View Full Version : Buddha-Basics (Part VIII) — Working Right

09-28-2010, 02:29 PM
https://www.goodwork.ca/images/goodwork.jpg The fifth branch of the ‘Eightfold Path’ is “Right Livelihood.” Right Livelihood means that, as a life choice, one should earn a living in ways not harmful, and helpful and healthful to the world.

Nurse, social worker, and teacher seem obvious choices. In our interconnected economy, so too do bus driver, honest salesman, cheerful office worker, waitress supporting her kids, the engineer or businessman providing goods or services which benefit lives. Remember that the bus driver who gets people where they need to go, the teacher, the receptionist, the doctor or farmer, the researcher may be helping people in seen and unseen ways. On the other hand, perhaps the bus driver makes air pollution, the researchers work is used for harm, the receptionist answers phones for a big company with labor abuses in the third world ... . It is a complicated world, and there are no totally harmless jobs.

Certainly, burgler, heroin pusher, hitman and environmental polluter fall outside the mark. And for all of us in careers of complexity — the lawyer, soldier, butcher (traditionally, said banned by Buddha), nuclear scientist — we must honestly follow our hearts: Are we doing what is really necessary? Are we doing it in the best ways we can? Are we leaving this world a better place?

And if we must put food on the table for our family, let them be housed, go to school, have the necessities of life ... that goes in the "right livelihood equation" too. It does not excuse selling heroin to hurt someone else's children, but it does excuse our being a bit powerless to walk away from some less than perfect job. It was true in the Buddha's day too, when many of the faithful Buddhists to whom he preached were kings, business people, land owners whose business could never be as ethically perfect as a monk living in a monastery. The Buddha told them to do the best they could in their situations.

The workplace (like the home, like every place) is our place of Practice …

CLICK HERE for today’s Sit-A-Long video.


Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

04-07-2014, 02:32 AM

03-02-2015, 06:30 PM

sat today

06-17-2015, 04:45 PM
Thank you


07-13-2015, 03:49 PM

07-14-2015, 03:30 PM
Thank you Jundo.

I have focused a lot of my practice on my work over the past year. What a wonderful experience it has been too. Dealing with so many personalities, as well as an ever changing workload has been a wonderful chance to bring my Zazen 'to life' so to speak. Forming the routine of practice was a bit of a challenge, but once getting in the groove of it.. I see everything in a new and often calming way. My job performance has improved, along with my attitude and relationships with coworkers. Most days I don't see it as a job anymore.. It is simply seen as more practice. As a result I have been able to advance in the workplace at a much better rate.
Nothing is so sweet as the ability to practice though. Truly priceless.

Brooks sat today

08-09-2015, 08:07 PM
Thank you Jundo,

I am grateful that I work in a factory that has gone green in recent years. My company also donates our products to public places. We donated some of our lighting fixtures to a local park and have a nice little certificate on the wall for it. As for my own conduct I try to be as open and caring as I can during the workday, it can be hard because some people are very demanding. When I find myself getting agitated I remember that when someone is in need in the business, so am I. The company and it's people are one, without everyone there is no company.


04-09-2016, 05:37 PM
Thanks Jundo




08-15-2016, 05:31 PM
Thank you Jundo


08-31-2016, 06:14 AM
Gassho Jundo
Sat today

09-03-2016, 02:04 AM
This is the place, I bring my mindfulness 40 hours a week.

Motherofbees sat today /_\

03-27-2017, 07:30 PM
Thank you for the teaching Jundo.

John Miller

06-22-2017, 08:58 PM
Thank you!

04-13-2019, 05:34 AM
Thank you! 🙏🏻


sat today

Tai Do
04-17-2019, 01:51 PM
Thank you, Jundo, for this explanation. I had a very hard time reconciling my work as a lawyer with the view that I have to work in an ethical manner. For 7 years I worked as volunteer in a service providing free legal assistance to people who couldn’t pay for a lawyer. But then one colleague and I were falsely accused of charging for this free work. Although I could prove the accusations were false, I couldn’t work there anymore. When I saw myself working solely as a payed lawyer, hating myself every time I had to participate in a system that I didn’t believe in, I started to rethink my life and went to the academic world, to teach future professionals. Last year I finished the las actions that I was taking care of and returned my license and stop being a lawyer to dedicate myself entirely to teaching Philosophy, which I think can help to make better lawyers and other professionals for the future, or at least make the students question things better. It has its downfalls, but for me it’s the path t right working as you mentioned.
I’ll try to be more mindful in and of my work as for now.
Sat today

05-16-2019, 10:26 AM
I really Enjoyed this talk. As a business owner and Buddhist I need to integrate my practice into all aspects of my life, including my business. Luckily I am in a profession that helps others and brings them value with little environmental and moral externalities etc. but I must ask at times with my income: 'Am I being avaricious? Am I chasing success? What is my mindset now? Am I fulfilled and happy as things are while still striving to be a better person for myself and the world? Interesting questions I ask often.


Sat Today


11-08-2020, 03:54 AM

It is a wonderful feeling to know that I've always earned my living in jobs that make people's lives better. I've held positions in non-profit organizations helping to house the homeless and severely mentally ill. I now work in a position where I am able to hire and give people jobs in an agency that upholds the laws and protects civil rights. This teaching really resonated for me and has brought me a true feeling of goodness with myself.


Sat Today

11-08-2020, 02:17 PM
Brianna. gassho2 that sounds like a wonderful and meaningful way to make a living

Sat today and lah