Friday, June 17, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 183

This is the daily exploration for Friday, July 1, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF DELIGHT



+
The clouds above us join and separate.
The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?
- Lu Yu

+ 183 down, 183 to go.  I am delighted that we have reached the halfway point in these 366 Spiritual Explorations posts which I am offering on a daily basis during the leap year of 2016. But, of course, there is nothing to prevent you from benefiting from these posts at any time.  So, if you are reading this and it isn’t  July 1, 2016 but some other day in 2016 or beyond, just relax and celebrate. You are fantastic. You are amazing. You are delightful. Yes, you.  If it July 1, 2016, I am so glad you are reading this and exploring with me as I write and upload these posts.  I am writing on June 14, 2016, a “bright, sunshiny day” in central New York. “I can see clearly now.”

Let’s be more and more delighted as we explore heavenly realms together here on earth and in the mysterious beyond.  “Who can stop us from celebrating?”

+ Delight is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Delight in their Search Engine and you come up with 85 items including 67 quotes, 16 books, 1 practice, and 1 film as of 6/14/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Delight.  However, it is clear that Mary Ann & Frederic Brussat are big fans of Joy. Therefore, put Joy in their Search Engine and you come up with 2057 items including 867 quotes, 835 books, 160 practices, 11 teachers, 24 arts links, 29 e-courses, 98 films, 26 blogs and 4 traditions as of 6/14/16. Oh, and Joy IS one of the 37 spiritual practices. You can also be inspired by their Twelves Gallery on Joy

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Delight page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 182

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, June 30, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF DELIGHT


+ In Thinking Body, Dancing Mind, C.A. Huang and Jerry Lynch observe that in Chinese writing, laughter is depicted by a character suggesting "a human with arms and legs flung wide apart, head up to the sky, vibrating with mirth like bamboo leaves in the wind" — the Wild Man and Wild Woman, anchored to the earth but also penetrating heaven, whose laughter echoes throughout the universe.

+ What an image.  Delightful. Joyful. Wild. Free. Spacious. Open.  Expanding.  Penetrating. 

Is that how you see yourself?  You are delightful, you know.  Yes, you.  Hopefully, these practices, particularly the Journey of the Soul practices we are currently exploring are opening up new ways for us to express our heavenly nature.  Do you laugh enough?  Do you smile enough?  Do you dance enough?  Do you sing enough?  Do you play enough? 


+ Delight is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Delight in their Search Engine and you come up with 85 items including 67 quotes, 16 books, 1 practice, and 1 film as of 6/14/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Delight.  However, it is clear that Mary Ann & Frederic Brussat are big fans of Joy. Therefore, put Joy in their Search Engine and you come up with 2057 items including 867 quotes, 835 books, 160 practices, 11 teachers, 24 arts links, 29 e-courses, 98 films, 26 blogs and 4 traditions as of 6/14/16. Oh, and Joy IS one of the 37 spiritual practices. The photo is found there. You can also be inspired by their Twelves Gallery on Joy

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Delight page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 181

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF DELIGHT


+ Delight and joy must accompany your every spiritual endeavor. Only when you delight and rejoice in each fine and positive deed will you have the enthusiasm to act in the most ideal manner and add to your deeds every day. Only when the delight and joy in your heart are bound to your fine and positive actions will they be anchored in you.

+ As the song says, Delight is the direct result of a simple life.  I find it very easy to see the profound relationship between these Journey of the Soul practices of Simplicity, Delight and Heavenliness which we are now exploring. 

We are now beginning to explore a practice which is really heavenly, so heavenly in fact that we can see and taste and touch heavenly realms like never before.  I was delighted to find this quote because it uses the two words that I use in these explorations of 12 spiritual practices and 9 heavenly attributes: Delight and Joy.  We are now very close to the next stage of this amazing journey where we explore  the 9 heavenly attributes:  Abundance, Joy, Wisdom, Beauty, Love, Truth, Peace, Justice and Freedom.

The more we are delighted, delightful and joyful, the more we are experiencing heaven. Heaven is not some far off place but it is our greater reality right now, right here.  It simply takes a lot of practice to become aware of this greater reality and that’s what we have been working on.  Rabbi Kook tells us that delight is indeed essential and leads to the deeds which expand heavenliness awareness in ourselves, in each other and beyond.

