Finding an intrinsic job through meditation?


Is there anyone who found a totally new job through the development of states or structures?

My previous meditation teacher kept saying that the meditation will lead to finding a totally new job or work, which is very intrinsic, heart-beating, ever-joyable and ever-satisfiable. His assertion is that we all have the kind of job or work inside but unidentified, but through the meditation, it can be finally revealed. However, I didn’t find it for the past 5 years, and doubt if it really works - I couldn’t find what I REALLY wanna do from the bottom of my heart, and a job that considered to fit into me.

Can you share your experience if that happened to you?


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My own thoughts and experience are that I doubt meditation alone will achieve a new job/career. This is because there are other aspects to a job search than mindfulness. Integral practice involves growing up and showing up as well waking up. My own employment issues were very much more to do with growing up and showing up. These last two lagged well behind my waking up. Again, my guess is that if you work at these last two as hard as you do on your meditation and throw in some shadow work to clear out other immediate barriers, you will get to a place where what is currently holding you back is cleared out. You will then be in a better place to consider where your meditation is taking you and what that means careerwise.
If it helps I have had to work really hard on the growing up, showing up and shadow part for them to get anywhere near my level of waking up, For decades I used meditation as a cop out, saying that the rest of the stuff was “beneath me” as I was so woken up. This attitude really held me back in dealing with my day to day reality of family, friends and career.
This is my understanding of the words:- “Before enlightenment chop wood carry wood. After enlightenment chop wood carry wood “
I wish you well in your journey.


Here is my 2 cents.

Integral meditation must include our role in society:
While the idea that meditation may lead to job changes seems ego driven (and it easily might)
in an integral perspective it is reasonable to assume that as one person evolves and changes, there could be a strong correlate into the other quadrants.

Integral theory itself suggests that as humanity evolves through different structures or thought, a corresponding economical structure emerges.

It is therefore fair to assume that as a person grows through stages, it may naturally find a new place of balance in new job.

The need to build a society that makes new structures adaptive
The issue may actually work the other way around: as a person evolves it may find that society doesn’t quite give a space for that particular structure of reason to express itself.

If you live in a village with just one factory… and in your previous structure you were ok with an alienating job, it is likely that a new awakening may lead to allergy to this alienation and that a radical change may be needed to find a job that suits the new one.

It is also fair to assume that one may evolve as a result of inhabiting a profession that stimulates new structures of consciounsess finding them adaptive.

The fact that Integral theory hasn’t yet clearly described such a society is in my opinion the true reason it hasn’t become mainstrem.

We are seeing a surge of new forms of flexible employment in which people are more able to self-express and this to me is indicative of this economical structure already emerging but not being mainstream yet.

Re-immagining one’s own place in society also as a Waking Up practice

While it may take ages for meditation to unhinge the self sufficiently to inhabit a whole new social identification, you can use the process of identifying with a whole new role/job in society as a way to unhinge your ego and help your practice.

It is infact likely that if you do an unsatisfactory job, you may be identified with a person in such state. In essence we all carry not only individual identification in the Top Left quadrant… but one in Lower Right Quadrant!
Immagining a whole new job and the self in a whole new job, is a novel form of tantric practice in which you play at identifying with other forms of the self. (tibetan monks do deity mistycisms in which the identify with different deities… i personally think immagining yourself as a millionarre (or the opposite of it) may have the same effect if not more ;D )

Ultimately you can (and should) let go of such identifications to awaken (one would assume) but the process of immagining congruence with them can be both beneficial for your job and for your awakening.

(Needless to say that accepting total failure is also great to unhinge the ego and disidentify from ones own social goals :smiley: )

Re-immagining one’s own place in society also as a Growing Up practice

The integral stage in my opinion pushes towards:

  • rediscovering intuition: intuition is the process of making decisions while listening to all points of information (not only conventional rationality or conventional duty). This process IS in essence the integral awakening in my point of view because its the process by which all “voices” of the self wich to be listened into a single one.
  • finding ones own vocation: since it forces to combine ones own intuition with the actual role one can take in the lower right quadrant to find an integral balance.

Ones own job/profession/role in life is a perfect expression of these and therefore a perfect expression of ones own integral awakening.
The process of understanding what you wish to do can in itself be a practice of integration of structures.

