Right Livelihood

Right Livelihood Resources for the Triratna Buddhist Community

This page hosts a major new section containing a wealth of material on Right Livelihood as practiced in Triratna.

It contains both canonical and contemporary material, much of it coming from Windhorse:Evolution. Many thanks to Saddharaja of Windhorse and Paul Powell of Karuna (and others) for collecting it making it available.

Click here to download the entire resource (21 files, 3MB)


Alternatively you can browse the contents and download them individually –

Sangharakshita on Right Livelihood
Extracts from Bhante’s aphorisms, lectures, seminars and written material. (16 pages)

Right Livelihood Questions and Answers at Windhorse Trading Bhante in Seminar with Windhorse

Authority and the Individual in the New Society Bhante in Seminar

Noble Eight Fold Path-Right Livelihood Bhante’s classic lecture, no 051.

Authority and the Individual in the New Society Bhante’s lecture no 138.

Buddhist teachings on Right Livelihood
A compilation of traditional material on Right Livelihood
Ratnaprabha, 2007 (12 pages)


Work As An Opportunity For Spiritual Practice – an Overview based on the Windhorse:Evolution experience
Saddharaja 2004 (24 pages)

A major (though still draft) study of the principles of Right Livelihood as practiced within Windhorse:Evolution.

Chapter 1: What is Right Livelihood?
Chapter 2: A brief history of Right Livelihood practice at Windhorse:Evolution
Chapter 3: Basic Dharma Practices at Work
Chapter 4: Additional Dharma Practices at Work
Chapter 5: Non-Dharmic Practices at Work
Chapter 6: Useful Information


Windhorse Evolution Ethos Statement
Windhorse:evolution is based on 5 principles or values – generosity, ethics, personal development, collectivity and communality, and commercial viability. They say – “We formulate these in general terms (rather than specifically Buddhist ones), so as to make them accessible to all our employees. These principles form a base line for employment within the business”.


Ethos and Right Livelihood course for Windhorse:evolution
Saddharaja and Ratnaprabha, draft version, September 2006

The aims of the course are –
– To transmit the ethos of windhorse:evolution to everyone working in the business.
– To give a systematic introduction to what Right Livelihood is about, including for non-Buddhists.
– To suggest practical ways of practising Right Livelihood.


The Five Aspects of Right Livelihood
Notes and Handout by Ratnaprabha (3 pages).

The five aspects are – Non-harming; Appropriate happiness; Growth and Awareness; Simplicity; and Service


Possible themes for Right Livelihood meetings
Ratnaprabha (4 pages)
Very useful set of suggestions for themes to explore in Right Livelihood meetings

Material for discussion on Communication and Kindly Speech
Ratnaprabha (4 pages)

TBRL mindmap – everything you ever wanted to know about TBRL. A 12-page mind-map created by Paul Powell of the Karuna Trust. Print it out, stick it together, and pin it on your wall!


A Guide to Practising Right Livelihood in the Modern World
Ratnaprabha, based on a lecture delivered at the Singapore Buddhist library, 1995 (4 pages)
Including a survey of attitudes to work in Indian, Chinese, and Western cultures, ancient and modern, with and without dependents…


Spiritual practice, efficiency and productivity in the work place
Ratnaghosha July 2008 (7 pages)
In response to some concerns raised during a recent review of Windhorse:evolution, Ratnaghosha takes a fresh look at the relationship between efficiency and productivity on the one hand and spiritual practice or the spiritual development of the individual, on the other hand. His purpose is to demonstrate that there’s no need for Windhorse, in emphasising efficiency, to be forced into a situation that is not much different from any other business where the prime concern is profit, productivity and efficiency and the spiritual needs and aspirations of the workers are pushed into the background.


Working Life: an exploration of Right Livelihood
by Jnanavaca. (7 pages)
Including an exploration of Subhuti’s five categories for Right Livelihood:
ethical work;
making contact with other Buddhists in the same line of work;
arranging to work together in the same organisation;
setting up a business together, but paying themselves a normal ‘worldly’ wage; and
the ‘semi-monastic’ lifestyle model of ‘Team Based Right Livelihood’.


Living and Working Together
Notes by Vajradarshini for 8 short talks on Dogen’s ‘Tenzo Kyokun’, by Vajradarshini (13 pages)


Sangharakshita on Right Livelihood
Extracts from Bhante’s lectures, seminars and written material. (16 pages)


Ethical Virtues in Business
by Dhammaloka (3 pages)
“Throughout human history and in all major culture, a few virtues have been seen to lie at the core of the quest for higher understanding in daily life. These are activities that direct our energy away from emotionality and confusion toward integrity, dignity, and stability. You can use these virtues as a kind of map, a guide for behaviour and a strategy for how to work well.”

Some of the ‘virtues’ explored are – Awareness creates Opportunities; Generosity leads to Enjoyment; Ethical Integrity conduces to Happiness; and Patience draws out Beauty

Introduction to Right Livelihood
by Dhammaloka
‘Right Livelihood can be an important spiritual practice in its own right, with the potential to bring about a profound transformation in the mental states of those practicing it. Furthermore, the significance of Right Livelihood is much greater than the benefits to those directly engaged in it. Through certain methods and forms of right livelihood a glimpse can be seen of a new, an alternative and higher society that is based on Dharma practice and spiritual friendship in action’.

Dhammaloka explores four main areas –

the ethical nature of our work itself,
the people we are working with
the way in which we work, and
Right Livelihood and the dana economy


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