At the outset, let's confront the perplexing problem of how to integrate the spiritual approach of Buddhism with the intellectual approach of economics. Indeed, the very term "Buddhist economics" is oxymoronic. Buddhism is spiritual, not conceptual, and economics is a system of concepts.
The Buddhist distinction between relative and ultimate truth can provide a way around this conundrum. As Khyentse Rinpoche teaches, relative truth covers the daily practices. of mindfulness, nonviolence, meditation, vegetarianism, and many others, while ultimate truth is beyond conceptualization and cannot be described. Relative truths are useful in daily life, even if they are not the ultimate truth, and studying them can be very helpful. In this book, I use relative truths as our Buddhist guide in daily life.