I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the coordination of Buddhism and success in building business.
Throughout my life, I have been provided guidance by Buddhist literature, sutras, and meditation. As an adult layperson, I felt I was doing myself a disservice and holding my spiritual development back by working on Buddhism alone in a vacuum. I realized I had no idea about 33% of the Three Jewels (the Sangha!), because I had never had a community or mentor.
It was the best decision I could have made. Although my local community didn't have any representation of the flavor of study which speaks to me most directly (madhyamika) -- "the teaching is the raft"! I got to think and talk about Buddhism with very smart and compassionate people. It gave me clarity and a sense of belonging to attend services and clean the temple. Additionally, to my surprise, some people really enjoyed the things I had to say.
Ok, so what?
Now things are different. I'm a man on a mission to success for my partners, my investors, and my team who all depend on me. This mission involves building lots of expensive technology that provides incredible value to people who need it.
I won't bore you with the details but for me it means means reams of legal liabilities, huge swings in uncertainty, building teams and providing tech leadership in extremely competitive markets.
I cannot imagine such a thing being possible without spiritual discipline. I have become better, more compassionate, a better communicator, and when practical and ethical issues arise, I feel like solutions exist that are derived from non-attachment that are real -- and they provide clarity and direction. I require that we treat our team members with compassion, refraining from false speech (teamwork, marketing and sales), and avoid taking what is not given (intellectual property, competition, finance).
Of course, it is irrelevant that this series of thoughtful steps conducive to everyone's happiness is called by me by some name. I certainly would hope that this isn't pushing my "religion" upon our organization, at least as it is understood in colloquial terms.
Realistically: this is the most effective, and in fact the only decision-making framework I am familiar with for producing a lifestyle suitable for a human being to live inside.
Well-meaning members of my sangha remind me that this path is incommensurate with the living practice of Buddhism. Somewhere in my heart, I feel like I've never been living it more than right now. How can I reconcile this understanding?
Thanks for your patience.