Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 06/28/2015

Buddhist Business Ethics

I have spent most of the night working on the private forum for Parisa Abhaya Dana (PAD) and one of the sub-fora (yes, I am that pedantic to use the correct nominative plural form) is entitle Dhamma in the Workplace. One of the last things I worked on before turning to walking mediation was to scour the net looking for various professional organizations which describe themselves as Buddhist. This must have been on mind because, as I paced back and forth, the thought occurred to me that I have very often wished my competitors less than well. In other words, I have allowed myself to indulge in lines of thinking that could be described as un-Buddhist at best and completely reprehensible at worst.

I have toyed with the idea of trying to cultivate mudita for rival businesses and have had some success but it seems that I have never put the requisite effort into it to change my habitual view. As a result I have unwisely rejoiced in their failures and heedlessly sought to steal away their market-share, thereby depriving men and women no different from myself of a livelihood. Now, I ask you, how is this any different than outright theft? How is this samma ajiva? Clearly it’s not but the most surprising part is that I had somehow managed to wall this part of my life off from the rest of my practice and proceed as if the laws of kamma were somehow suspended when I set foot in the office or opened my computer to start work.

So it is that I am thankful for the encouragement to continue with the PAD project because, whether or not others decide it is of use to them, it has helped to throw more light on all aspects of my life as an upasaka whether they be at home with my wife and kids, at work or in society at large (which in my case is decidedly un-Buddhist). May I seek to cultivate mudita for the success of my competitors by reflecting on the fact that they too want only happiness and do not want to suffer. Sabbe satta yatha laddha sampattito maviggacchantu!


  1. There is one other forum I know of that really strives to be an accurate Vinaya forum ->

    • Great Mirco! Thank you.

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