Summary of Being Buddha at Work

108 Ancient Truths on Change, Stress, Money, and Success

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Being Buddha at Work book summary
Apply 2,500 years of Buddhist wisdom to solve your workplace stress and worry.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Thousands of years ago, the Buddha established a framework to help people achieve happiness and avoid suffering. For Buddhists, work is an organic, important part of life and an expression of a person’s highest values. Religious studies professor Franz Metcalf and business writer BJ Gallagher prove the modern relevance of Buddhist ideas, particularly in the workplace. Presented as question-and-answer discussions – as if students were quizzing a master teacher – this is a small book, but not a light read. It will give you plenty to think about, despite sometimes being a bit esoteric (consider the difficulty of condensing 2,500 years of thought into 176 pages). getAbstract finds that the readings have a cumulative, stress-relieving impact; they will give you a deeper understanding of Buddhist canons and their practical application in seeking balance.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What Buddhism’s four “noble truths” are,
  • What traits make up the “eightfold path” and
  • How to apply Buddhist wisdom to the modern work environment.


“Four Noble Truths”
Based on spiritual – but also pragmatic – principles, Buddhism provides a path for individual enlightenment. Even at the office, it offers a practical way to tackle the “three marks of existence,” which are “frustration, interconnectedness and impermanence.” The road...
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About the Authors

Franz Metcalf, a religious studies professor at California State University, Los Angeles, also wrote What Would Buddha Do? BJ Gallagher, who produces corporate videos, also wrote several books, including the bestseller A Peacock in the Land of Penguins.

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    Patrick Brigger 4 years ago
    Good summary even for people who are not "Buddhists "!
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      Yi Zeng 3 months ago
      u r
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    Danielle Smith 4 years ago
    Very interesting view of the workplace. It covers issues such as conflict, leadership and change in a way that I have not read about before.

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