Dhammapada Chapter 17: Right Career Path


I wanted to add a chapter on ‘Right Livelihood’ but could not find a proper location to include it. So, I made it a separate bonus chapter. It is one part of the eightfold path of the Buddhist teachings. The other parts of the path impact the guiding principles of a suitable career.

Characteristics of a Harmful Career

So, what would be some of the negative guiding principles on careers to avoid?

-Do not harm or exploit anything or anyone in any way. (Such as selling weapons, exploiting the natural materials on your planet, contract killer etc.)

– Do not provide access to any drug, alcohol, or other intoxicants that can confuse or hurt the mind.

– Do not have a career that includes lying, cheating, stealing, or causing others to hate or kill.

– Do not sell or provide sexual ‘goods’ that could excite the mind.

–  Do not be a creator of artistic works that could stimulate the mind or bring about certain powerful emotional/mental mind states. (Such as a playwright, artist, musician, or writer).

Characteristics of a Beneficial Career

What would be the characteristics of an acceptable career?

– Something that can benefit others and yourself.

– Something that heals others beings and yourself.

– Something that will heal, sustain, or grow the natural life on this planet.

– Something that removes those that harm, confuse, or exploit others.

These principles are timeless and may lead to a more satisfying career than a short-term focus could. They also can be extrapolated as to what makes up a healthy and unhealthy community or society.

Lewis Richmond has further insights on this topic and sees this as a conscious and very much needed life choice. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/right-livelihood-is-consc_b_832298.html

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