Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

Postby Individual » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:38 pm

Aside from the military, a few careers occur to me that aren't often mentioned in the context of Right Livelihood.

  • Criminal defense attorney: You're sometimes expected to be deceptive in order to help criminals go free.
  • Policeman: You may be expected to kill, the same as a soldier. Also, in some countries, there's a thin line between "police" and "military" (also, if police is okay, then what about military police, like U.N. Peacekeepers?).
  • Taxidermist: You don't kill animals, but you do stuff them, and they're specifically killed for your job.
  • Abortion clinic worker: Pretty obvious why this one's listed.
  • Marketing\Ad Agency executive: Your job involves manipulating human psychology, by appealing to base feelings like lust and greed, in order to convince people to purchase things that many of them don't want or need.

What do you think of the above?
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Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

Postby Fede » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:59 pm

Individual wrote:Aside from the military, a few careers occur to me that aren't often mentioned in the context of Right Livelihood.

  • Criminal defense attorney: You're sometimes expected to be deceptive in order to help criminals go free.

Then defend those whom you honestly believe to be innocent, or who convince you absolutely of their innocence.

  • Policeman: You may be expected to kill, the same as a soldier. Also, in some countries, there's a thin line between "police" and "military" (also, if police is okay, then what about military police, like U.N. Peacekeepers?).

  • Intention is all. It's not your intention to kill, and if it bothers you, you don't have to join part of the force that would be in that position. There are always choices....

  • Taxidermist: You don't kill animals, but you do stuff them, and they're specifically killed for your job.

  • Not so. many animals used in taxidermy die of natural causes. There are not many taxidermists who will request an animal be killed for them, or will kill it on purpose. The majority of animals used in taxidermy die of illness, old age or through being killed by others.
  • Abortion clinic worker: Pretty obvious why this one's listed.

  • Well, yes....
  • Marketing\Ad Agency executive: Your job involves manipulating human psychology, by appealing to base feelings like lust and greed, in order to convince people to purchase things that many of them don't want or need.

  • Now I think you're stretching a point. Marketing and advertising agencies also do a lot of work for Charitable organisations, and will often waive a fee in doing so.
    What do you think of the above?


    I think that sometimes 'beggars can't be choosers' but need to weigh up what they do and do it to the best of their ability. In a nutshell; if it feels good, do it. When in doubt - don't.
    "Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

    Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

    Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
    Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

    I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby Cittasanto » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:58 pm

    Hi

    Criminal defense attorney: You're sometimes expected to be deceptive in order to help criminals go free.

    I did not know that :stirthepot: , I thought they were expected to work within the law? but yes less the less scrupulous Advocates are not included

    Policeman: You may be expected to kill, the same as a soldier. Also, in some countries, there's a thin line between "police" and "military" (also, if police is okay, then what about military police, like U.N. Peacekeepers?).


    not if they are expected to kill! they are expected to prevent, and aprehend criminals, and keep the populace safe. the military police are there to do the same thing really, in accordance with the military laws, the UN peace keepers arent MP's and as far as I am aware are there to help the local populas from violent renegade armies.

    Taxidermist: You don't kill animals, but you do stuff them, and they're specifically killed for your job.


    if it were solely animals which died from natural causes then not a problem, but if the animal is specifically killed then no.

    Abortion clinic worker: Pretty obvious why this one's listed.


    well it would depend, a specific clinic which specialised would be better for those who are having the procedure, but safeguards should be in place to stop un-neccesary procedures. but there are always going to be people who want the procedure and they need protecting from those who could abuse them.

    Marketing\Ad Agency executive: Your job involves manipulating human psychology, by appealing to base feelings like lust and greed, in order to convince people to purchase things that many of them don't want or need.


    Keep it honest
    This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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    "Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby Zack » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:07 pm

    Individual wrote:Aside from the military, a few careers occur to me that aren't often mentioned in the context of Right Livelihood.

    • Criminal defense attorney: You're sometimes expected to be deceptive in order to help criminals go free.
    • Policeman: You may be expected to kill, the same as a soldier. Also, in some countries, there's a thin line between "police" and "military" (also, if police is okay, then what about military police, like U.N. Peacekeepers?).
    • Taxidermist: You don't kill animals, but you do stuff them, and they're specifically killed for your job.
    • Abortion clinic worker: Pretty obvious why this one's listed.
    • Marketing\Ad Agency executive: Your job involves manipulating human psychology, by appealing to base feelings like lust and greed, in order to convince people to purchase things that many of them don't want or need.

