang Tulku’s The Gift of Work (previously Skillful Means) and how it transformed her perspective.

Buy The Gift of Work Here

“You will discover that what makes the difference in your work is the attitude with which you do it” (The Gift of Work, p. 37 - 38).


“The option to change is always open, for your growth and development are a matter of choice. All you have to do is decide” (The Gift of Work, pg. 70).

A New Kale-iber of Participation

“One day at work it was getting close to the end of the day and I was given a new task to complete: harvest and wash enough kale for a retreat dinner. Quickly, my mind started to come up with reasons for why I wouldn't be able to complete the job in the small amount of allotted time. Thinking back to one of the days in the The Gift of Work workbook, I was reminded of the quote, 'Life exacts a price for less than full participation' (The Gift of Work, pg. 17).

I realized the pattern that my thoughts had fallen into. Instead of giving more energy to the excuses that I was making, I shifted into a mode of action and placed all of my attention on the task that I was given. In a kind of flow state, I was able to complete the task with time to spare at the end, which really caused me to examine my thought patterns further.

How many times in the past had I held myself back by legitimizing those excuses? How could my work ethic and productivity shift if I were to see through those limiting reasons?”

– Leah Rezac


Leah’s experience can greatly teach us about the ways in which we perceive our time, and the excuses we create with the belief of us being subject to certain temporal constraints. Why try something when the clock is running out?

To challenge ourselves to fully participate, let’s begin by expanding our understanding of our time.


garden collage


Exercise: Expanding Time (The Gift of Work, p. 57 - 58)

“To begin to get an idea of how you use your time, look carefully over the past month. Observe how much time you had to use, developing an awareness of the value of each moment. Then look at how you used each week, each day, each hour. If you cannot account for all of your time, encourage yourself to develop more awareness of where your time is going,” (The Gift of Work, p. 57).

By facilitating this awareness, we open ourselves to playing with the possibilities. Regardless of the minutes that Leah was allotted, she dove into her task to discover that her preconception of the time she had to complete a task was not the reality. Once she accepted that, the excuses she had in mind no longer held true.

Allow yourself to play. Allow yourself to explore. Perhaps you will discover that you can reap far more benefits in the time you have than your excuses led you to believe.



Customer Reviews

Wonderful Read: “A deep, meaningful & inspiring read on the gift of work. Since work covers half of our lifetime, the purpose in work is imperative to our well being. Highly recommend!” (Esther Dan).

Game-changer for anyone feeling burned out or unfulfilled in their job: “Tulku offers such a refreshing perspective on finding satisfaction in your 9-to-5, and his insights are both practical and profound. What I appreciated most is how he emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and self-awareness in the workplace—it's like a breath of fresh air in a world where hustle culture often prevails. If you're looking to reclaim joy and meaning in your work, I highly recommend giving it a read” (Savannah).


May you enjoy this book as much as we are by sharing it.

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