The Dharma works

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    I wanted to share a brief story and thank you so much for your teachings. For several months I have been practicing lamrim meditation using your book Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path. Yesterday I was really down in the dumps; I was thinking about some real estate investments that may be going bad, and as the sole breadwinner for my family, worrying that I might lose my retirement and savings and that my family would be destitute. This morning, instead of meditating on the next lamrim topic, I decided to meditate on attachment and the antidotes thereto. I particularly spent some time thinking about my attachment to material possessions and the subsequent fear and worry that attachment caused. Using your outline on pages 173-4, I began to see that this attachment causes me to go up and down emotionally, that it breeds dissatisfaction, that it distracts me from my Dharma practice, and it definitely causes me worry and anxiety.

    I then thought about how much emphasis I placed on these "investments," and the imaginative stories I made up in my mind about how things would turn out, when in fact these were all stories in my mind that were not real. I then used the death meditation to see that after death these "investments" will be of no use to me, and that since these material possessions are impermanent and changing why should I cling to them now. Further, my family’s happiness does not depend on material possessions any more than my happiness does, and my irritability and frustration does not help anything.

    My total mental disposition changed after this morning’s meditation; and while I know that I will probably worry about these investments in the future, I do know the antidotes to attachment work and I will use them in the future.

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