American Buddhism teaches that those who live and work in the world can pursue a fulfilling meditative lifestyle. A key part of living and working in the world is work/career.
Rama taught that one of the greatest mistakes that people make who pursue self-discovery and meditation is to neglect to develop a strong career.
Rama suggested that individuals who meditate should seek to develop the mind fully through their career and should consider a career in computer science, law, medicine, the arts, etc. - any career which strengthens the mind.
In particular, Rama taught that the mental structures that are used in computer science are very similar to exercises for developing the mind done in Buddhist monasteries.
Rama also suggested that you choose a profession that will give you enough money to have economic freedom. Money enables you to travel, to live in a place that is suitable, to not be brought down or drained. Also, money can be used to aid others.
American Buddhist teachings
“I know nothing that hurts a person spiritually more than being poor. If you’re always trying to think about how you’re going to pay the bills, if you’re living in a place that has a lower vibration because you can’t afford a better one, if you’re worried about money ... You can’t meditate or make good spiritual progress if you’re all wrapped emotionally because of a lack of money.” -- Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz
Rama explained that as an individual practices higher meditation techniques, a tremendous volume of energy and creativity flows through them. Since we spend a great deal of time at work, Rama suggested we use our time at work - no matter what kind of work we choose to do - to build our skills and focus in support of our career and meditative practice.
"When you work with excellence it adds to your consciousness. Work is a chance to exercise control, restraint, discipline, creative inspiration. If you are mindful in your work, if you put your best effort into it, then something comes back to you."