Author Topic: The Minimalist  (Read 4402 times)


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The Minimalist
« on: March 13, 2013, 06:31:41 PM »
I have always personally liked having less things around me... I don't like the feeling of clutter or owning many things, it makes me feel weird to own many things...

I just came across this article written by a minimalist. I thought, that it was interesting to see someone, whom have no background of Buddhism, to actually realize this all by himself... that owning lesser things brings up more peace and comfort than owning more. And the amazing thing is, he realized that all materialistic views... is nothing but an endless pursuit.

I thought I'd share this with everyone here. When a person with no knowledge of Dharma what so ever, decides to act in a Dharmic way after life teaches them it's lessons... I think it is only truth that will be expressed from such actions.


“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” – Peace Pilgrim

Four years ago, we sold, donated, or discarded over 60% our possessions. We removed clothes, furniture, decorations, cookware, tools, books, toys, plus anything else we could find in our home that was not immediately useful or beautiful.

At the time, the idea of owning fewer possessions was completely foreign to us. Nobody had ever told us living with fewer possessions was an option for life… much less a better alternative to the endless pursuit of more and more.

Looking back, while I would have never admitted with my words that I was seeking joy in possessions, I had become more influenced by our consumer-driven culture than I would like to admit. As a result, I worked long hours to earn money to buy newer technology, trendier clothing, nicer toys, faster cars, and bigger houses. I didn’t really believe the purpose of life was to chase possessions, but my calendar and checkbook sure seemed to declare that truth.

Choosing to intentionally live with fewer possessions was a decision that sounded surprisingly attractive. It was a decision that found its roots in our finances, our family, and our faith. We had grown weary of living paycheck to paycheck, weary of trading time with our kids to manage our possessions, and weary of pursuing worldly gain rather than lasting purpose. Owning less offered escape from the clutter in our homes. It offered escape from the clutter in our lives. It forced intentionality. And it offered the very ideals our hearts most desperately desired.

Since choosing to live with less, we have experienced numerous unexpected benefits. We have more time, more energy, more freedom, and more money to pursue what is most important to us. Owning less means less cleaning, less burden, less anxiety, and less stress each and every day. In short, we are freed to pursue our passions.

Over the years, I have come to define minimalism as the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. I have found it to be a lifestyle that appeals to the heart and resonates with the soul. Owning less is an invitation that is appreciated, desired, and accepted when fully understood. It may be just the answer to a better life you’ve been searching for all along.


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Re: The Minimalist
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 04:55:33 AM »
Thanks Q.

I too really really like the zen minimalist concept... especially when you have been growing up like a gypsy moving from one location to the next... you really learn how to "LET GO" lol so to speak of your precious belongings, so you think.

And when I met the Dharma... whenever I start throwing away all that clothes I never wear, all those magazines I never read after keeping them for 3 years, all those papers, trash and stuff... oh my what a relief and great big burden off is the feeling I get. And the lesser I have, the more liberated I feel... you really only really need the basics and the things that will help you with your work really... nothing else... because really... what can we take when we die? Why hold on and hoard???

I loveeee this idea of a Buddha in the garden and nothing else except the greens and a Buddha to see and meditate. So much peace :)

Big Uncle

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Re: The Minimalist
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 09:37:48 AM »
Yes, in this day and age, materialism has become the prime directive of almost everyone on earth. Acquisition is glorified these days and sometimes beyond spirituality and cultural values. Now, we all know that materialism is just a glorified means from which we express our attachments. And I think that minimalism is not exactly the opposite of attachment but it is a step closer to unravelling attachment than it is to increase attachment. Hence, the aesthetics of Zen minimalism I think is really inspired in this manner.


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Re: The Minimalist
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 12:20:31 PM »
In Buddhism,  attachment is a major cause of suffering. Our attached mental grasping to all things pleasurable and comforting, and our belief that these things will or should last forever is a contradiction of reality which eventually leads to sufferings.

The more things we have, the more distracting life gets. Everything we own will one day be lost as we will not be able to take it with us at the time of death.  I think minimalists tend to be more focus, that their resources are better spent on other activities rather than the pursuit of material gain.

In a spiritual sense, spending less time taking care of our things, or working in order to gain more but instead using that time more wisely to develop our relationship with others or using the money to help those in need which is a higher, more genuine and longer lasting happiness.


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Re: The Minimalist
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 11:08:43 AM »
It is inspiring to read about the minimalist’s approach to owning things.  What he had said makes sense. 

Throughout our lives, we would gather so many things that in time these things will fill up our homes and make our space very cluttered.  As our desires for things are endless, we will eventually end up with many unwanted things in our possession!  It is not wrong to own things.  But if we are not discipline in keeping only things that we need and giving away all the unwanted things, we should stop getting newer things in life. Otherwise we will have problem disposing these unwanted things!  The practice of contentment is advocated here by the minimalist.