Team Based Right Livelihood
Right Livelihood is a limb of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. The Buddha encouraged his disciples to make their living in a way that does not cause harm and ideally that is ethically positive. However in the East, where most serious Buddhist practitioners have been monks, this has been given little attention.
Given that almost everyone’s life includes an economic dimension, work and career need to be integrated into life as a Buddhist. Many people spend the majority of their waking lives at work, so it’s important to assess how their work affects their mind and heart. How can work become meaningful? How can it be a support not a hindrance to spiritual practice — a place to deepen one’s awareness and kindness?
Sangharakshita also believes it’s crucial that the sangha is not dependent on the support of outside donors, who may influence its values and priorities. He has therefore encouraged those students who are free to, to explore working together — in partnerships, teams, and businesses. These have pioneered new ways of working based on generosity, co-operation, honesty and ethical trading.
Working in one of these teams is a strong spiritual practice. It supports individuals’ efforts to grow and encourages ample time on retreat. It also challenges them to collaborate, to take responsibility for their lives and to loosen limited views of themselves.