Words at Work: Part Two

in What's New

In our “Words at Work” mini-series, we catch up with Corlis Fraga, a volunteer bindery operator working on the Yeshe De Text Preservation Project. Discover how Tarthang Tulku’s book Caring has supported Corlis during the busiest times of her workweek, and explore how these lessons can be applied to your own day when work feels overwhelming and mistakes seem inevitable.

Buy Caring Here

“Can we embrace the possibility that we are fully capable of caring globally, in every direction–that the compass of our caring could open 360 degrees?” (Caring, p. 70).


“If we can pay attention in this way, all our thoughts become caring: knowledge becomes caring knowledge” (Caring, p. 79).

Pressing Matters

“Binding day is when everything comes alive at Yeshe De. The text has been printed. The signatures have been folded. The covers, stamped in gold foil, are ready and waiting.

It’s on this day I have the unique privilege of being one of the operators who oversee when every single signature is meticulously arranged and fed into the binder, where their folded spines are sawed, and the covers are glued in place. Although such a station is an awe-inspiring juncture, vigilance is essential. Constantly, I ask myself questions to ensure the success of the work: Is the glue pot full? Are the covers stocked and free of blemishes? Is the bucket for the dust collector regularly emptied? Is the conveyor belt running smoothly?

With so much to account for, I often find that I can easily mistake vigilance as a synonym for fear, as if I am constantly waiting for a book to jam or a mechanism to fail. However, remaining in a state of anxiety throughout the workday is exhausting, prone to unnecessary panic, and ultimately unsustainable. It’s for this reason that, since coming to work at Yeshe De, I’ve had to remind myself of these few words:

‘To care, we need to look’ (Caring, p. 52).

Keeping an eye out for problems does not mean giving in to anxiety. I can acknowledge my emotions and still be my own best ally in handling difficulties responsibly, regardless of what happens, and bring greater ease and satisfaction to my workday.”

– Corlis Fraga


Does Corlis’ experience sound familiar? Are there times when you feel pressured to succeed, creating anxiety in the workplace? When we learn to understand the source of our anxieties in our capabilities to handle problems and redirect that energy to grant us the power to be our own greatest ally in the present moment, we can enrich our experiences–even in a bind.


bindery collage


Exercise: The Source of the Squeeze

“Presented with a challenge, we have a choice: we can support ourselves, or we can become a burden to ourselves–or even our worst enemy… When your worries start to squeeze, when your thoughts start to exert pressure, don’t struggle against them–that makes the pressure worse.

Instead, try telling yourself: ‘I decided I was in trouble; I’ve really made myself uncomfortable! I decided this was too much; that’s why you’re squeezing now. I have many other ways I can experience this, though! It all depends on my view. If my view is powerful enough to make me miserable, maybe it’s powerful enough to make me really happy.’” (Caring, p. 114 - 116).



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