A very simple life is good for everything.
You will not find any pleasure in plenty.
This is the truest saying, yet many of us still feel the want, or perhaps the drive, to do more, more, more - as if somehow more is better. And I guess the question that I pose to you today is: In a world of possessional plenty is there peace and calm or chaos that leads to rigidity?
Years ago, when I spent time in a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar, for a whole month I was to live only with a toothbrush and a comb, in complete meditative silence. During this time, although hard at first, I learned the true internal value of simplicity. The bliss that comes from simply being. And perhaps this is why there is a sense of calm presence when we are in the honour of a Monk, or a meditative guru. There is, and we do see this in modern research, an aura of open potential energy that comes in stillness and silence; a sense that the impossible is possible and that we have the capacity to achieve this.
On return, I found it quite confronting to come home to all my "stuff" and my "diary": the need to create rigidity in chaos - or as some may see, to organise the endless requirements of our cultures demands - it was a stark contrast to where I had been and a reminder that it is so very easy to fall into patterns that complicated a simpler way of being.
And so, after some time and presence I came to a place of balance, a place where I made the choice to "edit out", both personal possessions and doing too much.
Although it may seem that we "do not have time", we can always step back into the breath; with one mindful footstep the mind is relieved of all it's stories and there becomes time to simply be still. To relish being slow, in order to find a grounded sense of being that allows for a steady, unshakeable, and mindful presence that takes us to places of infinite possibility and spaciousness of heart.
And as we begin our week I whole heartedly encourage you to find present moment freedom. As such here is some of the wisdom I gained from those living a most bliss-filled life:
- Be mindful of everything that you do...Stop, breathe, watch - even the most mundane tasks such as the washing up or the shopping - become aware of your own awareness.
- Simplify what needs to be done, one step at a time.
- Do not do anything that you do not consider necessary in life. "No" is a full sentence. Boundaries are vital: This is self compassion.
- Actively listen; that is, listen to hear not to speak. Take the time to notice what others are saying beyond their words, what might this mean for them?
- Withdraw the senses from their usual impressions i.e. fast the mind from the phone, computer, radio, even the household itself, take the time to rejoice in nature - the earth has the capacity to heal.
Take full residence in your body, your breath and your heart.
There is no where else I would personally rather be.
It really is that simple.
Do join us as we celebrate and learn the simple - See our retreats and meditations below for creating the simple life, filled with open potential.
Enjoy some peace oriented listening: