Sunday, February 8, 2009

Living in a material world - Part IV

There are three kinds of people:
People that live in their past, people that live in the future and people that live in the present.
Living in the “now” is the enlightened way of action taught by the Zen masters.
Don’t worry, I am not going to lecture you about the virtues of living in the “now” because I myself stray from that doctrine regularly and I find myself lost in the dream land of the future or reminiscing about the idyllic days of my youth:)
I guess I still have a lot to learn, or maybe I don’t want to be that enlightened; I just want to be happy.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the merits of living in the now and I think I am a “get in charge”and “do it now” kind of guy.
I love the “now” because is the only time you can act, when you can do something about your life, when you can take control and change your destiny.
There is an old saying “After the war, everybody is a hero” after the facts everybody has the hind sight.
We all know the “should have” “would have” and “could have” but who knows what to do now?

Here’s my advice for people that are in trouble.
If you are in a hole stop digging!
Part of the joy of being in a recession is having lay offs, salary and working hours cuts and other “measures” which usually mean you are taking less money home.
That creates a problem: You are taking in less money but your spending is the same or even greater. That means your check balance goes from plus to minus and that is when you are in a hole – financially, because you can be in all kind of different type of holes.

There are two ways people deal with that: Dipping into your savings, stocks, bond, IRA, 401K etc. or cutting down on your spending.
Using up your savings is only good when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel or you have a plan in place that requires you to buy some time.
The thing I don’t like about using up my savings is that in fact it is digging the hole deeper.
Cutting on your spending should be your first line of defense, because it can be bring you back to a balanced budget for as long as necessarily with out putting you in deeper.

Take your loses and regroup.
When hard times hit, it is not always possible to keep the same life style and all the old toys and benefits that we have grown accustomed to have.
Some time by trying to hold to all the extra “convenient” things we have,will make us lose the things that are essential or even everything.
If your leg has gangrene and it can’t be salvaged it is better – although very painful – to cut it off than let the infection spread to the rest of your body.

To jump over the hole take a step back.
The deeper you are in the hole the harder and longer is to get out.
Consider taking a temporary step back.
Send your kids to your parents, rent out part of your house, or even move with your parents all together.
I know it sounds crazy to live with your mother in law but it is a good moral booster in finding a new job :)
And remember it is only temporary not an amputation!

And always remember:
This too shall pass.


AngelBaby said...

Great information. This will help allot of people that are having a pretty tough time of it. Thanks for sharing this.

Love and Blessings,

Aggie said...

I think alot of folk use their savings up in maintaining how they currently live - instead of facing faacts from day 1 and cutting back spending dramatically. Suddenly it is all gone and that hole is very deep and wide. If the period of hardship becomes an extended one, then they are in trouble. Best to deal in the here and now to tackle those kinds of issues. Then, if/when things improve - it is not such a hard slog to get back to where you were.

surjit said...

a valuable message:
..'This too shall pass...'
With this fact in mind, we can counter any adverse situation in our life with great ease.
Thanks for sharing your insights.
God bless.

Liara Covert said...

Your comment is like a gentle wake-up call. It can be a shocker for people to realize they do not know what it means to live in "the now." A book called the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman offers insight inot this concept from the perspective of a western-born gymnast. You could glimpse an excerpt in this blogpost:

Chatty Crone said...

My goal is to stay in the now - but sometimes it's hard not to fret about the past and worry about the future. Then I have to just talk to myself and remind myself to be in the here and now - it's all we really have.

molly said...

Hey, Nice post.

A couple of comments...I think that most people live in some combination of the past, present, and future. It takes alot of work to live mostly in the present and most people haven't taken the time to learn how to do this, to practice. It does not happen on its own. It cannot be taught. It has to be learned, which comes from the practice.

Much Peace to you,

Kearby said...

I enjoy the simplicity of your messages. Thank you.

This Brazen Teacher said...

Three years ago this rap song came out- and the chorus line was-

"Booty, booty, booty, rocking everywhere!"

And this kindergartner (now a third grader) had heard it on the radio. But instead I caught him singing:

"Buddha, buddha, buddha, rocking everywhere!"

