Home » Excerpts » Arrange Things Simply To Simplify Your Mind

When getting what needed,
you only need to get
what is good enough,
and it is good enough.

– Shilashanti

The relationship between the mind and the body is like that between the chicken and the egg. If you cultivate a simplified mindset, your body, too, will naturally become lean. Conversely, if you pay attention to your diet and strengthen your body, your mind, too, will become healthier and stronger. The same is true about the connection between your mind and your physical space. If you wish to simplify your inner self, arrange your rooms sparely. A lifestyle of simplicity is what is beautiful. That is the spirit of Zen.

Simplicity is about stripping away what is not useful. Determine whether something is truly necessary, and if it is, then take good care of it. This is different from frugality. Frugality is subsisting with things of low value. By ‘value’, I’m referring not only to its price, it also includes the depth of feeling towards such items.

Living simply means, for instance, that the mug you use every day for coffee is a mug you really like – one that you take good care of and that you will use for a long time. Acquire only good things that will truly be needed. A lifestyle of simplicity is the fundamental practice that will hone the mind. [Note: However, if attached to the mug, be prepared for its eventual demise.]

Zen: The Art Of Simple Living
Shunmyo Masuno

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