Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 02/27/2013

Work and Worry

For the last two days my mind has been returningb over and over again to worries and anxieties about my job. The crazy part is that there are no apparent difficultiies on the horizon that are causing me to be so preoccupied. The strange thing about this most current preoccupation is that I think it may very well be covetousness, something with which I have not had a lot of experience with.

In essence, my partner and I were discussing how to move forward with the business in order to reduce our tax liability as much as possible and the disparity between our household incomes was repeatedly brought up. It is not as if this is something new which I had not known before but it just struck me differently yesterday. I guess that even more than coveting his wealth I covet the position of financial strength and security from which he is able tto operate and feel like less of a partner in the business for it. This is, quite obviously, the moment when one departs completely from ratiionality and moves completely into the realm of unbridled and uninformed tanha but my mind has been enthralled to such thoughts for the last day.

So, how does one negotiate such issues and navigate such slippery terrain? Issues of work and supporting my family have not only consumed most of my adult life but are what, for better and for worse, give me a sense of my value in the world. Yes, contemplation on death, on the truth of rebirth and kamma and recollection of the Dhamma are excellent ways to reassert Right View and snap myself out of these delusions but I sometimes feel as if more should be possible. In a way, it feels almost too facile to simply recall anicca and death as a way to extricate myself from work or financial worries. And, having said that, perhaps it is if that is the only way I use such perceptions. What would be a skillful way of working with such delusions? That is the question that I intend to put to my teacher during our next interview. May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.


  1. Sometimes simply observing the thoughts or feelings in a non-judgmental way will release them.

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