Using Meditation Get Unstuck in a Job

By Tergar Meditation Community • 4 min read


Help! I’m trapped in a job I hate!

There are few things quite as soul-crushing as being stuck in a job that makes you miserable. In general, feeling like you are trapped makes any problematic situation that much more unpleasant. In the case of not liking your job, the initial problem of aversion becomes magnified by feelings of fear and hopelessness. The more stuck you feel, the more you want to get out – and if you can’t, you feel even more stuck

Reframing your thoughts

If you’re unhappy at work, your first step could be to take the advice of Shantideva, one the great Indian meditation masters of all time. It’s a crucial bit of wisdom, often cited by the Dalai Lama: “If there is no solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it!” Is that supposed to mean you should go into denial and pretend the issue doesn’t exist? Not at all. Rather, you should ask yourself: Does a solution exist to deal with this problem, or not?

Solution: Y/N

If you decide that yes, ultimately you do know what needs to be done, then there is no reason to spend any more time hating, worrying, or being afraid. It will be okay. You have the answer already, and all you need to do next is decide how to deal with it skillfully. On the other hand, maybe the answer is “No, there is really no solution that I can see.” You are in a fog. There’s nothing there. No matter how hard you think it over, or what course of action you choose, you can’t seem to get anywhere. In that case, too, there is also no benefit in worrying. Because there is no solution yet, there is no action you can take — yet. Instead, stop trying to tackle the problem head-on, because that only causes more missteps and mistakes. Instead, try to accept the situation as it is for now.

The value of equanimity

In the late ’90s, there was a highly successful stock trader who lived in Malaysia. He was a cheerful man who laughed easily and went about with a smile on his face. At the peak of his success, there was a crisis in the Indonesian economy, and the stock market plummeted. In just a few months, he lost everything. He went from millionaire to “zeronaire.” He had owned a house, possessions, and every material comfort, but he was quickly reduced to sleeping on a friend’s living room sofa. Many of his colleagues did not fare as well. Some were so destabilized they went crazy. Others became deeply depressed, unable to eat, sleep, or walk, all their energy lost. Their feeling was, “My life is over.” But this particular man did not go crazy or lose his energy. He did not jump off a building. Instead he went about his life as usual, with a smile on his face and a laugh for everyone he met. People would ask him, “What do you feel, now that you’ve lost everything?” He would reply, “I got all that money from the stock market, now I’ve lost it all to the stock market. This is impermanence! This is life! What can you do? It’s ups and downs, you know?” What he did was accept the situation with equanimity and tried to search for a solution. In time, he started another business, and now he’s a millionaire again.

“Daily life provides countless occasions for adapting to change and impermanence. Yet we squander these precious opportunities, assuming that we have all the time in the world.”

– Mingyur Rinpoche –

You already have what it takes

No matter who you are or what your limitations might be, you have capabilities. You have wisdom, knowledge, and power. This is basic goodness — the inner potential that everybody has. Try your best to use these qualities. Don’t give up. Keep moving forward. At the same time, don’t grasp on to the notion of a specific result, because hope and fear create more problems.

Impermanence makes life more colorful

We can embrace life’s ups and downs by meditating on impermanence. Think to yourself, “Like waves in the ocean, all things are impermanent. I will accept whatever happens and make it my friend.” Just like the stock market or waves in the ocean, the ups and downs of being alive is what makes our lives colorful and dynamic. Were it not for change, life would be totally static. Without suffering, there could be no happiness. So remain balanced – not too tight, not too loose. And just try your best, without clinging to a particular outcome.

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Meditation On Impermanence

How to develop the wisdom of impermanence and turn tough times into growth? Just thinking that we need the wisdom of impermanence doesn’t help much. Mingyur Rinpoche is offering a meditation practice on impermanence that brings this wisdom into the subconscious level of mind.

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About the Author

By Tergar Meditation Community Team

Tergar Meditation Community supports individuals, practice groups, and meditation communities around the world in learning to live with awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Grounded in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of our guiding teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, our online and in-person programs are accessible to people of all cultures and faiths, and support a lifelong path toward the application of these principles in everyday life.

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“This technique of going in and out of meditation — traditionally referred to as “short times, many times” — is often illustrated by the example of drops of water falling one by one into a large empty bucket. It might take a long while, but in the end, the barrel will be full. Doing informal meditation while you’re working will increase your productivity and the quality of your work; at the same time it will develop your spiritual practice, improve the health of your relationships, and benefit your physical body, too. Altogether, a win-win.”


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