+ Delight is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Delight in their Search Engine and you come up with 85 items including 67 quotes, 16 books, 1 practice, and 1 film as of 6/14/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Delight.  However, it is clear that Mary Ann & Frederic Brussat are big fans of Joy. Therefore, put Joy in their Search Engine and you come up with 2057 items including 867 quotes, 835 books, 160 practices, 11 teachers, 24 arts links, 29 e-courses, 98 films, 26 blogs and 4 traditions as of 6/14/16. Oh, and Joy IS one of the 37 spiritual practices. You can also be inspired by their Twelves Gallery on Joy.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Delight page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS -- 180

This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY



+ Much of spiritual practice is just this: cutting away what must be cut, and letting remain what must remain. Knowing what to cut—this is wisdom. Being clear and strong enough to make the cut when it is time for things to go—this is courage. Together, the practices of wisdom and courage enable us, day by day and task by task, to gradually simplify our life.

+ This is the final post in the exploration of the Soul practice of Simplicity but it will continue to be a priority concern as we continue this amazing journey. Indeed, as the song says, Delight is the direct result of a simple life.  I find it very easy to see the profound relationship between these Journey of the Soul practices of SimplicityDelight and Heavenliness which we are now exploring. 

Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.


SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 179

This is the daily exploration for Monday, June 27, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ In 1973, at a time when more and more people were talking about the importance of ecology … Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered  (by E.F.Schumacher)  was published. Here he advocated the use of small appropriate technologies over the traditional Western obsession with "bigger is better." Schumacher's attack on unbridled growth and the depletion of the earth's natural resources spoke to many people who were ready to commit themselves to a more spiritual way of living. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful as one of the 100 most influential books published since World War II.

+ The connection between Simplicity and Spirituality is profound.  It is definitely worth exploring as we have been doing here.  We will soon move on to the next practice, the closely related Soul practice of Delight, but the Soul practice of Simplicity needs to be constantly held up as an essential practice for anyone desiring to realize what it means to be heavenly, to be authentic, to be loving and compassionate.  And, as Schumacher pointed out, our planet needs us to do simplify our lives if we are to prevent ecological and economic catastrophe.  To repeat what Gandhi said: “There is enough for everybody’s need but not everybody’s greed.”  Are you too greedy?  Am I too greedy?  Living in the affluence most of us take for granted is probably all too greedy when we compare our situation with so many other people on our planet. 

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 178

This is the daily exploration for Sunday, June 26, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ In her book Choosing Simplicity, Linda Breen Pierce offers a list of common lifestyle patterns in people who live simply:
1. Limiting material possessions to what is needed and/or cherished.
2. Meaningful work, whether paid or volunteer, ideally spending no more than 30 hours per week (in order to make time for items #3 to 12, below).
3. Quality relationships with friends and family.
4. Joyful and pleasurable leisure activities.
5. A conscious and comfortable relationship with money.
6. Connection to community, but not necessarily in formal organizations.
7. Sustainable consumption practices.
8. Healthy living practices, including exercise, adequate sleep, and nutritious food.
9. Practices that foster personal growth, an inner life, or spirituality such as yoga, meditation, prayer, religious ceremonies, journal writing, and spiritually-related reading.
10. Connection to nature — delighting in spending time in nature regularly.
11. Aesthetic beauty in personal environment.
12. Living in harmony with values and integrity.

+ I will never forget hearing a friend describe what he encountered on a mission trip to Nicaragua in the 1980s. He said he had never seen such poverty in his life AND he had never seen such joy.  Could it be that less really is better?

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 177

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, June 25, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ A number of people in our increasingly complex world have found themselves going on unexpected pilgrimages back to the world of indigenous peoples to tap into a simpler, more natural connection with the earth and with a spirituality somehow based on that closer connection. The change is then experienced by the pilgrim as a spiritual experience, a change in values, in how they look at the world and at other people, finding wisdom in unexpected places.
— Jean Dalby, Wallace Clift in The Archetype of Pilgrimage by Jean Dalby Clift, Wallace B. Clift

+ I think these two authors get right to the heart of what the spiritual practice of Simplicity is all about.  Pilgrimage can be a metaphor for taking a journey, an inner journey, where we let go of so many things which are getting in the way.  When we go on a journey we have to let go of many of the items we think we need when we are at home.  But then we find that we didn’t need them after all because the journey itself becomes so meaningful, inspirational and illuminating.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ The photo comes from the S&P Twelves Gallery on Questing.
+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

Saturday, June 11, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 176

This is the daily exploration for Friday, June 24, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+
When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

+ Nature is one of the twelve Spiritual Styles of Ed Bastian’s InterSpirituality Mandala, or Spiritual Paths.  Wisdom teachers often teach that getting out of the buildings of our lives and into the fields and forests and lakes and rivers and oceans is essential for our spiritual quest. Ed writes:

It is strange and tragic that so many have come to see themselves as separate from nature. And even  when they admit that they are a part of nature, many still insist that they are at the top of the evolutionary ladder, a superior species, chosen by God (or Darwin) to be in charge of all the other minerals, plants, and animals of the Earth. This bias toward human superiority can be found in many of the world’s religious, philosophical and scientific traditions. Fortunately, within these same traditions, are other voices that lead us back into sacred communion with nature—the mother of us all.  

