What does ‘Selling By The River’ even mean?

It’s been a month since I started this blog and I hope you’ve enjoyed my observations on the intersection of zen practice, buddhism and a life in sales and business. It’s something I’ve focused on throughout my career and a balance I’m still trying to achieve today.

To give this them a little context, I thought some background might be helpful here at the four-week mark.

In his amazing book, “Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice” by Taizan Maezumi Roshi, the revered Zen Master states that  “The bodhisattva’s job is selling water by the river.”  Bodhisattva, in Buddhism, is a sanskrit word for anyone who is moved by great compassion to save all sentient beings and help them attain Buddhahood. Bodhisattvas are those that have found “The Way” and commit themselves to saving others, no matter how difficult that task.

Maezumi goes on to say that “Having abundant water as your life, who needs to buy water?  Just be yourself as The Way itself. This is the best way to be a bodhisattva, living this seemingly small individual life in relationship to all surroundings as the mutual exchange of energy, as a whole, as one life.”

That’s deep.

First, for perspective, the concept of the bodhisattva isn’t exactly comparable to the need to make this month’s number, to hit a quota or to grow an account – not even close! However, the idea of constantly striving to help others, being your true self and to embody this concept of being one with everything, believe it or not, actually does.

In many ways the description of a Bodhisattva is just like that of a great seller, manager, great CEO or a great leader. We can all strive to be like the one who puts others above him or herself and who works constantly to make those around them better.

What can you do today to make someone better?


3 thoughts on “What does ‘Selling By The River’ even mean?

  1. Nice Frank! That’s an awesome post. I love how you are trying to explore the intersection of business and Buddhism – what a great idea for a blog! I look forward to reading your future blog posts.


  2. Pingback: What Salesforce’s CEO knows about Zen | Selling Water By The River

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