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Free Buddhist Audio

Taking Exactly What Appears As The Path

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Mon, 23 Sep, 2013 - 01:00
Taking Exactly What Appears as The Path Talk given by Dharmachari Prasannavira at Windhorse:Evolution.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Right Realism, Money and the Game of Life

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Thu, 4 Oct, 2012 - 01:00
Saddharaja talks about his impressions of visiting India and witnessing the rise of economic development of the sub-continent. He explores some history of the business relationship that has existed between India and the UK - over hundreds of years.

He goes on to explore the importance of personal money within the lives of Buddhists working in Right Livelihood, and asks the question: Is it possible to live without money today?

He focuses on extreme views that Right Livelihood workers can fall into with regards to their personal financial circumstances, and makes some suggestions about finding a 'Middle Way' approach to our money within the Right Livelihood context, which he dubs 'Right Realism'.

He identifies four kinds of financial situation that Right Livelihood workers are likely to inhabit, and makes six suggestions for developing Right Realism.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Right Craftsmanship and the God of Technology

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Wed, 28 Mar, 2012 - 01:00
In this penultimate talk in the series, Saddharaja explores modern technology in the workplace, and the impact on Team-Based Right Livelihood practice.

There are so many benefits to changing technology - especially the internet, but what about the dark side? How do we deal with that? How can we turn our use of cutting-edge technology into a spiritual practice? Saddharaja explores the practice of discernment, and how to avoid the many well known pitfalls and distractions of the digital age.

He advocates we seek the Middle Way, and makes six suggestions which he terms 'Right Craftsmanship': 1) Upskilling and downskilling, 2) The value of awareness, 3) Talk to your friends, 4) Reflect on unsatisfactoriness and impermanence, 5) Buddhist worship not techno-worship, 6) Time away from technology.

He peppers the talk with stories, visual images and finally ends with a beautiful poem from Ryokan.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Work-Place Politics and Creativity

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Fri, 21 Oct, 2011 - 01:00
Saddharaja gives a fourth talk in his new series on Right Livelihood Practice, this time focusing on the challenging theme of work-place politics. How do we work creatively with it?

After an overview of the dramatic Tudor dynasty of the English middle ages, he identifies the unpleasant components of work place politics, namely; rivalry, power-play and status, gossip and sexual scandal, and manipulation. He contrasts this with the Buddhist Right Livelihood aims, which are the opposite. Love Mode rather than Power Mode.

Saddharaja reminds us of the six realms of existence on the Tibetan Wheel of Life, and how these realms relate to work place politics. He reminds us of what the Buddha is offering in these realms - and how this can work for us.

Finally, he suggests three further creative practices for transforming work place politics, and finishes with a poem from William Blake.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Work-Place Well-Being

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Wed, 14 Sep, 2011 - 01:00
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.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Dealing with Change

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Sun, 5 Jun, 2011 - 01:00
Saddharaja starts off with another story from his childhood in the 1960s about a forest fire and the effects of this upon his father, who was a forester. An example of sudden, dramatic change at work.

He moves on to talk about smaller less dramatic changes in the work place which can create anxiety for Right Livelihood workers.

He defines what 'change' means and explores the meaning of the impermanence teaching (anicca), with the help of Sangharakshita's writings on the subject.

Saddharaja then moves on to explore our struggle to accept impermanence with our workplace, our attitudes to our jobs, and even our own bodies. He looks at both reactive and creative attitudes to change.

He finally moves on to suggesting 7 Habits of Highly Effective Right Livelihood Workers, which are essentially seven practices which we can use to creatively deal with change in our working lives, and as Buddhist practitioners.

He finally finishes with Rudyard Kiplings famous poem, If.....

Throughout the talk Saddharaja uses interesting examples from history to emphasise his points, e.g. Ned Lud and The Luddites, the painter Joseph Wright of Derby, and Charles Babbage and his Difference Engine.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Meaningful Work and Values (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)

Posted by Free Buddhist Audio on Wed, 18 May, 2011 - 01:00
Here's an hour-long talk from Saddharaja given at Uddiyana (the Windhorse:evolution HQ in Cambridge). The talk is the first of six talks on Right Livelihood in the modern world.

Saddharaja starts with a work story from his youth in the English Lake District and moves on to a recap of Sangharakshita's definitions of both Right Livelihood and Team-based Right Livelihood. He explores how most people in the modern world might find meaning in their work, with some help from the writings of Alain De Botton. He explores how Buddhists can make meaningful work a spiritual practice.

He suggests the use of shamatha and vipashyana approaches, and goes on to explore the 5 principles of Windhorse:evolution in that light. The talk finishes with a wonderful poem from Seamus Heaney on the joy of using a simple farm tool. The talk is peppered with Saddharaja's own work experiences, including a dramtic story involving a mine shaft in a Lake District slate quarry.
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Aryajaya

A Final Goodbye

Posted by Aryajaya on Fri, 3 Apr, 2015 - 21:15

A Final Goodbye

Posted by Aryajaya on Fri, 3 Apr, 2015 - 21:15

So the time has come to say a final goodbye with our last ever post. The majority of our stores are now closed with only West London and our Brighton Clearance Store left until Saturday 4th April.

