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10 Buddhist Maxims For Business


Face of BuddhaRegular readers will know I have an interest in the philosophical – and in the teaching of Asia. So here is an interesting take on business from a Buddhist angle, from

Buddhism is an ancient philosophical system that follows the teachings of the Buddha. The system — a meditative, esoteric practice that often functions as a religious system — has an estimated 350 and 500 million practitioners and believers worldwide. Buddhism emphasizes the cultivation of mindfulness and values a spiritually minimalistic worldview, eschewing dependence and worldly attachment.

With the popularization of incorporating many multi-cultural and cross-philosophical practices in the business world, it’s no surprise that some elements of Buddhism can be relevant to corporate managers, entrepreneurs, and indeed most people who share some portion of their lives with the marketplace.

Buddhist business practices and maxims can be beneficial to the decision-making process in the workplace, but you don’t have to be a guru in order to take away something meaningful from Buddha’s teachings.

In fact, you don’t have to be religious, spiritual, New Age, or even seeking — these aphorisms are simply a way to rethink and reframe your qualitative skill set, and to maybe find a little zen at the office. Meditate on these ten Buddhist maxims for business, and you may achieve workplace nirvana in no time.

  1. “Too cold, too hot, too late” can always be the excuses to those who do not want to work. They let their chance pass by.This short aphorism is a reminder of two things: 1) opportunity favors the hard worker, and 2) those with a lackluster work ethic are always going to find an excuse. Whether you have a stellar commitment to productivity, or you’re just looking for a reminder that your hard work matters personally, this is a good maxim to remember. If you have a good work ethic and a great attitude, very little will stand in your way. And if you’re the type who always has an excuse, you can bet that opportunities will pass you by.
  2. None can live without toil, and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed. But if you toil without rest, fatigue and weariness will overtake you, and you will denied the joy that comes from labour’s end.This maxim, from the Dhammavadaka, is perfect for those in business, and a good reminder you can send to your favorite workaholic. It is true that life would not be so full without work, and it’s always nice to read an ancient passage reminding you to be grateful for your work, and to get sufficient rest. One of the values of practicing Buddhism is a focus on centering and balance, and this passage tells you that it’s OK to enjoy the fruits of your labor. It is also of great importance, reminds the sutra, to not overtire yourself. The rat race may be necessary, but it’s not the only way.
  3. Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: follow the calmness, the absence of pride.The Buddhist practice of mindfulness can be a key to good business, reducing supply costs and increasing your potential to work with compassion. This saying, from the Sutta Nipata, instructs the mind and heart to be balanced, objective, and mindful of the fog of pride. Mindfulness has benefits that span many occupations and fields, and indeed most people will benefit from adhering to the words of this sutra. Remember to be calm, and not to obsess too much about positive or negative feedback. If you do a job long enough, you are bound to have great moments of achievement, as well as great moments of failure. These are both times to learn from, and keeping the mind rightly situated can be of the utmost value — especially at work.

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