Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living A Simple Life

A friend sent me the following quote.
It's also helpful to realize that this body that we have, this very body that's sitting here right now in this room, this very body that perhaps aches, and this mind that we have at this very moment, are exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive."
-Pema Chodron
I also recently read the this quote.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen.  In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksand’s and the thousand and one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds.  Simplify, Simplify!”
-Henry David Thoreau from Walden
It is a great challenge to keep life simple in such complicated times.  It is easier if you are a single person who doesn’t need to get the approval of others in terms of how you live your life.  It is more challenging if you are married with a family or living with others, especially if they do not have the same values or desire for simplicity.  Each person must decide for themselves what is essential for living and what takes their time.  With my particular personality and needs, I have determined that what is essential is also minimal.  I could live in one room as long as it was filled with books, music, a comfortable chair and bed, a coffee pot, a small stove to cook, and basic plumbing.  As a married man with children and a granddaughter, my two story, four bedroom home hasn’t seemed  enough at times.  I have a lot of stuff that someone will have to deal with someday.  I have simplified my life in other ways.  I have minimized my activities.  I am not over-extended in any way.  Instead of wanting more I think in terms of needing less.  I say no more than I say yes.  I strive to do less and be more.  I spend more time looking within and less time wandering outside myself.  In my mind, if not in my body, I live on Walden Pond with the attitude of Thoreau.  My mantra is “less is more” and I have come to realize that “this very body that perhaps aches, and this mind that I have at this very moment, are exactly what I need to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive."      

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