Re-immagining one’s own place in society also as a Shadow Work practice
Lastly, you touch on the point of the fact that a new job may “manifest”.
This is tricky but possible, without even taking into consideration some kind of power of the mind to attract things but simply due to the natural change of ones own habits, attention and congruence.

That said it may also not happen no matter how much effort one is placing on the goal of finding a new place in society… or it could even be made worse by the expectation placed on this goal.

In my opinion this is due to the Lower Right Quadrant form of shadow: Sabotage.

What conventional meditation does not address generally, as heavily shown by Wilber, is the shadow. Shadow in the Lower Right quadrant often present itself as a form of sabotage from obtaining certain goals.

This, to my understanding can come in 2 forms:
a) Inability to identify with the corresponding Lower Right Quadrant Identity
If you see yourself as poor and cannot immagine yourself as rich, for how materialistic it may seem… is a form of shadow as you are unable to identify. It is unlikely one may accomplish a goal without being able to at least once identify fully with it.

b) Not recognising unconscious drives that push in an opposite direction.
What may prevent you from congruence with the job you want, is any “unconscious” drive that is looking to be recognised in not getting what you want.

While we do grow through structures, we keep the previous ones and if some of them are alienated, you may find that one or more are pushing in a different direction than your conscious self.

For example:
one part of yourself may be wishing for success in a certain area, while another may be:
a) Fearful of the outcome of actually obtaining such state (ex. increased responsibility)
b) Unwilling to accomplish such state because its needs haven’t been fulfilled (ex. a need to be loved unconditionally even without accomplishing a certain outcome.)

For example, unconscious anger towards those who set an expectation for success may express itself as anger and desire to be loved regardless of it. Such unconscious desire may be hard to spot (there are some ways, i could expand if needed) and may express itself as fatigue or avoidance.

The mind(s) often looks for unconditional love validation and acceptance and may sabotage obtaining goals until this need is met. One could therefore get stuck not accomplishing something as a deeper self is looking for being loved and accepted in its current state.

Acknowledging this self and recognising its need for self-expression (ex. accepting its refusal to do what is necessary to achieve something) is a novel way to re-own unconscious structures (a developmental shadow)

Since we are so embedded in economics and society, it is not irrational to assume that a LOT of shadow elements may express themselves in our social role, aspirations and issues.

My personal experience:
The process of unhinging shadow elements has lead me to develop the idea of my own company which I was able to pursue with some degree of success. In multiple situations, further working on them has increased my freedom in accomplishing my goals.

The ability to listen to my own intuition as a form of witnessing that combines sensations and reasoning (my own definition of intuition) has been essential in developing the different intuitions that benefitted our company.

Most lately, the practice of playing with new identifications, is working as a way to ensure that i have full congruence with our goals and further exploration of potential shadow elements to continually “clean up”.

I hope this is helpful and Id be happy to expand or chat about it via Skype as Im looking for any opportunity to discuss and better understand the subject.



And you could do worse than read Ken Wilber’s Integral Meditation

I agree with much of what Andrew and Damiano have said, although I do think there is a case to be made for some people being plunged or placed in entirely new fields of work due to a specific state-of-consciousness experience. Eckhart Tolle comes immediately to mind, who, following a major spiritual awakening, became a spiritual teacher.

Of course, one has to acquiesce to the “plunging,” so there is choice involved, and also, in Tolle’s case, he did spend 2 years “sitting on a park bench” he says, contemplating his experience, and he also did read and study and seek out spiritual teachers and advisors, so one can imagine he might have been doing some growing-up work, perhaps even shadow work. But I do think there can be an element of karma involved in certain situations, i.e. one is “ripe” and thus, there is an ease and easiness in the exteriors that match the inner ripeness.

While not necessarily resulting from meditation per se, the experiences of some shamans and shamanic practitioners who are authentically “called” to the vocation is another example of (higher) states-of-consciousness (and perhaps also a bit of karma) leading pretty directly to “job.”

While these are both examples outside the norm, and while as I said, I mostly agree with Andrew and Damiano that growing up, cleaning up, and showing up are important to a readiness for “ever-enjoyable” work, don’t underestimate the transformative and energy-liberating power of ongoing disciplined spiritual practice.

