Right Livelihood

Posted: 08/17/2010 in Compassion, Inspiration, Music, Social

gutter punk kids

For the last month or so, I have been looking for a new job. I need something stable, because my present job does not have enough projects going, and I’ve worked a total of 5 days in the last month. This job search has caused me to think a lot about “right livelihood” and how I could find something that would benefit others, rather than just being “employed” in a mundane industry. I have had a few ideas and have begun to research a few areas that are dear to my heart.

One in particular is homeless teens, or “gutter punks.” I see these kids on the street and it breaks my heart. I would love to create some sort of shelter in my area that would give them a place to stay, resources to go back to school, learn a vocation, etc. There is one place in town that does that, and I plan to volunteer there to get a feel of how it is run, and maybe branch out to do one on my own on this side of town. I would love to also offer meditation classes, that would be cool. I’m starting to research how to go about this because I have no idea if I could get a grant or what. If anyone has ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Earlier today I met with my friend/coworker to discuss a possible business venture. For a while now he has been recording his dad telling stories about his life, and posting them on a blog. He thought that might be a great idea to offer it as a service to other people, sort of like personal historians, but digitally. We grew up together and were reminiscing about our past, and I told him I wish my dad was still around today to tell a certain story. (On a side note, it’s ironic that we met today to discuss this venture, as today marks 9 years since my father passed away. I miss you, Dad). My buddy is right, that’s the exact reason we should offer this service.

Also, since we both teach music, we had a great idea to start a non-profit offering free music lessons to underprivileged and disabled children, and build a recording studio to let these kids have the experience of working in a studio. A local music store here has a program that puts young kids in bands, they write songs, and then perform at a battle of bands and get to record their songs. I have been a coach of this program for 5 years, and I tell you what, there is nothing like this experience. They meet for the first time one day and 2 months later they are playing songs that they wrote on a huge stage with Marshall stacks, pro audio, lights, smoke, etc., and then get to hear themselves on a cd.  I would like to provide that to kids that can’t afford lessons or young bands that can’t afford studio time.

This is kind of a random post, more like a journal entry than anything. It’s been weighing heavily on my mind as I sit here figuring out how to pay my bills. I need a new job, so no time like the present to explore these options of right livelihood. If anyone has any suggestions, comments, etc., please feel free.

\m/ Heavy Metta \m/

Photo credit

  1. SamsaricWarrior says:

    I think you’re on the right track. I also think that if more people in this world thought about Right Livelihood and the affects it could have on others this world would be a much more compassionate place. Keep your head up and good luck with the job search. Much love and metta to you.


  2. Anoki says:

    I have this recurring dream that I am sitting on the sidewalk, meditating, and a few homeless people come up to me, ask me what I am doing. I tell them “Whether you know it or not, the Constitution is speaking of you, because YOU are the truly free of America: no bills, no loans, no schedules, no hassles… YOU are free to do whatever you want… sure you may have hundreds of moments of discomfort and hunger, but millions have come before you hungrier and more uncomfortable. Let go of your dirt, let go of your grime, let go of the unworthiness you have allowed the “UnAmericans” to make you believe you suffer. Sure you may die, but first you must live. Sit with me if you’d like. Sit with me if you’re done.” And then in the dream there are hundred of homeless people—slightly cleaner, more serene-r—sitting with eyes closed, peacefully, on the sidewalk, as people fearlessly drop money into their bowls…

    Thanks for letting me share that dream by sharing yours…


  3. 108zenbooks says:

    I recently met Jimmy Santiago Baca and listened to his story of growing up like these kids who touch your heart. Jimmy and his son Gabe now produce videos and music of and by the kids they help through their poetry and literacy workshops. You should hear the rap stuff the kids put out. Just amazing – and this you’re hearing from an old lady, sweetie!

    Go for it. If you can get a copy of Moving the River Home, check it out. http://www.cedartreeinc.org

    Right Livelihood is one that makes your heart hurt and sing.

  4. metalbuddha says:

    See, that’s what I’m talking about! What a wonderful idea and they do some great work. Thank you for sharing that.

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