For much of my life, I was torn. At times I could see myself being a monk on an isolated mountain top monastery; enjoying the silence of Being, without any relationships with the materialistic world or even other people. Between us, ‘home alone’ is still the best news I can hear!

At other times I could see myself as a passionate and successful CEO who enjoys the wealth this business world has to offer. But deep inside, none of them ever felt like my truest expression.

Many of the spiritual teachers of history have spoken of The Middle Way, each in their own version.

In Buddhism, the word Bodhisattva is composed of two words: Bodhi means awake and Sattva means a living being.

Together, Bodhisattva means an awakened or enlightened being. In the Buddhist tradition, a Bodhisattva is someone who dedicates their life to the liberation of others. Many different spiritual traditions have their own names to describe them.

Anyone can be a Bodhisattva. Awakening or enlightenment is not a requirement or precondition. The Bodhisattva’s practices or way of living is very simple; putting the well-being of others before the well-being of one’s self. Dedicating for the purpose of serving and liberating, not for material accumulation.

“Business” Bodhisattva is my middle way.

Sometimes I like to call it enlightened-preneur (entrepreneur).

Not being a monk in a monastery while also not being a fame and fortune pursuing business owner.

Instead, dedicating myself to service and prioritizing the benefit of humanity over my own accumulation of wealth and lifestyle as a Bodhisattva, while my business is the platform through which I provide this service and provide for my livelihood.

I don’t have wishes for infinite numbers in my bank account, nor for the accumulation of materials. Running a business for me is simply the opportunity to wake up every day and immerse myself in deep and meaningful work through service and my creative expression of love.

Spiritual and social leaders do not need to wear a robe, follow a religion, convert to a certain ideology, preach, or hold a position of power.
They walk among us, they can be creative and fun, wearing a t-shirt or a quirky suit. It is not their physical form but their spirit and heart that have the power to heal, transform, and liberate others.

It is their knowing that guides them to illuminate the path for others into their true nature and potential.

Bodhisattvas take a few vows:

  1. Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them
  2. Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to end them
  3. The Dharmas are boundless, I vow to master them
  4. The Buddha’s way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it

What do they mean for you and your business?

  1. Vow to serve others. Stop trying to fix your insecurities and put your entire focus on serving others. Don’t wait for them to ask for help, most people are uncomfortable asking. Reach out and ask, “how can I be of service to you?” Sentient beings as referred to in the vow are human beings who have not yet liberated themselves from the suffering caused by an untrained or “unrealized” mind. Humans who have not yet seen through the mind’s false perception.

  2. We built our entire social-economical structure on the sense of lacking so many of us carry inside. Sense of lacking on the inside lead to consumerism on the outside. Don’t try to help people get more, faster, and stronger just for the sake of growth. Growth is today’s most famous thing of worship. Every business can help people be more— in the future. Vow to help people see that they are already wholesome, free, and fulfilled in the present. Desires, in this tradition, are the cause of suffering. This often gets misinterpreted or, even worse, we often judge ourselves for having desires altogether. I like to simplify it and remove the good and bad judgment about having or not having desires. Think about it in this way – when you have a desire for this present moment to be other than it is and to find joy, peace, freedom, fulfillment, or success in the future is when you add unnecessary dissatisfaction to your present experience. Without a desire for this present moment to be other than it is, rests a significant amount of freedom and fulfillment.

  3. We liberate others by our own liberation. Vow to live the truest expression of yourself even in your business. Master your joy, master opening your heart, master leading with love and kindness. Be boundless in how you serve. Dharmas are the teachings or truths to reality, the end of suffering, and liberation. The vow to master them allows the Bodhisattva to guide people to their own liberation.

  4. Don’t be the leader you wish you had, be the leader you wish to have. You are the one; no one would serve humanity in the way and level that you imagine. Jesus claimed to say, “The peace that surpasses all understandings.” The Buddha’s way is unsurpassable because what can possibly surpass complete liberation?

Liberation is not in becoming but in being.

Freedom is not other than being what you already are.

My biggest mission, perhaps, is to end all faces of division, separation, and conflict.

Growing up in Israel amidst daily terror attacks and the use of military power grew a big frustration in me that we were led to believe that we are different and that we should fight one another for our existence.

Existence is wholesome, free, and unconditional. We all share the same existence, the same Being and happiness is the ever-present nature of all living beings.

There is nothing to fight for but we have been taught the opposite. Yet, it doesn’t only happen in the Middle East. Around the globe, there are many faces of discrimination against race, gender, culture, and political and spiritual beliefs. So I created my own vows that are aligned with my experience and passion for change in humanity:

  1. The “me” perception is unwholesome, I vow to make it whole.
  2. Dualistic thinking brings war, I vow to dissolve it.
  3. Life is eternal joy, I vow to live it.
  4. Oneness is our true nature, I vow to reveal it.

And for me, business is my platform to bring each of these into the world in a way that serves humanity while being in my full alignment and truest expression.

What about you?

  • What are your vows?
  • What’s your business Bodhisattva way of being?
  • What’s your Middle Way between selfless service to humanity while being a leader or running a business in this modern world?

Reply back to me and share.

With heart,

Gil·ad (eternal-joy)