Your livelihood should be intended to help,
and should not harm.
Jobs dealing in killing, stealing, and the like
clearly are harmful, and violent.
One should not deal in arms or slave trades,
or in selling drugs or intoxicants.
Selling anything, in and of itself,
often involves inappropriate persuasion.
Prophecy and fortune telling sell credibility,
and take advantage of the weaknesses of others.
Most professional employment
is tainted by covert needs to sell oneself,
and one's product, or services.
Misleading others in order to sell oneself is harmful.
Livelihood's results are influenced by intent;
if you want power, sex, fame, wealth, or glory
it will influence your thoughts and actions
and your livelihood may be tainted.
Most specifics of right livelihood are unique to each individual
see for example:
Some pitfalls in wanting to Amount to Something
Psychology versus meditation
The Integration of Psychology and Meditation
On the injustice of work, and law
Practical ideas on employment in jobs
"Do what you love ...
"Watch yourself, without choice or judgment ...
"Do not do things that cause or exacerbate conflicts
within yourself or with others".
See also my review of Krishnamurthi's "Right Livelihood"
Basic Buddhist guidelines are listed in my Buddhism in a Nutshell
Back to Preface
Back to Mind and Meditation