Here is the article I promised from the friend I quoted:
Being a social worker makes me a better Buddhist. Being a Buddhist makes me a better social worker.
Someone wrote me on Facebook to say they thought this was a good Kadampa motto. Replace “social worker” with your job title.
And ask: Does my meditation practice help my job and does my job fuel my meditation practice? (If yes, you’re all set, as you probably spend most of your waking hours at work… ) Here is how one person is doing it:
I feel I have been on quite a journey, developing as a person and as a social work practitioner. Throughout my time Kadampa Buddhism has helped me cope, stay calm and transform difficult situations for myself and others.
My daily meditation practices have helped me keep a good motivation at the beginning of the day and allowed me to off load any stress at the end of day when I have got back from work or study.
I have found that the Buddhist values and way of life are not dissimilar to that of a social worker. Social workers have a code of ethics which include: human dignity and worth, social justice (e.g. equal treatment without prejudice or discrimination), service (e.g. enabling people to develop their potential), integrity and competence.
Compassion and love for others is an integral part of Kadampa Buddhism and of becoming a bodhisattva. My kind teacher, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in Meaningful to Behold says a bodhisattva is someone who wishes to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings and that they are motivated by the desire to benefit all living beings (p95-96).
I aspire to be like this and find with practice it can become natural to want to help those who are around you whether that is at home or at work.
In one of my placements I helped people staying in a mental health hostel with their daily living. I helped and advised them with their shopping and budgeting, encouraging them to go to social activities or work and engaging in therapeutic activities with them such as making pizzas, cookies and playing pool. This work seemed natural for me from the intentions, minds and values I have discovered through Kadampa Buddhism.”