    What do you think of the above?


    I am not in any of those fields nor am I considering any of them.
    Why should I think about them? would this be right effort?
    I am of nature to decay, I have not gone beyond decay.
    I am of the nature to be diseased, I have not gone beyond disease.
    I am of the nature to die, I have not done beyond death.
    All that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.
    I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, born of my kamma, related to
    my kamma, abide supported by my kamma. Whatever kamma I shall do,
    whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir.
    Thus we should frequently recollect.
    - Upajjhatthana Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya v.57
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby Ordinaryperson » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:03 pm

    I have been contemplating about Right Livelihood for a while now and I end up deciding that I want to become a Barista by making good honest coffee drinks. Money is not that good but I guess I can earn a living out of it if I do it properly. For 3 months now I have tried to learn as much as I can and I hope in one year time I will be ready to open my small coffee shop ... with some cakes and perhaps some other beverages. No alcohol by the way. I might do some meat pie as well if I can buy them from butcher but the meat will not come from animal intentionally killed for me as I will not accept that.

    :broke:
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby appicchato » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:19 am

    Ordinaryperson wrote:I have been contemplating about Right Livelihood for a while now and I end up deciding that I want to become a Barista by making good honest coffee drinks. Money is not that good but I guess I can earn a living out of it if I do it properly. For 3 months now I have tried to learn as much as I can and I hope in one year time I will be ready to open my small coffee shop ... with some cakes and perhaps some other beverages. No alcohol by the way. I might do some meat pie as well if I can buy them from butcher but the meat will not come from animal intentionally killed for me as I will not accept that.

    :broke:


    Wishing you success in your endeavors Ordinary... :thumbsup:

    Not to beat this dead horse anymore than it has been, but...all meat sold commercially, whether it's from the store or a butcher, is intentionally killed for you (meaning anyone who will buy it)...

    Be well... :smile:
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby cooran » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:52 am

    Hello all,

    Just a further comment on Ven. Appicchato's post:


    What the Buddha Said About Eating Meat
    Ajahn Brahmavamso

    ............. EXCERPT............
    However there are some meats which are specifically prohibited for monks to eat: human meat, for obvious reasons; meat from elephants and horses as these were then considered royal animals; dog meat - as this was considered by ordinary people to be disgusting; and meat from snakes, lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas - because one who had just eaten the flesh of such dangerous jungle animals was thought to give forth such a smell as to draw forth revenge from the same species!

    Towards the end of the Buddha's life, his cousin Devadatta attempted to usurp the leadership of the Order of monks. In order to win support from other monks, Devadatta tried to be more strict than the Buddha and show Him up as indulgent. Devadatta proposed to the Buddha that all the monks should henceforth be vegetarians. The Buddha refused and repeated once again the regulation that he had established years before, that monks and nuns may eat fish or meat as long as it is not from an animal whose meat is specifically forbidden, and as long as they had no reason to believe that the animal was slaughtered specifically for them.

    The Vinaya, then, is quite clear on this matter. Monks and nuns may eat meat. Even the Buddha ate meat. Unfortunately, meat eating is often seen by westerners as an indulgence on the part of the monks. Nothing could be further from the truth - I was a strict vegetarian for three years before I became a monk. In my first years as a monk in North-East Thailand, when I bravely faced many a meal of sticky rice and boiled frog (the whole body bones and all), or rubbery snails, red-ant curry or fried grasshoppers - I would have given ANYTHING to be a vegetarian again! On my first Christmas in N.E. Thailand an American came to visit the monastery a week or so before the 25th. It seemed too good to be true, he had a turkey farm and yes, he quickly understood how we lived and promised us a turkey for Christmas. He said that he would choose a nice fat one especially for us... and my heart sank. We cannot accept meat knowing it was killed especially for monks. We refused his offer. So I had to settle for part of the villager's meal - frogs again.

    Monks may not exercise choice when it comes to food and that is much harder than being a vegetarian. Nonetheless, we may encourage vegetarianism and if our lay supporters brought only vegetarian food and no meat, well... monks may not complain either!