I wasn’t clear, ILP0000, if at the end of your second paragraph, you meant that you haven’t found what you REALLY wanna do, or if you meant you know what that is, but haven’t found the job that fits it?

I ask, because sometimes, that which we think we really want to do, changes and evolves over time in subtle ways so that we may not recognize the ‘perfect’ work for us when it shows up because it’s not exactly as we “dreamed of.”

As a child, I always dreamed of living and teaching on an Indian reservation, but as an adult, lots of other work that I really loved kept getting in the way. And every bit of it was preparing me, “growing and cleaning me up,” for the work of my childhood dream, including traveling to different reservations and working collaboratively with tribes/native people. Ultimately, a piece of my life work became, not teaching on an Indian reservation, but teaching non-Indians about Indians, thus fulfilling my ‘dream’ but in a form different than I had initially imagined–I and the dream, or what I had thought I wanted to do, had evolved over time.

And yes, I do credit development through spiritual practices (meditation and other) along with development through lots of shadow work and growing up practices with fulfillment of that dream.

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Thanks for your comments. I deeply understand that meditation can be a means for cop-out, and I could be doing as such. One thing I would ask is how did you develop your “showing up” aspect - I didn’t care much on the aspect, so your explanation would be appreciated.

Thanks for your comments. Your insight helped a lot for me to reconsider my search. I feel I am mostly having hard time on shadow side as you pointed out, and as for me, it seems not only job-search but life-change - fundamental change of my life. It happened or could not avoided after my life crisis. But I AM stuck for years.

I will write more here or send you a message later after some contemplation. In the meantime, as you wrote, “Such unconscious desire may be hard to spot (there are some ways, i could expand if needed) ,” could you explain the “some ways”?

Thanks for your comments. What I meant was that I haven’t found what I really wanna do, unlike Tolle found his intrinsic job as “teaching.” My previous meditation teacher said that because we have something inherent inside, we can find it through meditation like in Tolle’s story you mentioned. It somehow made sense - Enneagram also assert similar idea, and Ken also pointed out that we cannot change some aspects, mentioning Enneagram is a good tool for it, if my understanding is correct. But I almost gave up the idea that meditation only will give me the “job.”

Your story gave me some introspection, and I will contemplate more…

Hey ILP Id be happy to chat about it in pvt, this is a subject i have a lot at heart and would love to chat with someone sharing interest for the same topic to bounce ideas around.

I think that the problem you face IS the problem of modern mankind (alienation in work) and that the resolution to it IS the missing piece to the integral Life Practice as it would help make an integral awareness embedded in the Lower Right Quadrant.

Spotting the Shadow element:

About unconscious structure there are two ways to identify them:

Sport negative associations to the desired state

  1. A simple way to spot them is to look for any positive association in your awareness linked to failure or not getting what you want. You will notice that often plenty come out.

The mind is a very simple system based on the law of least resistance:
as long as you associate more negatives to positives to getting what you want, you will not get it because your mind will not deem it logical nor beneficial.

You must therefore meditate on immagining your ideal scenario, and understand what positive associations you have to NOT reaching it

  • example. If you find a better job you may… have more work to do or expectations may be higher if you do a new job, while if you stay in this situation you are unhappy but safe and you can save some energy) .

This also applies to mere goal of finding what you would like to do in the first place. What is going to happen if you do?
Often fears may arise such as

  • you think you found the ideal job…but once again didn’t find the right thing,
  • or if you find your passion and then you are terrible at it you will feel worse
  • or if you find a passion you may still not be able to make money with it…
    and so forth…

All these things can get in the way of ones own accomlishment and they need be acknowledged.

You can then try to:
a) re-immagine such scenario in a positive way (example: immagine finding a job that is exactly ideal and does not pose any of the negative associations.
b) Immagine a sense of self love and acceptance in the desired scenario (often negative association is not produced by an objective factor but by a sense that in this condition we may receive less acceptance from our sorrounding world and people)

Spot unexpressed structures of self that don’t want to accomplish the goal
2) The second thing you can do to spot unconscious drives is to ground yourself, look for an available (possibly negative) emotion, and focus on a sense of expression towards anyone involved or linked to your work and work choices.
What you may find is for example that anger and avversion is often stored towards any authority that has set a duty. Such unconscious drive, if inexpressed will remain dormant and express itself as a sabotage in fulfilling that duty.