Mary Oliver is loved for her many, many poems which connect nature to our spiritual explorations.  Mary Ann & Frederic Brussat of S&P suggest that her poetry adds something special to the practices of Wonder, Faith and Attention, three of the 37 S&P practices.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 175

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, June 23, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Simplicity is not the pursuit of austerity but an ongoing life exploration that asks us to carefully examine what truly contributes to well-being and what undermines happiness.

+ We are all invited to go on this “ongoing life exploration” and the sooner the better.  Ultimately, we have no choice.  We are required to go on this exploration because it is what life is all about.  This is true of both our limited earthly life and our unlimited heavenly life.  I like to say that we are exploring heavenly realms here and now.  The more we are open to all of the delights, surprises and even setbacks of our amazing journey, the more we find meaning, purpose and joy in our lives.  I am delighted that you are exploring these heavenly realms with me.  Thank You.  You are awesome.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 174

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


What gets in the way of simplicity is not sophistication but self-importance, with all the complications it creates. The more lightly we take ourselves, the more we leave the narrow confines of our little egos behind and enter the wide-open spaces of our true selves. Men and women who expand themselves in this way find common ground and great inner freedom. Rid of pretense, they seem to breathe more easily. They radiate a sense of being at home in the universe and everybody feels at home with them. They speak a universal language; anyone can understand them. A Swiss proverb even claims, "If you have common sense, you can talk to cattle."

+ Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  David Steindl-Rast focuses on gratitude as the way which brings us to this wonderful state of simplicity.  He offers one of my favorite websites > http://www.gratefulness.org/.

I recently discovered and retweeted a quote by #Confucius which corresponds to the one above: "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." This was tweeted by Jane Bernard who tweets at ‏@intuitivescribe, a good one to follow if you are on Twitter.


+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com

Friday, June 10, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 173

This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Inner solitude and Noble Silence is a way to empty, cleanse, heal, and renew the heart and mind. This is a voluntary way to start the process of simplification and personal downsizing. The peace will help you purify your perceptions and make presence of mind more acute, clear, spacious, and even luminous.  / Incredible satisfaction is available when you begin experiencing the timeless truth that less can actually be more; that the most elegant solution is often the simplest one. Gratitude and appreciation serve us better than attachment and grasping. Peace of mind is the inmost secret treasure.

+ You might be able to guess that I like the idea of connecting this practice of Simplicity to the Journey of the Heart practice of Silence and the Journey of the Body practice of Solitude.  The more we develop a comprehensive practice, the more we find it easy to experience “the timeless truth that less can actually be more; that the most elegant solution is often the simplest one.“  It really is all about “Letting go and Letting God.”

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 172

This is the daily exploration for Monday, June 20, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ What we are really talking about here is the act of getting current and staying current with ourselves. We are talking about the act of checking in, honoring ourselves, our intentions, perceptions, and intuitions. We are talking about something very simple that is often difficult to do amid hurly-burly. We are talking about paying attention to what we love.

+ I think that an attitude of gratitude is a good description of a life lived simply wonderfully.  We all know these wonderful people.  You are one of these wonderful people displaying kindness, gentleness, joy, compassion, hope, freedom and you are simply amazing.  Yes, you. 


+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 171

   This is the daily exploration for Sunday, June 19, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Do few things but do them well, simple joys are holy.
+ The practice of Holiness is inclusive of all of these practices we are exploring.  Holiness and Simplicity are closely connected.  You can learn a lot about Simplicity and its amazing power by studying the life of Saint Francis.  Fellow explorers, can you offer the names of other great teachers of Simplicity? Will you? I hope so.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 170

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, June 18, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Kindness . . . has many facets. But its essence is as simple as can be. We will find that kindness is a way of making less effort. It is the most economic attitude there is, because it saves us much energy that we might otherwise waste in suspicion, worry, resentment, manipulation, or unnecessary defense. It is an attitude that, by eliminating the inessential, brings us back to the simplicity of being.

+ Perhaps His Holiness The Dalai Lama said it best when he simply said: “My religion is kindness.”  Isn’t that it? We can find so many ways to avoid the basics, the truth, the Golden Rule.  I know I do.


