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Money and Buddhism: Philosophy Series

❝What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow.❞ -Buddha

I'm sitting on my couch meditating with a little help from an app on my phone. I've learned how to focus my attention on an object of meditation like my breath. Now I'm starting to learn more open awareness techniques. During my meditation training, I've learned a lot about Buddhism. I learned that Buddhism focuses on relieving pain and suffering, as well as separating ourselves from our ego. I learned it has a lot in common with Stoicism and its focus on how we interpret the world around us. Like many other philosophies of life, Buddhism proposes a drive towards contentment and serenity.


There's a lot we can learn from Buddhism in our financial lives, including how to be less reactive in the face of financial issues and how to be more mindful of our financial lives.


Life is Hard


There's no doubt about it; life is going to be hard. There will always be stress, setbacks, problems, and other things that need to be solved. You might think of this as the human condition. Buddhists would say we ought to seek to minimize suffering for ourselves and others.


One of the strongest ways to reduce suffering is to detach from the pursuit of happiness.

Attachments and Unhappiness


A lot of our unhappiness, Buddhists say, is caused by our attachment to outside things. They would say that the pursuit of happiness is itself a cause of unhappiness. There's an old saying that you can't become happy; you can only be happy.


Buddhists believe that the self is an illusion. If we can separate ourselves from our ego, then we start to realize that nothing is personal; it just is. This is the foundation of happiness, or the alleviation of suffering.