Category Archives: Livelihood

Dhammapada verses 155 & 156

Those who have neither lived the chaste life Nor gained wealth in their youth* Waste away like frail herons In a lake devoid of fish. Those who have neither lived the chaste life Nor gained wealth in their youth Lie … Continue reading

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Dhammapada verse 84

He is indeed virtuous, wise, and righteous who neither for his own sake nor for the sake of another (does any wrong), who does not crave for sons, wealth, or [power], and does not desire success by unjust means. (translated … Continue reading

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Dhammapada verse 80

Irrigators guide water; Fletchers shape arrows Carpenters fashion wood; Sages tame themselves. (translated by Gil Fronsdal) This famous verse raises the question for each of us: what are we doing? What is our main vocation? We might be a lawyer … Continue reading

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Dhammapada verse 53

Just as from a heap of flowers Many garlands can be made, So, you, with your mortal life, Should do many skillful things. (translated by Gil Fronsdal) This verse points out that to have a mortal life is a gift … Continue reading

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Dhammapada verses 9&10

Whoever is defiled And devoid of self-control and truth, Yet wears the saffron robe, Is unworthy of the saffron robe. Whoever has purged defilements, Is self-controlled, truthful, And well established in virtue, Is worthy of the saffron robe. (translated by … Continue reading

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What next?

Having thought about present and past, we naturally come to a consideration of how the future works in and on our minds. Broadly speaking, we are often leaning forward, planning our next move while doing what we’re doing with partial … Continue reading

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Right Livelihood

The last of the three factors in the “ethical living” portion of the Eightfold Path is Right Livelihood. This is a down-to-earth, practical consideration. For many of us work is our primary interaction with other people and so may have … Continue reading

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Right Action – the social contract

The second of the three factors in the “ethical” or “morality” section of the Eightfold Path is Right Action. For laypeople (that’s us) this refers to the five precepts: “I undertake the training rule to… refrain from killing, refrain from … Continue reading

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Instructions to a leader

In DN 5, translated below by Bhikkhu Bodhi, the Buddha tells a story from ancient times that involves a rich King, Mahavijita, wondering how best to use his accumulated wealth and the advice he got from his chaplain. Here’s what … Continue reading

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Who’s the chief?

When cattle are crossing a ford, if the chief bull goes crookedly, all the others go crookedly because their leader has gone crookedly. So, too, among human beings, when the one considered the chief behaves unrighteously, other people do so … Continue reading

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