+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 169

   This is the daily exploration for Friday, June 17, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Here is some wisdom on Simplicity offered by Catherine Whitmire in Plain Living:
·         The history of Quaker social action — from peacemaking to war relief to civil rights — reveals how simplicity can impel people to plunge into the world's most intractable problems.
-- Catherine Whitmire
·         Through my personal journey I have come to understand plain living as a matter of spiritual intent, or an aim of the heart. It consists of aligning our lives with what we hear when we listen to our Guide. . . . Early Quakers called this "staying close to the root."
-- Catherine Whitmire
·         Simplification comes when we "center down," when life is lived with singleness of eye, from a holy Center where the breath and stillness of Eternity are heavy upon us and we are wholly yielded to God.
-- Thomas Kelly

+ The Quaker tradition offers a powerful expression of the practice of Simplicity. We have much to learn from the historical and current effectiveness of Quakers.  Unlike the Friends (Quakers), Christianity as a whole has not taught people how important it is to practice Stillness, Silence, Solitude & Simplicity.  World peace, local peace, personal peace, is created as we engage in these essential mind, heart, body and soul practices.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 168

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, June 16, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Here are three of the goals of The Center for a New American Dream:

·         Inspiring, engaging, and challenging Americans to re-examine their cultural values on consumption and consumerism and initiating a new national conversation around what “the good life” and the “American dream” mean.
·         Providing tools and support to families, citizens, and activists to counter our consumerist culture and to create new social norms about how to have a high quality of life and a reduced ecological footprint.
·         Providing tools and support to community members to create local initiatives that build local capacity and leadership, increase environmental sustainability, and foster greater livability and vitality.

+ I discovered this website several years ago and have all too rarely returned to it.  I am grateful for the many people who have come to realize and are coming to realize that Gandhi got it right when he said: “There is enough for everybody’s need but not for everybody’s greed.”  What’s happening where you are to “increase environmental sustainability, and foster greater livability and vitality?” If we can find our way to achieve simplicity we can renew the face of the earth and feel good about being human, called by God to take care of the planet. 

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 167

   This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ Today I invite you to read the famous Desiderata written by Max Ehrman in 1927 (No, not in 1692 as once believed by many of us).  Go to http://www.desiderata.com/desiderata-poem.html.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 166

   This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ This is what I wrote on the Abundancetrek Simplicity page a few years ago:

Our planet's survival is tied to the practice of simplicity. This cannot 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.

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 165

This is the daily exploration for Monday, June 13, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+
Those who are known
As Real People
Are united in essence
With the Way,
So they have endowments yet
Appear to have none;
They are full yet
Appear to be empty.
They govern the inside,
Not the outside.
Clear and pure, utterly plain,
They do not contrive
Artificialities but return
To simplicity.
- Lao Tzu

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

+ What is real anyway?  Are you real?  Of course you are but there are, most likely, aspects of your life which are unreal.  Discovering our real self and the reality of our existence is a life long journey into the unknown and mysterious.  It is quite an adventure.  Lao Tzu, and other ancient teachers of the Tao, or The Way, offer us plenty of wisdom on this quest but perhaps the most important thing he ever said was that those who know do not speak.  Reality is elusive and mysterious and always surprising us and changing us.

Clearly this practice of Simplicity has its foundation in the Journey of the Mind practices of Stillness, Detachment and Humility which we explored in posts 1 through 64. The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tsu has stood the test of time and is universally revered, particularly by Zen Buddhists, for its clarity regarding these essential practices.

+ You can see many more Lao Tsu quotes at https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2622245.Lao_Tzu
    
+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

Monday, June 6, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 164

   This is the daily exploration for Sunday, June 12, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF SIMPLICITY


+ To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
 -- John Burroughs  (This was the Gratefulness Word for the Day on March 5, 2016.)

+ Our lives are too complicated. We need to realize that our true joy is found as we reduce the clutter of our lives, reduce the expectations, the demands, the stuff, the desires, the earthly pleasures, the ego-centered grabs for power and prestige. Abandon these as quickly as you can. Now is the time. “The old life is gone. A new life has begun.” That’s what scripture says and that’s what all of the sages of the ages proclaim boldly. Be born anew. Become who you really are. Ultimately, your possessions don’t matter. Your titles don’t matter. Your careers don’t matter. You may have to keep these things for a while but you don’t have to put all of your time and energy into this pursuit of earthly happiness. It’s a dead end.

So, let go. Let God. If you are engaging in all of these practices faithfully, then God will slowly but surely replace your dead end pursuit of earthly happiness with more and more and more permanent, everlasting, eternal heavenly joy. What can you do right now to “simplify, simplify, simplify?”

+ Simplicity is not one of the 37 Spirituality & Practice practices BUT put Simplicity in their Search Engine and you come up with 314 items including 117 quotes, 156 books, 11 practices, 9 teachers, 1 arts link, 11 e-courses, 7 films and 1 blog as of 6/4/16.  Go to http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/search/?q=Simplicity

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Simplicity Page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Simplicity” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html