What is a good job/career as a Buddhist?

Just wondering aloud, besides being a monk, what are some of the virtuous jobs in this world that we could inspire our kids to check out?

  1. healthcare - doctor/nurse/therapists
  2. education - teachers

To quote the Vanijja Sutta in full

"Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.“These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in.”

Other than the above, everything else should be ok!


Vegetarian chef
Social worker
Plant biologist

For most of us who are already in the job … I thought this is a good way to set our intention:
With this, most jobs can become virtuous!

"When you go to work, think,

I must achieve awakening in order to lead each and every sentient being to awakening.
Therefore, I am going to offer service for sentient beings by going to work. May whoever comes in contact with the results of my work have a peaceful mind and generate bodhicitta.

While you are at work, remember the kindness of the other sentient beings who gave you the job and who make it possible for you to earn a living.
Thinking in this way helps to avoid generating destructive emotions such as anger at work."

Excerpt from: http://thubtenchodron.org/2011/06/moment-by-moment-practice/#Working


A position in an organisation that enforces professional work ethics and right livelihood.

Vegetarian organic products seller
Holistic healing

@TanSL why librarian is a good job? museum curator leh?

I must achieve awakening in order to lead each and every sentient being to awakening.
Therefore, I am going to offer service for sentient beings by going to work. May whoever comes in contact with the results of my work have a peaceful mind and generate bodhicitta.

wah, normal people won’t think like dat.
most just think about how to make our own work easier… and get more pay… then go home. :money_mouth_face:

Here is a discourse from Master RI Chang - we should aspire to be Teachers.

My takeaway: Buddha was the greatest Teacher and we will be very fortunate to be able to follow in Buddha’s footsteps!

As a librarian in the national library in Singapore, you won’t be involved in the business in weapons, human beings, meat, intoxicants and poisons. You can’t even sell the books in the library, and with the law in Singapore, the contents of the books should be of healthy context, so very safe!

From my point of view, Teacher is the most important and noble job, but is also the toughest role

Some years back when I met our compassionate Abbot Venerable Jing Yuan, he learnt that I am in the beauty line, he told me that my job does not simply involves cleaning customer’s face, I can even help to cleanse and purify customer’s mind thru sharing of Buddha’s teachings.

He also told my hubby, who is a real-estate agent, to visualise that every client who he recommends to buy and sell house, will have a home like pureland where buddha & bodhichitta resides in.

So every job is a good job as long as we have the right aspirations and set the right intentions.

Upon listen to this, we felt sooooo motivated & find new meaning to our job as though its a very noble and virtuous job!

做什麼工作容易成佛《 與善知識心靈對話 》
Venerable’s discourse on “What job makes it easier to attain Buddha-hood?”

to the doctors and nurses, they already have a leg up in the practise of empathy and compassion!

The impact a teacher can have is immense.
Here are some stories about awesome teachers from Singapore and around the world:

here is more on the teacher that inspired many:

A reminder that every little act of kindness matters:

“There was this boy I taught in Primary 2, who came in shoes with flapping soles,” she said. “I asked him: ‘Do you have a new pair?’ And he said yes, but it never appeared. He just put rubber bands on to tie it up.

“I knew he didn’t have them, so I just decided to buy him a new pair of shoes. And four years later, when he was getting his results, he came up to me and said: ‘Teacher, I’ll never forget you. You were the one who bought me that pair of shoes.’"

Also, a good reminder to myself when working with my kids:

“The first thing they tell me is: ‘Teacher, I’m going to fail’,” she said. “'We have been failing since Primary 1, how can you expect us to pass?’”

“So I always tell them that it’s not about passing, it’s about putting in your best effort. It’s not about getting your four As,” she added. “If this is your best, I accept it and I am still very proud of you.”

:smile: Cheers to the teachers in our life

Master Sheng Yen provides some career advice:

From his talk, I learnt the value of working - cultivating perseverance. I see it as training our 精进 also.

Master Sheng Yen talks about the meaning of work:

Having a job means having the means to sustain our daily living and a way to contribute to society in which people work to produce the living environment and conditions we enjoy. We should take going to work as performing a service to society and forming good karmic affinities with others, which will in turn increase our own blessings.

Master Sheng Yen’s words is a boost for us that have the monday blues due to work.

Do you know that Singapore celebrates Nurses Day on the 1st of August? This is unlike other countries that celebrate it on 12 May, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. 1 August marks the beginning of the development of nursing in Singapore.

I had the fortune to meet some really kind and patient nurses when I went for a minor surgery recently. I think they are the foundation of our medical system — just consider how much time one spends in the care and attention of the nurses.

Here are some stories on Nurses and their huge contribution.

An inspirational story of a teacher that did more than just go through the academic syllabus. She gave hope to many of her students.