Tuesday, October 7, 2008
A Spiritual Response to the Global Financial Crisis
A tragic result of the stock market crash in 1929 was the suicide reports. According to news accounts, several people shot themselves, and at least one person died from intentionally leaving the gas stove on.
Today we’re in the midst of another severe financial crisis that has already gone global, and I’m aware of at least two recent murder-suicides, one in Los Angeles and one in Louisville, Kentucky. The Los Angeles deaths were clearly related to financial concerns as an unemployed accountant killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and then himself.
Despite the bailout bill and other measures taken recently to halt the economic downturn, we can expect the economy to get worse before it gets better. More and more Americans are facing financial hardship, if not disaster, and it’s hard to know where to turn for help.
If you’ve followed my blog over the months since its inauguration in late August 2007, you know that from time to time I’ve published a continually revised version of the ancient Buddhist loving kindness prayer. Today, as I read my latest version, it occurred to me how appropriate it is for this occasion. Whatever your beliefs are about prayer, it seems to me that sending forth this kind of energy into the universe has to be for the good of all. So in this global financial meltdown, I invite my readers to join with me in speaking these words:
May we release all burdens of guilt, shame, fear, and loss from past trauma that no longer serve us and needless fear and anxiety about the future;
May we be filled with loving kindness;
May we be protected from all internal and external harm;
May we be as healthy and whole as possible;
May we be centered, peaceful, and at ease;
May we be happy;
May each of us enjoy both spiritual and material