What is Right Livelihood?

| September 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

When looking at right livelihood within Buddhism, traditionally there are five prohibited livelihoods. However there is also a great deal of interesting additional material about inappropriate livelihoods for monastics, as well as a couple of wrong livelihoods for laypeople that the Buddha was reluctant to discuss. We’ll go over it all!

It’s worth pointing out that the material about wrong livelihood for monastics may be product of a later interpolation. Anālayo suggests this in his Early Buddhist Meditation Studies, p. 169. If so then the issues I mentioned in the video might be product of dallying by later monastics with these practices, and its censure by those closer to the textual tradition, rather than any skepticism per se on the part of the Buddha himself.

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Doug Smith

About the Author ()

Doug is Study Director of the Secular Buddhist Association. He has a PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit. In 2013 he completed the year-long Integrated Study and Practice Program with the BCBS and NYIMC. A long time scientific skeptic, he pursues a naturalized approach to practice. He is also interested in scholarship about the Tipiṭaka, and the theoretical and historical origins of the dhamma. He posts videos at Doug's Secular Dharma on YouTube. Some of his writing can be found at academia.edu.

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