Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Zilong Wang's passage ...

The False Duality Between "Job" And "Service"

On Jul 17, 2017 James O'Donovan wrote:

I agree with many points made in this article and disagree with many others.  I agree that living to serve will take many forms and self righteousness is a big obstacle and that even if one is a monk or a nun living through begging one is dependent on working people and society.  But that does not mean that all jobs are helpful.  The Buddha taught that there are jobs that harm life, he listed five trades as wrong livelihoods that should not be followed - weapons, poisons, living beings (trading in humand or animals), meat, and intoxicants.  Butchers who kill living beings to make a living do not abide by the dao.  One is not more humble simply because one serves from within the system.  According to many teachers in many different traditions stepping away from society for a while usually to nature can be an important part of personal development.  Usually this is followed by a process of integrating oneself (now hopefully more kind and compassionate) back into society through service. Wherever we are now is where we choose to be.  Our work should be aligned with values of truthfulness, compassion, generosity, non-violence, etc.

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