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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
49 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly Sharon SaLzberg: Poor people might have very little time, as well. They may be looking for work, or housing, or just trying hard to get through the day. I think about the teaching of a precious human birth. If we’re too caught up in seeking plea- sure and happiness and have too much stuff, we get obsessed with that stuff and we forget about a deeper meaning, but if our lives are horribly pressured and it’s just about survival and we’re barely getting by, it’s not that easy either. If we’ve had the chance to practice, we’ve received a gift that we can apply no matter where the situation takes us. And if we find we are in a place of relative privilege in this society, we could reflect on what that means as well. buDDhaDharma: What if in spite of all we understand about interconnectedness, simplicity, being-time, and precious human birth, when we have to decide whether it’s time to declare bankruptcy, we freak out? Sharon SaLzberg: Keep breathing. DaviD Loy: Become aware of that anxiety rather than be caught up in it. Be with it, be mindful of it. John TarranT: You’ll get through it. And it’s your job to get through it. It’s not your job to get through it pretty. Get through it ugly. We get anxious because we want certainty, and we don’t ever have certainty. Stop worrying about the out- come; it’s not here. And if you’re panicked, be panicked. buDDhaDharma: In an article in Buddhadharma a while back, Chokyi Nyima talked about one of our primary delusions being the solid assumption that if we have a lot, we’re happy; if we don’t have a lot, we’re unhappy. DaviD Loy: The assumption is that we’re talking about money and stuff, but of course, there’s a very interesting tension between time and money. So many people have a lot of money and a lot of stuff, but don’t really have the time to enjoy themselves. If we have less money, is that going to make people more anxious and enjoy their time less, or will it be an opportunity to get a better sense of time? Many people have chosen voluntary simplicity because they want more time and more focus on relationship. Money is something we have, but time is what we are. John TarranT: That’s great. I woke up last night, and I noticed it was raining. At times like those, the mind just thinks it’s part of the rain. When that happens, I know there’s nothing more important than just listening to the rain. We have that moment over and over and over again. Maybe if we get that moment at the cost of losing some of our money, we’ll have made a good deal. buDDhaDharma: That’s what Dogen talks about as being- time. Time is not a commodity or a measuring device ulti- mately; it’s the essence of our being, where we are in any given moment. davidKozlowsKi,dallasPHotoworKs