Monday Musings Twenty-seven: Keep it Simple

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Keep it Simple


I don’t know about you, but for me, life has all-too-frequently felt like an uphill struggle. In my younger years, I took things far too seriously. And, while I had big ambition, I had small confidence. The gap between these two proved a chasm that I just couldn’t cross, and nothing seemed enough.

I chased after all the things that I thought would make me happy: a career, my own home, a life-partner, etc. What I didn’t realise was that my biggest achievement was to complicate my life way more than I needed to.

The more we have, the more responsibility lands on our shoulders. The more we need to take care of, the busier we are. We worry more. Get lost in planning the future more (and thus lose sight that God laughs at our puny human plans).

All plans have to remain loose. Life is subject to change without notice.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

When I gave up all my possessions and made myself homeless (becoming wholly dependent upon a Buddhist temple to house and feed me), to my surprise, I discovered how light and free and liberated life suddenly felt. I’m not saying that giving up everything was easy or done overnight (it took planning), but I did adapt to it and appreciate it much more readily and quickly than I could ever have imagined.

Up until that point, I’d lived my life on a calendar, with everything carefully planned out. My whole way of being was one of rigidity (and thus, suffering). Now, for most of us, leaving the world and the folks in it behind for X amount of years isn’t practical or what we want to do. Happily, we can effect positive change with tiny adjustments.

To live simply, we need to cease from grasping and filling our lives with as much stuff as we can. Instead, we need to know what is enough. That’s not to say that we can’t dream—we can, and we want to dream big. This isn’t the paradox it may seem at first sight. It is more than possible to dream while also being grateful for what we have right now.

When we manage to live simply, dream big, and feel grateful—knowing that our life is enough—then we can give love. We can laugh lots. We can brighten the lives of those around us.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)