Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Simon E.
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Re: Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Post by Simon E. » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:00 am

Situ Rinpoche’s face as he described Mr Monk was a picture of amused mischief. :smile:
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Pema Rigdzin
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Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:34 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:05 pm
Nursing is one of the best careers for a buddhist. It is flexible, portable, and it involves caring directly for people who are suffering. It also allows one to do retreat attend teachings and so on.
Malcolm is not wrong about nursing. A caveat, though, is that how much one will make varies remarkably from state to state, with veteran nurses in some states making far less after decades than new grads start out making in others. I highly recommend my state of Oregon as one of the more optimal places to work as a nurse due to some of the highest pay in the nation, strong nursing union, decent cost of living, and it's quite a hub of Nyingma Dharma, as well as being close to similar hubs in other nearby states. It's also quite a beautiful place to live.

Another caveat is that the real good nursing pay and retirement benefits are in the hospital setting where the environment and work conditions can be extremely stressful for hours on end, the hours are long, and you're not automatically guaranteed a fixed schedule where you work the same 3 days in a row every week. In other words, you might work 2 on, 2 off, 1 on, 2 more off one week, then a different combo the next week, and this may change every 2-3 months; now that all depends on the attitude toward scheduling that your unit's scheduler has: my manager does our schedules and likes the "set it and forget it" style of giving us the days we want, whenever possible, and just keeping it fixed that way until such time as we change our minds or the scheduling demands of the unit necessitate a change. And in 5 years, I've never been made to work a schedule I didn't want to by anything other than my own life circumstances (having a child, having to work around my wife's schedule). Well, for a time I did have to pick days that incorporated working every other weekend. But now, with seniority over most day shift nurses on my floor, I was able to finally get a schedule where I work the same 3 days in a row every week, so I have 4 days off in a row every week, which is amazing. So that can potentially happen.

Last caveat, related to the stress and physical demands of the job, it's especially vital that you develop strong, well-disciplined self-care habits early on: eating right, getting plenty of sleep, getting plenty of exercise, learning to observe your condition to be aware of how prone you are to letting the stress and tension build up in you from the extreme challenges of the time management and constant vigilance and preparedness you must have for potential unforeseen flux in everything from your patients' conditions, their plans of care, your assignment, and more while also meeting your organization's ever-expanding CYA documentation demands, and thorough documentation for your own protection, beyond what's simply prudent in terms of patient care. Obviously, these self-care elements are crucial for everyone, but all the more so for any kind of work that has this level of potential for physical and psychological burnout. Nursing can run you into the ground physically and psychologically if you're careless about taking care of and protecting yourself.

All that said, I love nursing, often have a lot of fun at work, really feel fulfilled being able to alleviate others' suffering--which sometimes doesn't mean making it go away so much as making it easier for them to bear it, if only for a time, and them knowing and feeling that someone they don't even know really cares and makes the effort to help; and this applies not only to patients but also sometimes their whole families. The opportunities for bodhisattva activity are remarkable. Once you've gained some stability in your practice, it can also start to be a boon, with the challenges pushing the growth of your ability to maintain the view and carry it all--the good, the bad, and the disgusting--onto the path.

If any of that sounds like something you're at all interested in, I have a few recommendations. First, get your CNA 2 certification and go work on a med-surg floor at a hospital so you can see what it's like in the trenches; in some places, organizations or local employment assistance centers may foot the bill for the several week certification program, but even if not, it's a small investment to see if healthcare is for you before making the investment and time commitment to getting into and enduring a nursing program. Then, if you do decide nursing is what you want, then I'd do an associates in nursing program at a community college and then transfer to an accredited but economical bachelor in nursing program to finish out your bachelors (since it's looking like the associate programs are eventually probably going to go by the wayside). Doing a year of prerequisite classes and 2 years in the nursing program at a community college is WAY cheaper, and in some places it is the exact same curriculum as the fancy university programs. My community college nursing curriculum was created and administered by the same nursing organization that did so for the renowned Oregon Health Science University, but my community college program structured the clinical time such that we got more clinical exposure in the hospital and from earlier on. Anyway, hope you or someone may find this helpful food for thought if nursing is something you might consider.

PadmaDancer
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Re: Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Post by PadmaDancer » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:28 am

Speaking as a middle-aged practitioner who could have used this advice twenty years ago, here is a tidbit of wisdom that has been hard won. Cherish it. Contemplate it. If I leave nothing else to this world, may this post bring benefit to any young yogi who reads it.

1. Self-employment. DO NOT BE AN HOURLY OR SALARIED WAGE EARNER, even if it is one of the professions. If you do, your income will always depend on how much time you trade. Do not trade your time. Trade your expertise, your intelligence, your ideas, your innovation, not your time. Your time needs to be spent in practice, therefore, work part-time in a way that leverages other assets you have to offer.

2. Choose self-employment that aligns with Right Livelihood and any Bodhisattva vows you have or may take in the future. If what you do doesn’t matter to anyone other than yourself, you will not be fulfilled, content, or really anything except miserable. Your job will be little more than slavery. Count on this. Don’t second guess it. If you are committed to the dharma now, it’s unlikely a fad that you will outgrow. Take yourself seriously and assume this is a lifelong endeavor. It sounds like you are already smart about this one, which is great.

3. Prioritize practice and retreat time. Arrange work around practice, not practice around work. Same goes for life in general. If you don’t follow and respect your natural inclination to dharma, something will always be not quite right. If you follow your dharma, even “unfortunate” events or life experiences will have meaning and bring benefit.

Thank you and good night. 🙏
My work here is done. 🙏

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:02 am

dorjedradul wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:06 am
Dear unknown dharma friends,

I'm in my early 20s and am one year away from graduating as an english major. I've spent time in India and Nepal and have been fortunate enough to meet some wonderful masters, most of whom were Nyingma. I have taken refuge, have a daily practice, etc.

My purpose for writing here is to ask lay practitioners, particularly of the Nyingma tradition, who live in the U.S. to share their thoughts on careers. What would you tell your younger self in regard to making a living and choosing a career path with an eye to finding a balance of remembering impermanence and karma while also not neglecting to plan ahead financially. I've considered learning Tibetan and attempting translation (hard to make a living, I hear), law, financial advising, and teaching high school english. I suppose one might argue this isn't about dharma, but I think it is.

Thoughts, criticisms, and questions are welcome.

Thanks,
D.
a trade that keeps you close to birth, illness, old age, and death. i second on a medical career advice.

AJP
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Post by AJP » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:45 am

dorjedradul wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:06 am
Dear unknown dharma friends,

I'm in my early 20s and am one year away from graduating as an english major. I've spent time in India and Nepal and have been fortunate enough to meet some wonderful masters, most of whom were Nyingma. I have taken refuge, have a daily practice, etc.

My purpose for writing here is to ask lay practitioners, particularly of the Nyingma tradition, who live in the U.S. to share their thoughts on careers. What would you tell your younger self in regard to making a living and choosing a career path with an eye to finding a balance of remembering impermanence and karma while also not neglecting to plan ahead financially. I've considered learning Tibetan and attempting translation (hard to make a living, I hear), law, financial advising, and teaching high school english. I suppose one might argue this isn't about dharma, but I think it is.

Thoughts, criticisms, and questions are welcome.

Thanks,
D.
If you develop a well paid freelance skill, you can work a little bit, practice a lot. Also keep outgoings low.

AJP
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Career Advice for a Young Nyingmapa

Post by AJP » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:49 am

Könchok Thrinley wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:23 am
dorjedradul wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:06 am
Dear unknown dharma friends,

I'm in my early 20s and am one year away from graduating as an english major. I've spent time in India and Nepal and have been fortunate enough to meet some wonderful masters, most of whom were Nyingma. I have taken refuge, have a daily practice, etc.

My purpose for writing here is to ask lay practitioners, particularly of the Nyingma tradition, who live in the U.S. to share their thoughts on careers. What would you tell your younger self in regard to making a living and choosing a career path with an eye to finding a balance of remembering impermanence and karma while also not neglecting to plan ahead financially. I've considered learning Tibetan and attempting translation (hard to make a living, I hear), law, financial advising, and teaching high school english. I suppose one might argue this isn't about dharma, but I think it is.

Thoughts, criticisms, and questions are welcome.

Thanks,
D.
Depends on you really, one of my friends she has two jobs, both are not full time and she makes enough to have time for daily practice and going every weekend for a retreat. Depends how much time you want for practice and how well you can live with less stable income or a job.

I would say that teaching is probably the best job out of those, because quite a lot of free time, however that time is often spent in stress and preparation for classes. So... who knows. Hope this helps a bit. :rolling:

Ps. Welcome to Dharmawheel.
Employed teachers work insanely hard at least in the UK. I had a friend who was high up the ladder at a city comprehensive and he used to worry that he couldn't work any harder. Freelance teaching like Tai Chi or something like Pilates is probably quite nice though!!!

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