We are pleased that our aim to close the business down in an ethical way over the last few months has been working really well. A big thank you to all of our loyal customers over the last 30 years,...

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Windhorse Evolution

It’s Time To Start Saying Goodbye…Windhorse:Evolution is Closing Down

Posted by Windhorse Evolution on Fri, 16 Jan, 2015 - 13:37

It’s Time To Start Saying Goodbye…Windhorse:Evolution is Closing Down

Posted by Windhorse Evolution on Fri, 16 Jan, 2015 - 13:37
Sadly – after over 30 years of bringing ethically sourced gifts and home ware to the High Street – Windhorse:evolution will be closing down over the next few months. Having made this difficult decision, our aim now is to close in an ethical way that preserves our reputation being an honest, open and principled retailer.

The retail landscape has changed so much since we started trading in the 1980s and we now find ourselves unable to compete with...
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Responses (view all)

Jai Teather's picture
It’s incredibly sad news. I work at the evolution shop in Nottingham, and since the news broke, I’ve lost count of the number of customers saying things like “I love this shop”, “I’ve been shopping here for years”, “you can’t find these sort of gifts anywhere else in Nottingham”. As well as people wishing us luck in finding new work, and thanking us for always being a friendly haven. I bought my first dharma book at evolution as a teenager, which led to me becoming a Buddhist, and now, approaching 40, I’m training for ordination. So evolution literally changed my life. I wish everybody at evolution all the best in finding new, substaining, ethical work.
parami's picture
yes, this is such sad news but I would like to congratulate Windhorse: Evolution for doing this in the most creative, ethical way possible. I am one of so many people who have worked in an evolution shop (in Valencia in my case) and who have benefitted in so many ways, directly and indirectly, over the years from the work done at w:e. In fact, the place I live now (Adisthana) was made possible in part by contributions to Bhante from w:e. So, thanks to everyone and I wish everyone the best in whatever the future holds.
Parami
International Order Convening Team
Bodhananda7@gmail.com's picture
Dear Windhorse
I really can’t believe this is happening.
Worked at Windhorse in the very early days, from 1982 to 1985. The van runs only extended 100 miles around London when I joined.
They were very pioneering times and I learnt, discovered a lot. But it was hard work with sometimes 3 weeks on the road without support. And I was only a mitra at the time.
It’s really sad and I’m rather puzzled that nothing is carrying on from this as a business. What happened to all that expertise?
Anyway, I’m sure you’ve thought of eveything.
Best wishes
Bodhananda
Mel's picture
A great shame, but I think the downfall is due to steering away too much from the original vision of Evolution. When I started shopping and working there it was a special place, and so great to share morning rituals and aspects of Buddhism that were new to me. I have many fond memories of people I met, and some of the lovely people at Windhorse. However, as soon as the company started to model itself on regular retail concepts it seemed to loose it’s specialness. It tried to copy, rather than being original as it had been. There didn’t seem to be a recognition that the difference of Evolution is what attracted its customers and inspired its staff. I wish all the best to those at Windhorse.

achintya's picture
I worked for 3 years at Evolution in Bristol back in the 90’s, and that experience was a major step toward my Ordination. It was the ‘Right Livelihood’ aspect which made it work; the ‘vision’ that it was possible to employ people, inspire them, keep them engaged and motivated through the Buddhist vision and practice of ethics, friendship and real connection with others which was wonderful. I struggled with some of the overly ‘top down’ management attitudes which sometimes surfaced in Order Members at the shop; but that was minor compared to the vivid experience of Sangha and friendship during those 3 years.

Every time I walk by Evolution in Bristol Galleries, it is filled to the brim with shoppers who are buying things, and at Christmas time and other public holidays, you can’t get into the shop. It is difficult to square this with the impression that sales and buying has reduced so much the business has to close down? We seem to be in a consumer ‘boom’ at the moment, so what has happened? This anomoly seems to be corroborated by other comments here. The public really value the unique atmosphere and presence of Evolution. Nearly all my non-Buddhist friends in Bristol go there and know of it. BUT not as a Buddhist shop. Perhaps there’s the rub?

I wonder if, like some of the latest branches of Mindfulness, much of the heart of a Buddhist organisation or project is lost when ‘Buddhism’ is stripped away or hidden from view? Right Livelihood and the Buddhist vision was the heart of Evolution. I think somehow these got lost along the way, perhaps also by not adapting and modifying business principles to suit the thriving online and more competitive world.

Amazing it lasted 30 years - well done to everyone who has ever worked in the shops, the vans and the warehouses and offices. You made Right Livelihood a living reality in the 20th and 21st centuries.

with deep sadness to hear this news.


Achintya
Bristol, March 2015
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Windhorse Evolution

We're Nearly There! #EthicalChristmas

Posted by Windhorse Evolution on Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - 11:35

We're Nearly There! #EthicalChristmas

Posted by Windhorse Evolution on Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - 11:35Back in September we launched the 100 Days of Ethical Giving and it’s hard to believe that the campaign will end on 25th December.

As the first campaign Evolution has ever run it has been a huge learning curve. We have particularly enjoyed working in collaboration with thebuddhist centre.com team and would like to thank Candradasa for his inspiration and encouragement.

We have appreciated the input and support of many people,...
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