Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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

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