Once identified also here you can:

  • Re immagine the scenario sorrounding this shadow persona to foster a sense of acceptance and love
  • Sit with the consequences of fully expressing this drive, which could help fully re-own it and us its “power” in life

IMPORTANT: whatever you do, when immagining, must be rooted in NOW. When conceptualising these images it is important they are also conceived as not temporary states but something you eternally inhabit. Only in this way the congruence that you establish can be best rooted in a continual awareness.

Surrender, Eckart Tolel style :smiley:
Another more extreme way to deal with this is to find elements that can help you surrender your struggle. This does not mean abbandoning it per say, but it help separate the ego from the struggle itself once the self is able to accept, for even just one minute, to give up on it.

Many sages, Echart Tolle included seem to suggest that the one underlying common factor in all deep awakening is a sense of letting go, a sense of surrender.

As long as the mind thinks it can fight to get what it wants it will not surrender.

One could speculate that life at times engineers itself in which a way to force us to do such surrenders… I prefer to think that to get something its just very important to be able to let go of excessive attachement to it. Accepting the idea (even for a minute) that one is simply completely UNABLE to attain a goal is a great way to momentarily surrender. In this space of surrender a certain peace is found and this peace often leads to the creativity needed to truly think outside the box and find one’s own way.

I believe that if you are inspired by Tolle, this is the most straightforward way.

Thinking outside of the box
Lastly, my invitation is to truly think outside of the box. A big challenge in integral development is listening to one’s own intuition and not societies conventions. A “job” sometimes is not the way to go, while building an enterprise, finding multiple flexible employments or gigs, creating a passive income, investing… these are only few of the options that we have at hand and that society didnt prepare many for.

I feel like I need to clarify comments about Eckhart Tolle, ILP0000, as I don’t want to give you a false idea. Tolle’s awakening actually happened during a period of intense suffering, while he was feeling near-suicidal; he had lived with depression and anxiety for a long time. On this “awakening” occasion, the depression/anxiety were so intense for him that he says the thought “I can no longer live with myself” kept repeating in his mind. Then, he had another thought: “who is this I who can no longer live with itself?” He was intrigued by recognizing seemingly two selves. He wondered which one of these selves is real? Long story short, his thoughts stopped and he experienced himself being sucked into a void, which he did not resist. He had no recollection of what happened after that, but he awoke the next morning “changed,” and lived for the next 5 months in a state of peace and bliss. Then came the studying and spiritual teachers and the park bench…and then his work.

So it wasn’t meditation per se that directly led to either his awakening or his eventual work. But it was a major transformation of consciousness, spiritual grace, spontaneous, unsought. And he cooperated with it, surrendered. So again, here too I agree with Damiano’s statements about the importance of letting go attachment to the extent that you can. If you meditate with an attachment to the idea that you are going to discover what you want to do, then you might want to experiment with letting that attachment go, and meditate just for the sake of meditating, to find out what if anything is disclosed, revealed.

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LaWanna, I appreciate your clarification - I came to understand more what happened to him and how it worked on him, and it could be a way to someone. Actually I had a similar experience as him, though it didn’t last long, and I didn’t “change.” So I seemed to need more time to practice on all 4 quadrants. Thanks again!

Not only to you, LaWanna but to everyone:

Ah! When I retrospected the experience of mine, I strongly felt ‘love,’ especially ‘love for others.’ I was not the kind of the person who likes to help others, but for the period, I, from very deep of me, felt that if I gave help to others, I would be happy. But as the period was gone, I came back to the normal me, and later I thought that the experience was sort of ‘peak experience’ and the love is sort of ‘bliss.’ And I am still not sure if the experience can be considered for the hint of finding the intrinsic job…

I feel that this journey, whether it is Waking-up, Growing-up or others, is difficult and discouraging at times because I am the only one who navigates at the vast sea with one’s own map which is hard to interpret myself but meaningless to others…

