Edited by Claude Whitmyer

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."

Arnold Toynbee
Arnold Toynbee

What's In The Book?

Mindfulness and Meaningful Work explores the integration of mindfulness and ethics in the workplace. In these pages some of the leading thinkers and doers of our time: Robert Aitken — Rick Fields  — Shakti Gawain — Thich Nhat Hanh — Sam Keen — Ellen Langer — Joanna Macy — E. F. Schumacher — Marsha Sinetar — Gary Snyder — Shunryu Suzuki —  Tarthang Tulku and many others share their insights on the practice and value of working and of finding work that is meaningful, life-affirming, and non-exploitative.

Mindfulness and Meaningful Work:

  • Deepens your understanding of the concept of right livelihood
  • Shows how to go about overcoming the obstacles in your path
  • Helps you find and maintain meaningful, satisfying work
  • Encourages you to live in a way that
    increases your:
    • Sense of self-worth
    • Inner peace
    • Purpose
"No work, no eat."
Pai Chang
Pai Chang

Table of Contents

Front Matter

One: Right View—Doing Well by Doing Good

Two: Right Thought—A Few Good Words from a Few Good Teachers

  • Buddhism in the “Real World” by Walpola Rahula
  • Skillful Means by Tarthang Tulku
  • The Sacredness of Work by John Daido Loori
  • Right Livelihood for the Western Buddhist by Robert Aitken
  • Transforming the Causes of Suffering by Steven D. Goodman
  • On the Path, Off the Trail by Gary Snyder
  • What is Right Livelihood? by Toni Packer

Three: Right Speech—Stories and Reflections

  • Love of Work by Fran Peavey
  • Right Livelihood and Vocation by Janet Tallman
  • Ironworking by Carol Meyer
  • To Work is to Pray by Rick Fields with Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler, and Rick Ingrasci.
  • Amish Economics by Gene Logsdon

Four: Right Action—Economics as if People Matter

  • Buddhism and Money by David Loy
  • Islamic Banking by Rami G. Khouri
  • On Money by Shunryu Suzuki
  • The Social Dimensions of “Rightlivelihood” by Michael Phillips
  • A Buddhist Model of Society by Sulak Sivaraksa

Five: Right Livelihood—Mindfulness and Meaningful Work

  • Work and Play by Shakti Gawain
  • Good Work by E.F. Schumacher
  • Emerging Patterns in the Workplace by Robert Gilman
  • The Future of Work by James Robertson
  • Sarvodaya Means Everybody Wakes Up by Joanna Macy

Six: Right Effort—Overcoming Obstacles

  • Coping with Change by Tarthang Tulku
  • Free Time by Joseph Cary
  • Free Space by Paul Jordan-Smith
  • Work and Words: The High Price of Success by Sam Keen
  • Reality’s Work by Patricia Ryan-Madson

Seven: Right Mindfulness—Awakening in Daily Life

  • Right Living in a Consumer Society by Roger Pritchard
  • The Psychology of Right Livelihood by Marsha Sinetar
  • Mindfulness and Work by Ellen Langer
  • Mindfulness and Mastery by Saki F. Santorelli
  • Working for a Living by Jean Kinkead Martine
  • The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

Eight: Right Contemplation—Using Mindfulness to Find Meaningful Work

  • Using Mindfulness to Find Meaningful Work by Claude Whitmyer


  • Glossary
  • The Householder’s Bookshelf
  • Organizations that Support Right Livelihood
  • Contributors
  • Appreciation
  • Permissions and Copyrights
  • About the Editor