About seventeen years ago, when Bush the father was president, America went through a little recession – I don’t know if many of you remember that one – It wasn’t that bad or spectacular as the one right now but I will always remember it because at that time I lost my house to foreclosure, plus a large part of my other investments – stocks in particular.
It was a hard blow for me but fortunately at that time I was a single guy, no family or kids to take care of, so after some painful readjustments to reality, I pulled myself out of the mental depression and started rebuilding my life again.
I have learned a lesson – actually several lessons - about life and vouch never to be caught with my pants down again.
This bad turn of the economy I am faring much better.
I have paid all of my debt – well almost all, I still have my house mortgage but that is the only one – I have saved some money for the eventual loss of income and my investments, which by the way are not doing well at all but at least I can hope one day will go up again.
At this moment I am refinancing my mortgage and God willing it will cut my monthly payments in half, which will further increase my financial stability.
So what is this all has to do with Zen Buddhism?
And that is the problem.
Buddha never had to deal with mortgages, stock market, insurance, credit, interest rates, recessions, subprime crisis and other joys of the modern life.
He lived in an agrarian society where all this complexities of modern life did not exist; hence he never spoke about them.
So the question is: can the wisdom of the ancient be applied to the modern life?
Probable most of you will say “yes” – which by the way is my point of view as well.
So the next question is: How do you do it?
What is the Zen of “credit”, “interest rates” or “stock market”?
Should I renounce all material possessions, shave my head, put on the robe of the ascetic and go begging in the streets?
What if I want a family and children?
Is enlightenment reserved only for monks?
Can I be a father, a husband and a Buddha at the same time?
Do I have to spend the rest of my life on a job I don’t enjoy just to pay my bills?
Can I do what I like instead and enjoy a decent, comfortable life?
Sure I can.
I believe that anything is possible.
I just wish I knew how to turn that thought into reality.