On Voluntary Simplicity

Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness teacher, writes

I practice saying no to keep my life simple, and I find I never do it enough.  It’s an arduous discipline all its own, and well worth the effort.  Yet it is also tricky.  There are needs and opportunities to which one must respond.  A commitment to simplicity in the midst of the world is a delicate balancing act.  It is always in need of retuning, further inquiry, attention.  But I find the notion of voluntary simplicity keeps me mindful of what is important, of an ecology of mind and body and world in which everything is interconnected and every choice has far-reaching consequences.  You don’t get to control it all.  But choosing simplicity whenever possible adds to life an element of deepest freedom which so easily eludes us, and many opportunities to discover that less may actually be more.


“…an element of deepest freedom…”

I appreciate his background in medicine, bringing mindfulness. I appreciate his invitation to a relationship with simplicity, to it’s befriending. Including the simplicity of busy things.

It has been one of my deepest awarenesses, in life and in facilitation, that I find myself often remembering and teaching — the inner is always connected to the outer; now is always connected to the longer arc.

Yup. Glad for the encouragements toward such practices that change it all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *