Buddhism stands for the creation of an ideal society as well as ideal individuals; a society based on spiritual and ethical principles. Sangharakshita considers the substantial effect our work has on us, and applies the Buddha’s teaching to work today.
Is work just a necessity or a source of fulfillment? Is a career a hindrance or a support to our happiness and unfoldment as individuals? Should we be aiming at getting the ‘right work/life balance’ or moving beyond such distinctions? Keturaja, calling on decades of experience working in Buddhist businesses, explores Buddhist teachings on right livelihood and reflects on their relevance for us today.
Suddhaka highlights how the thing we spend the most time doing in our lives, our livelihood, impacts our mental states and is therefore an integral part of the path. How can we make our work an expression of our practice? How can our livelihood be the doorway to true happiness?
Parami offers an enthusiastic exploration of the earthy and ethereal details of everyday spiritual practice, especially within the framework of a sense of the ‘collective’. Some great and pretty funny stories from early, would-be-revolutionary experiments with co-operative working (“The opiate of the masses has arrived!”), and some wise words from her subsequent experience of trying to square the circle of dealing with one’s own individuality within a working sangha.
In a clear talk based on her experiences of work in the civil service, as a mindfulness teacher and in the Buddhist world, Taramani introduces tips on working ethically, meaningfully and in a way that supports spiritual practice. She explains livelihood as a limb of the Eightfold Path, using ideas from Sangharakshita, Steve Jobs, and others.
How can our livelihood and our networks be a doorway to leading our lives in a way in which our eyes can be wide open rather than our eyes being wide shut? Pasannamati points out that there is more to Perfect Livelihood than the work we do. Outside of our work we have a whole load of choices on how we spend our time and money which impacts other people’s livelihood.
Imagine being part of a community marked by autonomy and connection, abundant with supportive love and friendship. The Buddha famously said that fellowship is the whole of the spiritual life. Is that really true?!
Abhayanandi has been following this teaching notably by living in a residential Buddhist community and working in a team-based...