Monday, April 22, 2013

Live Simply

a simple green bush adorns the barren desert landscape

When we moved into our home out in the desert, my wife and I had to severely "downsize" our accumulated belongings of many years. It's amazing how much "stuff" you can stack up over almost 35 years of marriage.

Our closets were filled with clothing we hadn't worn in years. Our basement and garage were overflowing with "stuff" - pictures, furniture, vinyl records, cassette tapes, toys, games, drawings from when our boys were small children. There were boxes everywhere - things we hadn't unpacked from our last move. Our cabinets were filled with dishes, glassware, pots and pans, small appliances, cooking utensils and kitchen gadgets that had sat unused for decades. 

It was a great revelation to me that we had acquired so much "stuff," but the greater revelation was that we had kept all that "stuff" for so long.

So we cleaned it all up,  and gave most of it away, vowing we would not move what we could not use

Now that we have much less "stuff, " it feels good.

The cartons and boxes of things in my closets, cabinets, basement and garage were very symbolic to me of the amount of "baggage" I have accumulated over the years. I'm not just talking about my things and possessions, I'm talking about all the baggage - the pressures, worries, concerns, agendas, strategies. 

Somehow getting rid of all my things has also helped me to sift through all the other baggage in my life, and it has helped me focus upon living more simply - open and available  to living in the moment, attuned to what life presents to me today. 

A more simple lifestyle has helped clear the way for a deeper spirituality.

The desert is a wonderful place to practice living more simply.  The landscape is vast and barren and yet the simple trees, cacti and flowers decorate it beautifully.  It's a simple and yet an elegant place to be. 

The Buddhists teach, "Less is more." The desert is a perfect place for my Christian soul to acknowledge this Buddhist wisdom:   

The Buddha taught, "Meditate, live simply, be quiet, Do your work with mastery."

To that, I say "Amen!"

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