The Business Life and Spiritual Cultivation
One of the biggest questions people have is how to run a business or work in a business and maintain their spirituality?
This is easy. It's just that no one ever told you.
First, we must put aside the purpose and function of the business -- as to whether it is doing wrong, being ethical, helping the world and so forth. You already know this. What can I say?
What I'm speaking about, then, is how to make your business life into one of cultivation. That is how you bring spirituality into business. You make it a form of practice. No you don't bring religion into it. You bring cultivation into it. Even if you were a prisoner of war you could cultivate. In fact, if you were a prisoner of any type, this is the best time to cultivate because the resources you need are taken care and your fate is something you need not worry about.
The basis of cultivation, regardless of technique, is cessation and contemplation. In other words -- vipassana. You observe your mind, like a third person, and know clearly what you are doing. It is introspection, knowing your own mind, being aware of your thoughts. All cultivation methods involve the principles of cessation and observation of the mind.
When you are alwasy watching your mind in a detached manner, confusion slowly dies out. Wandering thougts disappear and clarity emerges. One can reach inner silence, and you can do this with a business life. Most people choose to practice this in monasteries by becoming a religious professional, but the Mahayana road is to practice it in the regular world, for then it's really powerful. When you read the stories of Sufi saints, they seem to be the best examples of individuals who bring cultivation into their lives as ordinary working people.
While the Sufis may be the best examples, the best explanations on how to do this actually come from no better place than Confucianism. Yes, Confucius. You must read the "Doctrine of the Mean" to understand how to do this when following worldly concerns. Confucius explained how watching your thoughts leads to cessation, cessation leads to chi channels changes and physical gong-fu. This then leads to states of bliss and then prajna wisdom, and from that one can attain enlightement, or the Tao.
All this through business? Yes, if you watch your mind. So this non-denominational practice IS THE PATH for the business professional. Not only is it a form of spiritual cultivation without religion, but it leads to spiritual results. AND it leads to better professional results, too, for your mind clears of clutter, concentration increases, energy increases and because your wisdom increases your decisions become better too. In fact, cultivation changes one's fortune for the better, so one can even say it leads to better business results ... and naturaly a more effective human being.
So that's how you retain your spirituality with a business life. Practice introspection. Of course you can practic emantra, visualization and breathing techniques on the sly without anyone ever knwoing. I used to do that. The important thing is that it's not a function of bringing religion, such as Christianity or Judiasm, or Buddhism or Islam into your business life, but cultivation. Don't confuse religion with spirituality and cultivation. This is the right way to proceed.
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