People say, "Do something that you love. Such that you work does not seem like a burden". This is also something that we hear in pop-culture. Like "Follow your passion"

On the other hand, in Buddhist practices it is taught that we should let go of attachments. Like, We should try and experience everything without being judgmental about how we react to it. 'An enlightened one, has no attachment, takes no delight in pleasant experiences, has overcome the sign of "pleasant", has no fear, has no resistance to difficult experiences'. Then, how should someone choose a career path if s/he also wants to be a practicing Buddhist?

3 Answers 3


It depends on what your goals are.

If you are a practicing Buddhist who’s goal is to become enlightened, my advice is to find a profession that will bring about as little discomfort and personal conflict as possible. Work that brings anger, guilt, frustration, etc will naturally be distracting from your goal, and will make it more difficult to achieve. You want to find a job that you won’t “take home” with you. One that doesn’t encourage suffering within yourself. Or, if you have the luxury, become a monk! Becoming a monk is the fast track to removing yourself from situations that impede progress towards enlightenment. The bottom line here is, if you want to become enlightened, do a job that isn’t going to distract you from your goal.

If you are a practicing Buddhist who’s goal is just to live under the guidance of teachings, I would suggest just choosing a job that doesn’t violate the precepts. That way you can feel good about what you are doing, and will run into less conflict overall.


As to complement, for lay followers it is crucial to avoid wrong types of livelihood.

"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."

— AN 5.177



Good householder,

Buddhist practices it is taught that we should let go of attachments.

Certain missguide/mis-guiding teacher and traders in Dhamma may say such, as for the Buddha and his good following disciples: No, one needs to have strong attachment to kusala (skillful), the training, the path and liberation, if wishing to escape from suffering, seeking for long term happiness.

That is then already the answer as well: what ever livelihood isn't involving the need of unskillful deeds, does not harm oneself or others, doesn't cause remorse, is a livelihood which a wise person would be attached to, strifes after it.

As for the most excellent career: becoming a Stream-enter, once-returner, non-returner, Arahat best by making use of the unexceled right livelihood: monastic disciple of the Buddha, going forth.

The earlier, the better and the higher can the blessed career be expected.

So how much fear has good householder of real career, how much attached to common pleasures, ordinary carees, is he, so not to strive for highest happiness possible to reach by human efforts?

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades but to bind one toward Unbound, to escape from this wheel]

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