Monday, October 19, 2009

Discernment and Right Livelihood

Finding the Buddha's path has turned my life upside down, in a good way. No area has been left untouched. Lately, I have been most preoccupied with discerning where to go next with my professional life. Asking and looking for answers to such questions as: who am I? what are my intentions? are they pure? what is my true calling? what changes do I need to make? what is the next step?

While I do not have a full answer yet, the picture is becoming more clear, starting with a list of qualities that are dear to me:

creativity - intelligence - freedom - innovative - feminine - passionate - simplicity - authenticity - service - meaning - spiritual - relatedness - adventure - irreverence - love - compassion - generosity - gratitude

Several ideas have formed in my mind, of various ways I could enact those values in some meaningful work. All have to do with helping create a new way of helping others, that makes best use of my various skills and talents. I am trying to be patient, and not rush. Gil told the story of how it took him one year, to sort out his calling. For now, I shall be content, just knowing the answers are there, inside the orange envelope, within the black purse.

I am curious to know how your practice has informed your choice of right livelihood.


  1. Just passed my 60th B'day and I still have the feeling, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" I shall enjoy following you and your search here on this blog. For me right livelihood has become just this- being now. It's about actualizing practice all the time, wherever and whenever. There's no need to wrap myself in an overt Buddhist identity like I did some years back. Everywhere and everything is my Buddha field. I feel much lighter now, traveling lighter and loving more.

  2. Kris, thank you, thank you! Agree with you that in the end, most important is practice of being in moment, fully, lovingly, mindfully. Identity is a construction of the ego, very much tied to doing, and need to be recognized (craving . . .). Separately, there is also the genuine desire to serve. The Buddha equates right livelihood with doing no harm. I am a bit more greedy :)))), and looking for a way to help others that also indulges my creative, adventurous nature.

    I love your blog by the way, just left a comment. Deep bow.

  3. I have been listening to Gil Fronsdal podcasts while painting for a while now... just checked your link— Wow! Bonanza! Thank you for that. :~)

  4. Hi Marguerite,

    I've been wondering about this for some time now, on how I can merge the only thing I know, fashion, to something that can directly help others. I think I'm getting close, and am grateful that I didn't do anything drastic like look elsewhere but within my own (professional) experience for transformation.

    BTW, thanks for linking to my blog. I took a break from it for a couple months, and have not been monitoring the traffic. You have a lovely blog. I will link to you as well.

    Oh ... and I'm back!


  5. Painting while listening to Gil's talks, what a treat! Thank you for your gratitude.

  6. Alice, thank you! Your point about looking within one's own sphere of expertise to better serve, is so well taken. The opportunities to love our brothers and sisters are everywhere. The main thing is finding one's true passion (fashion in your case), and use it as a springboard for service.