    May you take the hint and be kind to animals.
    References:
    [1] Book of the Discipline, Vol. 4, p. 324
    [2] ibid, p. 325
    Ajahn Brahmavamso - http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/meat.html

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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby appicchato » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:46 am

    Chris wrote:Monks may not exercise choice when it comes to food and that is much harder than being a vegetarian

    This thread has veered off the original topic...but to comment on Chris's post and the Ajahn Brahm snippet...I'm a monk, and I'm a vegetarian too...my understanding of this deal is that I don't HAVE to eat everything that's offered to me...if I eat nothing but rice and fruit, so be it...nothing but rice, so be it...if someone can point out where it says that I do (have to), please show me...and maybe I'll have to rethink my position (twenty years down the pike)...I go to the same homes everyday on pindabaht, and the people don't know that I'm a vegetarian, and, of course, they give me portions of meat...I give these to the other monks, nuns, and lay people in my wat...why don't I tell them that I am (vegetarian)?...I can't, that would be showing preference... :pig:

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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby nathan » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:52 pm

    That's very interesting Ven. Appicchato as I gave up attempting to be a strict vegan the last time I trained for entering the Sangha and have simply put up with 'whatever' since then. I kind of considered the frog/ant/grasshopper diet I would be facing in NE Thailand as another challenge to attempt to meet with equanimity but if you think a return to a vegitarian practice would be tolerated I would very much like to attempt that again. I don't think I want to inconvenience anyone or cause any controversy but if others are interested in my meaty bits I will happily pass them on and stick to the rice, fruit and veg bits.

    Thanks for the tip! :bow: :bow: :bow:
    :anjali:
    But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:04 am

    Why always focus on the negative? Instead of discussing what is a wrong livelihood for a Buddhist to follow, how about thinking of livelihoods that would allow you to make good kamma most of the time?

    1. Some kind of doctor, care assistant, dentist, or physiotherapist
    2. A taxi driver, bus driver, or train driver
    3. A cook in a vegetarian restaurant.
    4. A lifegaurd at the beach or swimming pool
    5. A teacher, social worker, or accountant, etc.

    There are so many possibilities. Tradesmen such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engineers, etc., follow an honest livelihood that causes harm to no one, and gives happiness and comfort to many. All living beings need the four requisites: food, clothing, medicine, and a dwelling.
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby pink_trike » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:42 am

    Individual wrote:Aside from the military, a few careers occur to me that aren't often mentioned in the context of Right Livelihood.

    • Criminal defense attorney: You're sometimes expected to be deceptive in order to help criminals go free.
    • Policeman: You may be expected to kill, the same as a soldier. Also, in some countries, there's a thin line between "police" and "military" (also, if police is okay, then what about military police, like U.N. Peacekeepers?).
    • Taxidermist: You don't kill animals, but you do stuff them, and they're specifically killed for your job.
    • Abortion clinic worker: Pretty obvious why this one's listed.
    • Marketing\Ad Agency executive: Your job involves manipulating human psychology, by appealing to base feelings like lust and greed, in order to convince people to purchase things that many of them don't want or need.

    What do you think of the above?

    I think that parsing "right" and "wrong" into rules for everyone in every circumstance misses the whole point of the Dharma. The truth always lies in the middle. :anjali:
    Last edited by pink_trike on Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Right Livelihood: Other certain careers.

    Postby cooran » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:10 am

    Hello all,
    You may find this discussion interesting. Patrick Kearney is one of my teachers.

    Encounter ~ Right Livelihood (audio or script) Discussion:
    This week we're looking at work: what we like about it, what we don't and how people are employing Buddhist ethics and practices in their workplaces to make it more satisfying.
    We find out how a butcher, a nurse, a monk, those working in the corporate world and prostitutes incorporate what the Buddha taught about "Right Livelihood".
    And we learn how to stop our aversion to household chores by re-educating the heart.

    Guests
    Patrick Kearney
    Lay Theravada Buddhist teacher
    Blue Mountains NSW

    Clark Ratliffe
    Zen practitioner
    Professor of Nursing
    University of Hawaii

    Venerable Khemavaro
    Monk
    Wat Buddha Dhamma
    Theravada Forest Monastery & Retreat Centre
    Two & half hours drive north west of Sydney

    Roberta Perkins
    Retired academic & author
    Research into sex work

    Ruth Ostrow
    Journalist, "Business Life"
    The Australian newspaper
    Author, lifestyle coach

    Lianna
    nurse

    Michael
    butcher,
    Chinatown Sydney

    Emily, Jesse, Drew
    Comments about work in a shopping mall
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/encounter/stor ... 432214.htm

    metta
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    ---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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