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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
41 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly security has recently eroded. Some are in the latter stages of their working lives and have lost jobs. They’re wondering whether to get back in the game, or radically downsize, or what. DaviD Loy: Clearly there are no pat answers, but such situations do give us the opportunity to start from scratch, go back to the basics, and reevaluate what the most important things in our lives are. I may well be in that situation myself in another year. I’m not sure there is anything more one can say from a dharma standpoint except to take the opportunity to really look at what is important. Sharon SaLzberg: I don’t think whether we “get back in the game” or not is the issue. It’s more about making a realistic assessment based on a more inclusive, more comprehensive view of what we really care about, what brings us happiness. Most of us have to work, not only to get by of course, but also because there is a kind of dignity, or usefulness, about something well done. There’s craftsmanship in doing whatever we do as well as we can. That’s quite wonder- ful. So dropping out of the work world or the economy may not be the point so much. What may be more to the point is dealing with the fear, anxiety, and sense of helplessness. One can approach what one needs to do step by step. We’ll find there are many gifts. John TarranT: I surveyed my friends when the financial meltdown hit, when Lehman Brothers went belly up, and so on. There was quite a range, but one friend had his money with Madoff. So suddenly he went from having a fair amount of money to having not much. I was curious how it affected him, what the symptoms were. PHoto:jussiMononen buDDhaDharma: Some practitioners have been in a quandary about what to do since a lot of their financial