Shop Etsy

Hello Etsy Video: Rasnath Dasa

Aug 21, 2013

by Katie Hunt-Morr

With the unique combination of being a Wall Street banker and Bhakti monk, Rasnath Dasa was a must-see speaker at our Hello Etsy ideas conference this past spring. In his lecture, Rasnath addressed the subject of reimagining work, relaying the story of how he broke down the artifice he’d created to fulfill workplace expectations, encouraging us all to do the same.

Many of us have experienced the feeling of needing to leave one’s personal life, and sometimes entire personality, at the office door. Perhaps it’s even driven some of us to the shelter of self-employment. Rasanath’s talk highlights the ways in which isolating our true selves from our professional personas drives us to rely upon inauthentic forms of external validation. Living with our egos under threat makes us subject to fear. This leads to competition with our colleagues and a need to feel superior. It drives us to ignore other people’s gifts and amplify their weaknesses in order to elevate ourselves.

Rasnath asks us to imagine a workplace in which we have the freedom to be honest about our mistakes, to collaborate rather than compete, and where every employee’s unique gifts are valued. Sounds good, right? So, how do we create it? His solution is simple: be the first to shed the mask behind which your insecurities are hiding. By holding a space for vulnerability and making it okay to not have the answer, to need help, to admit that we are struggling, our personal and professional selves can integrate.

Rasnath challenges each of us to be the first to break the cycle — be open about what you don’t know and see what you can learn, show your weaknesses and be astonished by who shows up to help, and most importantly, remove the artificial image and watch those around you follow your lead — paving the way for honest connection.


  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 from breadandroses2 said 7 years ago

    Most excellent and well spoken! Hasn't 'know thyself' been the dictum of enlightened/wise teacher from time immemorial? And among the tenets of Buddhism, right thought, right speech and right livelihood are profound guideposts to finding our true selves and living a sane life. Thank you, Rasnath Dasa.

  • PetrinaCaseStudio

    Petrina Case from PetrinaCaseStudio said 7 years ago

    Wonderful - brilliant.

  • shanajamesprintmaker

    Shana James from shanajamesprintmaker said 7 years ago

    I loved his comments about work life balance, work is life and life is work. Joy should be found in work and in home life and inevitably frustration will be found in both too. Is unstacking the dishwasher any less work than other paid work? Meanial tasks can be time for your head to be in a creative space, both at home or in work.

  • casadeboneca

    casa deboneca from casadeboneca said 7 years ago

    As soon as I place value away from the unique gifts that i have being what the world sees as very important ...I became so dependable on the world's validation. THANK YOU!!! This is really great!


    PUPERITA from PUPERITA said 7 years ago

    Like Rasnath, I work 12 hours a day for a professional product, but I also decided to follow this path: I removed all signs of copyright, I admit all my mistakes on facebook, I refund all of my products that do not satisfy 100%, I have been admiring my competitors and I have a wonderful relationship and mutual support with my clients / friends. I do not sell as my competitors, but I have 100% positive feedback all. However, in my opinion, sell wholesale is not compatible with this path.

  • loving2angels

    loving2angels from loving2angels said 7 years ago


  • pangeadesign

    christiane matachana thome from pangeadesign said 7 years ago

    great expression!

  • glendalee

    glenda puhek from glendalee said 7 years ago

    His question about 'what kind of environment wouldthis be?… I belong to a co-op, and this model comes very, very close.

  • esharapova

    Ekaterina Sharapova from LittleOwlsHut said 7 years ago

    Oh yes!! It is really what made me feel about leaving a job and start doing what I realy like to do. It was a very hard decision when no one around could understand how someone could just throw away all those years of success and start doing something really strange to them. But I'm happy and feel free now. Lets throw away our masks!

  • TaraBouchard

    Tara Bouchard from TaraBouchard said 7 years ago

    Wow! Love it!!

  • bethanybutler4

    Bethany Butler from FeelzLikeHome said 7 years ago

    I work at an innovative job where creativity has not been flowing smoothly but I could never clearly find the blockage. Listening to Rasnath brought to light the masks which I can now see on myself and organization. What a relief it is to finally be able to pinpoint this problem because now I can work on removing my mask and in turn encourage my coworkers to be authentic. Thank you for clarifying this very important aspect of worklife and challenging us to live as a family both at home and at work.

  • GraciesPlace40

    Linda Grace from GraciesPlace40 said 7 years ago

    Wow, I am almost at a loss for words. This is how I have felt my entire life, but could never put it into a clear, concise way of dealing with life in general and then to take it to the work space. How could it not work!

  • takeapicturedesigns

    Lynne from RiverSpring said 7 years ago

    LOVE IT!! Just finished watching this excellent video and do agree with his points. Why are we so caught up in projecting an image, when channeling our energies into authentic creativity would be so much more useful! Couldn't agree more. Lynne from River Spring Cards

  • freshpastrystand

    Deva America from freshpastrystand said 7 years ago

    I am just seeing this now and am wondering how, with all my hundreds of Hare Krishna friends on Facebook, I did not see this before! Loving this.

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls from GemdropsoftheFalls said 7 years ago

    Good stuff! Thanks!

Sign in to add your own