The fifth step in the Eightfold Path is Right Livelihood. This means for followers of the path that certain professions do not align with the teachings of the Buddha, particularly anything that does not respect the equality of all living beings and life. For instance this would include professions that involve intoxicants, firearms, or the destruction of animals. If we think about professions in our time, then here are a few examples of those that are not considered Right Livelihood:
- Brewing beer or liquor
- Owning a liquor store
- Bar tending
- Member of the military
- Making or selling guns
- Cattle farmers
There are many more of course, but if you think about cherishing equality and life, then you can figure out what type of work does not support these precepts. It is also common that one reserves some time part of their time for community service.
Practicing Right Livelihood builds on Right Understanding, Right Intent, Right Speech, and Right Action all steps in the Eightfold Path. In my next post I we will explore Right Effort.