| BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH |
| PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |
which we experience and enjoy
as we embrace our fantastic journey,
Spiritual Explorations Posts on the practice of SIMPLICITY:
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Our planet's survival is tied to the practice of simplicity. This can not be emphasized too much.
Our lives are often too complicated. We need to discipline ourselves to "simplify, simplify, simplify" as Thoreau put it in Walden. The first three disciplines of stillness, silence and solitude all create simplicity. The more diligently we practice these disciplines, the more we can simplify our lives. When we simplify, we are awake, aware and connected. We become more aware of our intimate and intricate connection to God and everything God has created. We become aware of the glorious fact that we are heavenly beings created simply by love and for love.
The Zen Buddhist discipline of zazen (sitting, centering, meditating), if practiced properly, leads to the natural, simple realization of our daily and glorious heavenly existence. In the introduction to ZEN MIND, BEGINNER'S MIND, Shunryu Suzuki says: "The practice of Zen mind is beginner's mind. The innocence of the first inquiry - what am I? - is needed throughout Zen practice. The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities."
The abundance of heaven can only be experienced by those who have learned how to simplify their lives.
I like the approach of Sallie McFague, a brilliant contemporary theologian. She emphasizes our need to simplify our lives in LIFE ABUNDANT: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril. She emphasizes our need to embrace sustainability. In "A Manifesto to North American Middle Class Christians," she advocates some "new house rules" for our house, the planet. "The basic rules are: Take only your share, clean up after yourself, and keep the house in good repair for future occupants." She points out that "ecology" and "economics" both come from the same word root which has to do with the laws for living in a household. She refers to the famous quote of Charles Birch: "The rich must live more simply, so that the poor may simply live." This responsibility applies to most of us living in the planet's 20 to 30 highly developed countries.