I just wanted to tell you about this for so long. While I realize it's completely unrelated to any of your material- I can't help but think of that EVERY time I visit your blog.


Ted Bagley said...

One that lives for no one else is one body/mind and is always living in the present moment.
Maybe the thoughts of wanting to stay debt free are really pointing to the issue of ownership. Who works for whom?

Buddha said...

@ Angel Baby – I’ve been blessed by an angel ! Couldn’t ask for more :)

@ Aggie – Unfortunately many people ( about 3 million in USA) got themselves into a hole!

@ Surjit – I picked up this pearl of wisdom from a Jewish friend of mine that told me a king Solomon story about a magic ring :)

@ Liara – Thank you for the link! I will check it out.

@ Catty – I have the same problem. I have to tell myself all the time “Stay focused!”

@ Molly – Yup, we all know the theory. It is the practice that is a killer!

@ Kearby – I love simplicity E = mc² !

@ This Brazen Teacher – Just telling me Hi! Is the best comment I could ask for :)

@ Ted – 17 years ago I went to a foreclosure and lost my home.
Now I have a family and kids that I love more than my own life.
I don’t know what that points to, but I vouched they will always have a home and nobody will take it from them :)

C. Om said...

Indeed! The sayings, "This too shall pass," and "Nothing lasts forever," are golden when having yourself have to accept things that aren't exactly your preference. Great stuff.


Talon said...

Really good advice and a great reminder...

giovanna garcia said...

I love what you said about the 3 kinds of people, and my favoirte kind is the one who lives in the moment. And I believe the hardest part for most is Let Go! in order to live in the moment, Love your "Take your loses and regroup."

Thanks for the wisdom
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Charles Bjørnsen Ravndal said...

I used to live in my past but now I tried to live in the present and looking forward to the future. And I agree to your last statement that "this too shall pass"

Thank you very much for sharing your words of wisdom

RennyBA said...

Very interesting read and a thoughtful post. More than you know, it was of great help for me right now. I know it all about how you live and not to live in itself that matter and your post is a great reminder to that.

SandyCarlson said...

Times like this make me think of how little I actually need in a day. It's amazing how we can learn to get by.

Psiplex said...

It's all being done. the body/mind may react to this type of news but the changeless eternal awareness we are will not be touched and cannot be touched. As long as we do not lose site that we are part of the connected Source , we will be good. Remembering that the Source is dancing us, there is less pressure to prop up the role of one who is in hardship. The soul is not in hardship, our mental position of who we are,and what we 'should' be bringing home is impacted. Our changeless, impersonal self that is connected to all life will always be-perfect.

One Love

Brigit said...

Living in the now demands consciousness and focus, that can be very revealing. It is a place where answers can be found. Fcousing on future outcomes that may never come to fruition creates an anxiety that can hinder the finding of solutions, and as you have pointed out, there are solutions to financial problems, maybe not all that palatble, but as you said "this too shall pass."

Buddha said...

@ C Om – The impermanence of life… life is but a dream :)

@ Talon – Good advice is easy to find but hard to follow!

@ Giovanna – We need to have faith!

@ Charles – You are welcome Charles!

@ Renny – Wisdom is like money; it has no value until you spend it.

@ Sandy – Success is measured in happiness – and that is a lot :)

@ Psiplex – I don’t think God has any problem being me, it is the other way around.

@ Brigit – Life is a learning experience :)

Lydia said...

Very good advice. We are worried about cutbacks in my husband's office. They say that 20% will be cut and "no one is safe." I like the idea of thinking what "safe" really means to me, and your material world posts have helped in that train of thought.

candlemamma said...

LOL..Being a mother in law... I really don't want my grown children coming home to live. I need all body parts... Thanks Buddha, this is a nice and refreshing look at some of the problems faced by real people.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Well, you've kind of already said this, but I don't think it's healthy to just live in the past or just live in the future or present. In order for progress to be realized, you have to have all three in mind.

Living in the now is ok for handling short-term things, but one wouldn't really know how to go about things with any direction because they're not sure where they want their future to lie. Living in the future (or in my case, living in the ideal), is dangerous because you have somewhere you want to be, but can't get there because you don't know where to start.

I think, yes, people would definitely have to cut their spending and have a plan in mind.