November 11


Today's Quotation:

When one begins to practice simplicity, the ego is deprived of the very strategy by which it sustains itself.  Nothing will deflate the ego more effectively than to be recognized for what it is.  It lives by pretension.  It dies when the mask is torn away and the stark reality is exposed to the gaze of others.  Simplicity also avails in braking the tyranny of things.  Ostentation, artificiality, ornamentation, pretentious style, luxury— all require things.  One requires few things to be one’s self, one’s age, and one’s moral, intellectual, or spiritual stature.  What one is does not depend upon what one has.

Albert E. Day

Today's Meditation:

I definitely long for much more simplicity in my life than I have.  Modern life makes certain demands upon us, and some of those demands include transportation, for example (I work 25 miles away from my home), homes, furnishings for our homes, entertainment, and on and on.  Personally, I would love to live without a car, but my circumstances don't permit that-- at least, not for now.

But even with such circumstances, I don't have to let the things I have rule me.  I don't have to go out and buy a car that's more expensive just so that other people might see me differently.  If I allow my ego to control my decision-making when it comes to getting a car, then I'll probably end up with many more problems than I would if I bought a car based on my needs and finding a practical way to fulfill those needs.

Being simple helps me to be myself-- truly and authentically.  Being simple allows me to be sure that what I buy and what I have are functional in nature, rather than pretentious or showy.  Leading a simple life keeps my wants simple, and really can help me to find balance financially, spiritually, and emotionally.  When what I am has absolutely nothing to do with what I have, my mind and spirit are free from the oppression of my ego, who wants to stay in charge no matter what.  My simplicity holds it in place.

Simplicity isn't necessarily living a Spartan lifestyle of depriving oneself of everything nice or comfortable.  After all, we help other people by buying their goods, and we help our economies by sharing the money we've earned through our purchases.  But when simplicity is our guide rather than our egos, the decisions that we make about what we want to have will be much more sound, and much more fulfilling to us as human beings.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What can simplicity do for you in your life?

2.  Is it easy to focus on simplicity as a way of life?

3.  What kinds of barriers to leading simple lives stand in our way?

For further thought:

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hofmann

more thoughts and ideas on simplicity



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