Samma ajiva: Right Livelihood is ‘Complete Livelihood’.
How does one live a complete, full and beautiful life? Dharma Teachers Doug & Catherine Sensei share about ‘Complete Livelihood’ and the wisdom and vision it offers for one to live a life truly worth living.
The Most Beautiful Experience Available to Us: The Transcendental State
How do we get the most beautiful experiences in life for the least effort, the least amount of energy expenditure?
The most beautiful “happening” in life is the spiritually awakening being. The transcendental state is the most wonderful one available to us. It is not a fad, it is not a gimmick. It is timeless, and it doesn’t become outdated: the world’s wisdom traditions have been celebrating it for tens of thousands of years. So if we are stuck on being trendy or fashionable –which does go out of date–we are probably not getting the best for the least effort.
Negative Emotions are Hard Work
The teaching of awakening is the lazy woman’s path … in the sense that one is seeking the most glorious for the least effort. This makes it economical, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Think we’re joking? It’s economical because there is no waste: no wasted effort, no wasted emotion and no wasted thinking.
Many beings, for example, worry. Worrying usually doesn’t help, so it is wasted energy. Negative emotions rarely accomplish much, so again, this is a waste of our energy resources. While thinking may be useful, we often circle around and around on some thoughts, getting nowhere.
Right or Complete Livelihood
The awakened being employs sensing, feeling and thinking efficiently: they are not vexed by the conflicting emotions or limited views that typically drive negative states.
We call this healthy orientation to living “Right Livelihood”, (“samma ajiva” from the Buddhist Eight-Fold Noble path). Right Livelihood is more accurately translated as “Complete Livelihood,” because the Sanskrit word samma means “total” or “complete,” not “right” as in right or wrong.
Sources of Our Planetary Struggles
There are five factors that are the source of most of our contemporary struggles on the planet:
- over-exploitation of nature,
- population explosions,
- discrepancies between the haves and the have-nots, and
- a consumer-driven culture (a.k.a. greed, or a perceived need to always have more).
This is not the best for the least; it’s the worst for the highest cost.
A New Vision: Seeing through Consumerism While Generating Purpose & Meaning
Complete livelihood is about finding the way to live in accordance with truth, by the laws of nature. By seeking the best state of being, and the best supporting conditions for that, we can see through what the consumer marketplace usually offers: second-rate goods dressed up to be shiny and appealing.
At our superlative (if we may say so) retreat center, Clear Sky, we incorporate a quadruple bottom line, incorporating generative economic, environmental, social and spiritual standards. We use these as our guideposts to embody complete livelihood.
We seek a new vision that develops both the individual and group, incorporates the quadruple bottom line, and gives purpose and meaning to people’s’ lives. Consumer appetites a.k.a greed–temporarily sated but never satisfied by bread and circuses–comprise an empty substitute.
Complete livelihood embraces all of us, lifts everyone, and directs our aspiration to a radiant, blissful state of being. From this state we naturally explore and develop sustainable lifestyles. These, in turn, very naturally embrace scientific, artistic and interpersonal growth and unfoldment.
This is a complete life, one truly worth living.
If you’re interested in going deeper, we invite you to join us in Calgary, March 11-12th, for live teachings on Conscious Livelihood, or for online webinars, June 5-26th: Spiritual Awakening Through Career and Creativity.
Doug Duncan & Catherine Pawasarat are modern day teachers of transcendence. Their work with students draws upon Buddhist, Western Mysteries, modern psychology and other traditions. If you found this article helpful, consider sharing your gratitude by making a gift of Dana to the Teachers.
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