Work That Matters (Paperback)

Create a Livelihood That Reflects Your Core Intention

By Maia Duerr

Parallax Press, 9781941529683, 240pp.

Publication Date: December 26, 2017

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


So many of us feel trapped in wage slavery and deadened to our true talents and life’s purpose. Or we’ve wandered through dozens of jobs and are left feeling adrift and without meaning in our lives. Livelihood is a source of great suffering for way too many.

Author and longtime meditator Maia Duerr wandered through several professions and dozens of jobs (including alfalfa sprout packer and Buddhist chaplain) before she finally unlocked a combination of work that was deeply fulfilling and sustainable. These experiences provided her with rich material to examine the emotional, psychological, and cultural barriers to creating work that expressed her life’s core intention, what she calls “Liberation-Based Livelihood.”

Work is one of the primary vehicles for expressing our deepest selves. Using the 6 Keys to Liberation-Based Livelihood as a framework, Duerr takes readers through a comprehensive process that can lead to breakthroughs and positive reformulation of their careers. Mindfulness practice is an invaluable tool in the process of gaining new perspective. Work That Matters gives you the tools to create joyful work that embodies love and compassion—for yourself, and for the whole world.

About the Author

Throughout her life, Maia Duerr has been passionate about pursuing the question, "How can I create right livelihood?" She has served as Research Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and Director of the Upaya Zen Center Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program--among many other jobs, ranging from alfalfa sprout packer to anthropologist to Buddhist chaplain--to finally realize what she calls "Liberation-Based Livelihood." She defines this as livelihood that is an expression of your life's Core Intention. Duerr has an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She blogs at The Liberated Life Project.

Praise For Work That Matters: Create a Livelihood That Reflects Your Core Intention

"This book is destined to become a well-thumbed classic, passed from one questing soul to another. In a field filled with far too much flimsy, made-up, and plain dangerous advice, this grounded and deeply knowledgeable guide is a godsend."
— Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman's Comfort Book and The Life Organizer

"Maia Duerr takes the ancient understanding of right livelihood and makes it current, grounding it in the realities of the day. A wonderful resource for anyone interested in creatively developing their career."
— Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness at Work

“In a world that seems to be going crazy, finding meaningful work that not only pays the bills but helps people and society and the earth to heal is becoming more important than ever. What do I really want to do with my life? How can I make a difference? Maia’s insightful book shows us how to approach those questions, in a way that can help us discover our own true path.”
David Loy, author of A New Buddhist Path
“As Lao Tzu said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ and reading this book might well be yours. For anyone who’s spent time looking for a way to love what they do, Maia Duerr charts a step-by-step route for getting there. Wise, realistic, and encouraging.”
Karen Maezen Miller, author of Paradise in Plain Sight and Hand Wash Cold
“This is a clear and wonderful guide on how to bring balance and wisdom into your livelihood.”
Roshi Joan Jiko Halifax, Abbot of Upaya Zen Center, The Fruitful Darkness
“Work That Matters counsels us on how to optimize not only our work life but life itself. This helpful book offers the reader a way to look deeply, discover, and creatively follow our true-life direction. Becoming intimate with our core intention, the way opens, and we can discern our
unique path to rewarding and meaningful work. The concrete exercises and reflections Maia offers will lead to a transformation of the meaning and value of your work choices.”
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Haraauthor of Most Intimate
“The most creative contributions to this world are usually made by people who have aligned their work with their deepest values and true intentions. I have worked with Maia Duerr in many contexts and have witnessed her commitment to cultivating this awareness and finding
skillful ways to teach it to others. This is not just another book on mindfulness—it could change every working day of your life.”
Mirabai Bush, Senior Fellow of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Working with Mindfulness
“Maia Duerr brings a mindful and liberating approach to creating a work life that speaks to one’s unique gifts and purpose. Providing key tools and exercises, this gem of a book can help you navigate a path from an unfulfilling job to a meaningful and joyful career of your
own making.”
Brenda Salgado, author of Real World Mindfulness for Beginners
“This wise and brilliant book harnesses the power of mindfulness and a host of creative and visionary techniques and practices to help you find the work that you love. Maia Duerr is an insightful, compassionate, and experienced guide along the way. This book will change your life.”
Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, coauthor Fully Present
“If you want to find joy in your work, read this book! Maia Duerr is the kindest and most encouraging of guides. She helps us look into our own hearts to clarify what matters to us, and points us toward practical tools that can help us manifest this vision. This book will be helpful to anyone who is considering their work at any stage of life. I found myself eagerly doing the exercises at the end of each chapter, and was reminded of priorities of my own that I have been neglecting. Now in my mid-seventies, my own work life has been enriched. This book about finding a fulfilling livelihood is essential and straight from the heart.”
Susan Moon, author of This is Getting Old