Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, July 18, 2010


The bowl you see here belonged to my great grandmother. Nothing pretentious about this item. It is what it is and it is functional. Simple with no apologies for it's simplicity. A beautiful piece of intimacy incarnated, I think.

Before I sat this morning, I was rambling through some old books and found The Buddhist Path to Simplicity by Christina Feldman.
In it she writes:

Spiritual traditions throughout history remind us that we can live with joyous
simplicity; a life where our mind is our friend, our hearts are loving; where we
are at home in our body and at peace with each changing moment of life.
Simplicity is the mother of creativity and immediacy, intimacy and
understanding, compassion and depth.

My family and friends quite often laugh at the schedule I keep: going to bed at 8pm and getting up around 3:30 or 4:00 am. They do this with kind hearts. They all seem to think that I am missing out on something. Not sure what I am missing out on but I get a good eight hours sleep every night.This schedule allows me time to do the simple things which I think matter to my life and all it relationships.

I surely would not say that I lead some super active, super interesting life. Most would think it a little boring. But I would say that simplifying the little life I have has given birth to "creativity, immediacy, intimacy, understanding, compassion and depth." I don't know that someone could ask for much more in life than that?

No, I am not always creative, immediate, intimate, understanding, compassionate, seeing the depth of things. I can be grumpy, selfish, jealous, envious, greedy and dark ...well the list could go on and on.

But like the wooden bowl in the picture above, I just want to learn how to not be pretentious. I just want to learn how to use what space I have to hold the things that life offers to me with creativity, immediacy, intimacy, understanding, compassion and depth.

This is why I try to keep my life simple. This is why I have a spiritual practice.
It's a simple thing that is very complex.


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