“Ango is translated as peaceful dwelling. It’s an invitation to dwell peacefully, anywhere, everywhere—in all circumstances. But that doesn’t just happen because we want it to. It doesn’t happen because we make a declaration of intent. It happens because every day we encounter the dharma and we bring our practice and our mind and our lives in accord—not with our ideas, but with what’s true and present in front of us. Looking around at our world, peaceful dwelling can seem elusive and difficult to find. Yet all this difficulty points to the fact that this practice is more important than ever.” Not Wavering Dharma Talk by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei
Blue Cliff Record, Case 98 Tianping Travels on Foot Featured in Mountain Record 27.4, Summer 2009
I have personally discovered that true stability cannot come from externals. Barry got cancer a few years ago and I thought he’d be dead by 2013. Nope, he’s still alive and kicking.
When I was growing up, I watched my brothers struggle to get and keep good-paying jobs. They’d get a good job and then the company would go belly-up. People were even saying, “Last one out of Michigan, turn out the lights.” I hurt myself in the Army, so I quickly realized I wasn’t going to make a living with my body like my brothers, who became industrial painters.
I got married to a factory worker. He made really good money, but there were times of extended lay-offs. When it hit me that he was getting Huntington’s, I knew I had to become capable of supporting myself. In 2004, I enrolled in business school. A few years later, the bottom fell out of Michigan’s economy.
The only job security you will ever have are the skills you bring to the table. Period. This was not the case when I was growing up. Loyalty was expected from workers and companies, in both directions. I still hear companies whining that young people are not loyal. Oh, boo hoo. These young people watched their parents and siblings have their retirement accounts gutted by corrupt managements. Loyalty is earned. Young people know they will be thrown under the bus in a heart beat for a better profit margin next quarter.
Any peace and security you may have come from within. Any external source of security you perceive is simply an illusion. Buddhism is about living in the real world, which is not always an appealing idea, but a mature one nonetheless.