What Does Buddhism Have to Do With Debt Reduction?

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Probably not much.

You might connect it with meditation practice, though. The practice of meditation is not central to Buddhism — at least as it’s currently practiced in much of the world. The front and center status of meditation is mostly a facet of monastic life, or Western Buddhism, which takes its cues largely from Thai forest monks of the Theravada tradition.

Walk into a Buddhist temple of first-generation Cambodian-Americans or third-generation Japanese-Americans, and you won’t likely see anyone sitting on a zafu. You might find something resembling church.

Nevertheless, engaging in a meditation practice could be a sensible step toward debt reduction. So much of our debt is the result of impulse purchases. Witness my pal in Vroman’s bookstore, handling something called “The Wine Deck.” A cleverly packaged deck of cards with facts about wine. No home would be complete without one.

“That’s your credit card debt right there, dude.”

These things turn into crap before our eyes, clutter our shelves, packed away in our cupboards, drawers, and even, ugh, rented storage space.

One small part of what we do when we meditate is to observe the contents of the mind. The ebb and flow of feelings and thoughts. In this practice we learn that that these unceasing processes are fleeting. As we develop the ability to observe thoughts, emotions, impulses, we gain the insight that we are not those impulses, we are separate.

This is very simplistic, and represents only one broad style of meditation, generally referred to as insight meditation.

Interested in learning more? Try this.

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