Repair & Repurpose Before Rebuying

Learn to do more with less
before wanting more and more.

– Shilashanti 

One of the principles of a Buddhist lifestyle is to take care of things and repair them. The unsui monks of Eihei Temple designate days that contain the numbers ‘4’ and ‘9’ for mending clothes that have become raggedy and old. This is called shikunichi, literally meaning four and nine days. Even ordinary households should try designating shikunichi days as a time for mending items and performing maintenance around the home.

Nowadays it is very easy to find a wide variety of items that are exactly alike and more or less serve the same function. When something breaks, rather than repairing it, many people buy a replacement because this is faster and cheaper. However, if you continue to live your life this way, your relationships with others will begin to resemble how you relate to objects. This will only lead to the exhaustion of your heart. If you use an object for as long as you can carefully, repairing it when necessary, you will find that not only your relationship with objects begin to change, but so will the way you relate to people. This will help return your heart to a pure state…   

Even if you cannot completely restore an object back to its original state, you should find a new way to use it, and figure out how you can repurpose it within your daily life. A bucket that has developed a bad leak can still be useful as a pot for your garden… People who endlessly chase after new things have lost their freedom to earthly desire. Only those who can enjoy using their imagination when working with limited resources know true freedom.

A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind
Shoukei Matsumoto

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