Home » Excerpts » Discard What You Don’t Need

What you do truly not need is so,
even if you do not think so.
What you do truly need is so,
even if you do not think so.

– Shilashanti

When things aren’t going well, we tend to think  we are lacking in something. But if we want to change our current situation, we should first part with something before we look to acquire something else. This is a fundamental tenet of simple living. Discard your attachments. Let go of your assumptions. Reduce your possessions. Living simply is also about discarding your physical and mental burdens.

It’s amazing how refreshed we can feel after a good cry. Crying clears out whatever weight you were carrying in your heart. You feel energized to try again. I have always felt that the Buddhist concept of the ‘enlightened mind’ – the Japanese characters for which depict a ‘clean mind’ (清净心) – refers to this ‘refreshment’ of the [purified] spirit.

The act of discarding, of detaching from mental and physical burdens, from the baggage that weighs us down, is extremely difficult. Sometimes it can be accompanied by real pain, as when we part with someone who is dear to us. But if you want to improve the way things are, if you want to live with a light heart, you must start by discarding. The moment you detach, a new abundance will flow into your life.

Zen: The Art Of Simple Living
Shunmyo Masuno

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