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“Showing up” was and is a big one for me. A number of things needed to come together for me to make progress here. I’ve had a relatively easy early life which placed few unavoidable demands on me, and I avoided many avoidable demands. So I learned that I could get by and have a half decent life without showing up much. I got by with my meditation and intellectual growth but always had a nagging feeling that I could always do and or be more. It was clear that if I was to do or be more, it would require me to show up at a level that I was neither comfortable at nor willing to embrace. I suffocated that nagging with a mixture of condescension and intellectual hubris. Perhaps an assessment of this is that my waking up was fully green and was happy to put down my showing up which was lingering away at purple.
Anyway, I believe life has a way of getting at you if your true self isn’t content with what you are doing and so, mostly through my family, I eventually woke up to the fact the only person I was fooling was myself. And this is the crux. I’ve absolutely no idea why one day I was sufficiently content knowing I wasn’t showing up and the next I was determined to push my boundaries in the showing up area of my life. I’m Church of England by birth and my best explanation is that I was offered a moment of grace and I took it.
So, since then there have been no ecstatic moments, I’ve not set the world on fire with pilgrimages, I’ve not given up my former life to work in orphanages in Romania or anything like that. However what I have done is day by day, moment by moment, asked myself this: in this moment what does showing up mean for me? It may be that whilst the rest of the family is watching tv, I’ll clean up after dinner rather than ask myself why should I do it? I’ll take the time to remember that my wife is running late and so I’ll do the shopping even though I’ve had a hard day at work too. No-one in the family wants to have a word with the neighbour and say that we’re unhappy with something they’ve done, least of all me, but I’ll do it because it makes life a little bit easier for my family.
Workwise, for me its been about offering solutions to problems I’ve anticipated rather than looking down on people and saying, when its gone wrong, “I knew that was going to go wrong. More fool you”.
One of my work roles is as a family mediator. So I have a degree of reticence when suggesting solutions. However, my experience is that few of us are given the gift of a job where we follow our bliss and life is a breeze. For me, I know that such a job, if it did exist, would actually be a cop out and I wouldn’t get the growth that my true self had come into this existence to experience. So for me, my ideal job is one which continually demands of me that I show up and which rewards me when I do show up outside of my comfort zone.


Years ago, in a time of deep crisis, I had to take a cleaning job as it was the only option at the time. It was my intent to upgrade and find my place once stability manifested. My meditation practice immensely changed the way I did my job. Instead of just trudging through the work, it became a field of service and a means of Self-expression, so much so that once stability set in, there was no desire or drive to upgrade. Meditation helped me understand that any work can be holy work and “chop wood, carry water” became a mantra that brings a smile to my heart. Good luck on your journey. Hope you find your place.


I’m going to go out on a limb here, ILP0000, and say that I think your experience of helping others after your spiritual experience can indeed be “considered for the hint of finding the intrinsic job.” The reason I say this is that, even if what you had was a temporary or transitory “peak experience,” that experience is, in my opinion, more the true or real you than what you refer to as the “normal me.” You say that from a very deep part of yourself, you felt that giving help to others would make you happy. Out on the limb here again, I say trust the integrity and wisdom of that deep self, even if you’re not currently fully connected to it.

Plus, I pick up a vibe of kindness in your writings here, which leads me to believe the love you felt during your experience is still alive; please don’t dismiss or discount your own tendencies and capacities for love and service.

Being of help or “in service” takes many different forms. Andrew and AHeuver have both given beautiful examples of showing up and being in service. Most of us will all be doing shadow-work and growing up work and waking up practices for the rest of our lives, so there’s no need to wait for the perfect moment or perfect conditions or a perfect self to show up now in whatever ways we can.

Helping others can take many many forms; it doesn’t have to look important or “spiritual” on the surface (we bring the spirit to any act), and “others” covers a lot of territory, including the earth itself and its other-than-human inhabitants. Maybe there’s something you enjoy in your leisure time that’s just waiting to be used somehow in service to others.

Andrew_Baines, I appreciate your explanation and story. I found many similar aspects like you. And some sentences stroke me; one of them is “in this moment what does showing up mean for me?” I am definitely so weak at Show-up, and got some courage from you. Thanks again for your helpful comments!

Thanks, AHeuver. Good to hear meditation helped no desire or drive to upgrade, and the mantra brought a smile to your heart. Hope that your smile keep going!

ILP0000, no problem with the PM. I’ll be responding soon.