January 14

Today's quotation:

Simplicity of life is the true secret of happiness.  Unhampered experience of joy which lies within comes out of simplicity.  Your life should never be complicated with too many things.

Chinananda

Today's Meditation:

Oh, how we like to complicate our lives!  It's so easy to commit ourselves to more and more tasks, to buy more and more things, to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by work and relationships and commitments.

Most of us almost never experience true simplicity.  Even on vacation, we overplan and we have super-high expectations of just how things should work out and just what people should do.  We fill every hour with activities instead of resting and relaxing, which are two of the main purposes of vacations to begin with.

When our lives are complicated, experiencing happiness and joy is difficult because we're so focused on taking care of the things and commitments that we've accumulated over the years.  When we're constantly focused on the next step or the next task, the present moment slips by and we don't feel the joy or the peace that the moment offers us.  The expensive car and house may be nice and may impress others, but the extra expenses keep us focused on working to make payments.  The volunteer position at church may make us feel like we're contributing, but the time spent on it is time that we simply cannot focus on the simple things of life.

Some of the happiest people on the planet are people with few to no possessions, with no ongoing commitments to groups or organizations.  The simplicity of their lives allows them to focus on the true necessities of life, the people whom they love and the taking care of themselves.  Of course, many people with few possessions are miserable because of their envy and their unfulfilled desires, but that's a completely different story.

How can you simplify?  How can you create a day when you come home from work and have no more obligations for the day, or when you wake up and have no commitments to take care of?  This is the type of simplicity that allows us to experience the day fully and to fill it with precious moments.

Questions to consider:

What are three things that you can easily get rid of today that you won't miss?  Why don't you do so?

Name one commitment that you don't feel is fulfilling or that you don't feel you're making a significant contribution to.  What would things be like without that commitment?

Why do we sometimes feel that a simple life is a boring or empty life?

For further thought:

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

Henry David Thoreau

more on simplicity

  

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