Different Religions and Success

Written by Pat Sullivan

The world's faiths provide sustaining wisdom for life and work.Here's a great snapshot on their distinct views.

The world's major religions are a treasure trove of wisdom for life and work.

Zen Buddhism offers practices for finding peace and enlightenment amid chaos. Les Kaye, author of Zen at Work, says Zen is "being awake to the reality of the present moment" and learning how to respond in a confident, caring way to whatever comes up in life.

The yoga commonly taught in health clubs and recreation centers is just one of Hinduism's gifts to the world. Other practices help increase joy and release stress by calling us to live and work with gusto, but without attachment to outcome or fear of failure.

Christianity is filled with insights on how to unburden body, mind and spirit by forgiving others. Even in the midst of pain and death,Christianity shows us how to find goodness and love.

Islam weaves prayer into the rhythms of life and work. It builds community by drawing people together to pray, and it has a long history of tolerance to people of other faiths.

A delightful source of traditional wisdom is Huston Smith's best-selling The World's Religions. Smith notes that tribal people can show us how to "infold work in a social context. They don't increase their demands beyond their needs, so they don't have to pour much of this life into accumulating things."

The Jewish Sabbath is another powerful practice. "No people work harder than Jews," Smith says, "but they punctuate work with a day of rest. Even God rested on the seventh day. What if he had gotten through the sixth day and said, `This is good stuff!' and kept on going?  We would have a surfeit of stuff. We should follow his example."

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