Here's another hour-long talk given at Uddiyana (the Windhorse;evolution HQ in Cambridge). It is the third of six talks on the theme of Right Livelihood. Saddharaja recounts a tourist trip into a copper and arsenic mine in Devon with his mother, and how appalling the working conditions would have been for the Victorian miners there. We learn the origins of the Cornish pasty. He expands on the terrible UK working conditions in Victorian times, e.g. children and pregnant women pulling coal trucks barefoot in mine shafts, men slogging in dangerous conditions for long hours and little pay. We learn about how Lord Shaftsbury, Robert Owen and others improved working conditions for the Victorian workforce.
Saddharaja relates all this to modern Right Livelihood and what our values are regarding working conditions in terms of: a) The Law. b) As human beings. c) As Buddhists. d) As a business. We take good working conditions for granted in the modern-day Western world.
He goes on to explore well-being issues for today's Buddhist workforce in the UK, along with the latest occupational health trends, e.g. stress, muscoskeletal disorders and chronic fatigue. He suggests that as individuals must take responsibility for our health. He suggests a two-fold approach of: a) growth and development, and b) Seeing Things As They Really Are. All this relates to the Wheel of Life and the Spiral Path, and may not be easy to do in our ever-changing, pressurised modern world.
He offers six ways we can each invest in our work-life well-being: Six Awarenesses: physical activity, perceived demand, lifestyle, food intake, body and purpose. He sees these as deep investments which will pay off in our spiritual lives in the long-term.
During the talk he gives interesting visual images and stories to illustrate his points. He finishes the talk with a reading from Tsong Khapa.