How to Mix Business With Cultivation? Read Confucius
Most masters say that most human lives are wasted. You're born, live working out your karma (whether good or bad, easy or difficult), perhaps create some new karma and new merit during this life, die, then go to heaven (if you've been good, at least for a short while since it isn't permanent), use up that good karma, and then down you come again. Where you land can be a different race, sex, country, and so forth. It could even be in a different world if the karma here is used up, or as a hell being, preta (hungry ghost) or animal if you've done a lot of evil.
Over and over this cycle repeats for thousands, millions, billions of lives. Like a cork on the water, up and down you bob for endless lives. Sometimes you can accumulate enough karma to be rich one life. Other times your bad deeds catch up with you and you're born poor, sick, blind, whatever. Or you're reborn in hell with constant pain, or as an animal with constant fear for its life and the constant need to search for food.
The cycle of reincarnation goes on endlessly. Forever in the past, forever into the future, evolving as the universe evolves through all sorts of forms.
So say the masters of countless traditions -- masters with the Tao or samadhi attainments who can see your past and future lives. Why can they do this? Because of their samadhi attainments.
WHY is it this possible? Why can you see lives in the future? Because there is no such thing as a being, entity, individual or life. As the Diamond Sutra says, those are just are thoughts inside our heads, and those thoughts, too, are products of karma. You think that you start a business and become rich that it's changing your fortune, but you're just living out your karma. Even the thoughts that propelled you on to start the business, those impulses that impelled you, were karma. You just don't know it because you're not clear enough. You're not clear enough because you have no kung-fu, no wisdom, no stage of cultivation.
Only when you spiritually cultivate can you jump out of the pull of the karma. Only when you reach the ground state of being that is absent of the ideas of an ego or of things. There's no place to go in t he universe, except once you reach the foundation-source, now you are no longer bound by false phenomena and can choose where to be reborn and what you want to accomplish in this mesh.
So most lives are useless because people are not doing anything to really make their lives better or make the world a better place. They're not accumulating merit for future lives; they are not creating new good karma for the future. The only thing that can save people from purposelessness is cultivation.
Cultivation lets you escape the rounds of birth and death; cultivation let's you control the rounds of birth and death and make them meaningful and free of suffering.
So how, then do you make a life that matters?
But if cultivation is so important, and our time so limited with the frantic pace of today's world, how do you cultivate during the day, during your business life?
Let's say you're trapped in jail, or are a prisoner in a prisoner of war camp. You're suffering, but food and worries are taken care of. This is a fantastic opportunity to cultivate samadhi. The best thing to do is mantra and practice visualization exercises -- no one will know you're doing them and that can be your whole focus and purpose. It can enable you to keep your sanity, burn up the bad karma you have by virtue of being in that state, and your condition can actually help you reach accomplishment.
If you work at a monotonous job, such as on an assembly line, then mantra once again. It's the perfect sort of practice. Mantra is perfect as a form of cultivation practice for a monotonous job. You simply recite the mantra internally and listen within as you go about doing your job, and in time your thoughts will calm down and quiet. What could be simpler? Since your mind will not veer away from anything important, as it would should you practice visualization or other exercises, you can still perform your work and make spiritual progress at the same time.
For the business life, for the executive, for the man or woman running a company, here's my suggestion as to the perfect type of cultivation during the workday: Read Confucius and practice his methods. That's right -- Confucius.
Practice watching your thoughts, practice stopping, practice concern for fellow human beings over material things. Learn how to take the Confucian samadhi cultivation methods and apply them to your daily business life.
You won't know what I'm talking about until you read Confucius. Sometimes I don't explain everything -- that's my teaching way. D.C. Lau translated The Analects. Pick up a copy, read it, and maybe you'll get a glimpse or glimmer. Even if you don't, you'll understand more about "business ethics" than a dozen courses will teach you!
Want to cultivate during your business workday? Read Confucius...apply his methods.
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