8 Things We Can Learn From Buddha About Money (Part 2)
Right livelihood means making a living while not working at, or managing, jobs that encourage violating others’ rights. Our earnings stem from sources not in-line with Buddhist teachings if our income relies on (for example):
- Exploitation (e.g., not paying a living wage for full-time work).
- Taking advantage of other’s naiveté and underpaying what their skills and experience are actually worth.
- Living off of or enjoying products manufactured using systemic exploitation of the health and efforts of others (e.g., child labor, third world slave labor).
- Stealing other peoples’ income (e.g., stealing social security checks from the elderly or retired, manipulating welfare, or using the property of orphans or the disabled).
To follow Buddhist teachings, we must work to wean ourselves off mooching and exploitation in all ways, and get back on track to take care of our own needs financially.
Additionally, we must be sure to always pay back any loans and debts as soon as possible.
Right livelihood also involves making sure we are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
For small business owners and other professionals, ensuring compliance and right livelihood may involve availing a holistic accountant to access our individual needs, assist in personal and business finance, and guide us to the best business solutions.
When we purify both our earnings and our expenses, our wealth increases alongside our compassion, empathy, understanding, and spirituality.
Right mental attitude or effort means avoiding negative thoughts and emotions such as anger and jealousy.
Sometimes, we look at what others have and imagine they have some secret way of living. We may get jealous of what they have and how they got there. We may envy not only their wealth, but also their personal and professional achievements.
It’s okay to look at others for motivation and encouragement, but the danger lies in the sicknesses of anger or jealousy towards others, even our role models.
Remember that we’re each on our own personal and highly individual journey. What may seem like an “overnight success” was actually 10 years in the making — and could also very well also be a test and trial for the target of our envy.
When we stay focused on ourselves, and stop comparing our successes with others, we’re far less likely to fall into the trap of anger and jealousy. This helps us concentrate on our own personal financial journey and goals.
Right mindfulness entails having a clear sense of one’s own mental state, bodily health, and feelings. To function at peak levels, we need to monitor our health and well-being.
We need to pay attention to our health (and stress levels) and know when to push hard and when to take a break.
We also need to consume nutrient-dense, replenishing foods when we’re hungry, and give ourselves permission to take vacations. If we do this, then we’re able to come back to our game stronger, refreshed and more confident — and usually with more creative solutions to our problems as well.
Right mindfulness also means trusting our intuitions, monitoring our personal moods, and acknowledging feelings, which translates into more wholesome and fully conscious decisions in all aspects of our life, from relationships to finances.
Right concentration in the Buddhist tradition entails using meditation to reach the highest level of enlightenment and delve through the six layers of consciousness.
For any goals, it’s important to use the power of creative visualization, meditation, and concentration to manifest the solutions to our problems and achieve our personal, spiritual, and financial goals. Some financial experts speak about the power of attraction — and espouse that we manifest our own realities.
Achieving financial success, or failure, is simply a manifestation of our deeply held personal beliefs about what we are capable of accomplishing and how abundant we believe the universe is (hint: it’s actually infinitely abundant).
Many people are able to accumulate and attract wealth for personal use while also channeling it into foundations and other non-profit organizations that are working to alleviate the suffering of others.
When we change our focus from personal wealth accumulation to striving as part of a power and force of good outside ourselves, it becomes easier to reach our personal financial goals.
Applying the Eightfold Path to our daily life takes dedication, concentration, and effort, but living in harmony with the abundant universe and monitoring our health, wealth, and feelings doesn’t have to be hard. Applying the Eightfold Path to our financial lives simply entails making sure we’re fair and honest in all our dealings and work to daily rid ourselves of bitter, angry, jealous, or exploitive mindsets and habits.
When we utilize the power of attraction and meditation for beautiful, life-affirming goals, they become easier and more effortless to achieve, creating healthier and more abundant lives for others around us as well.
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