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Friday, April 08, 2005

We Need to Abandon the Clutter in Our Lives

Whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happinesss.

-Buddha, "Connected Discourses of the Buddha"

Copyright Wisdom Publications 2001. Reprinted from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok, with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville MA 02144 U.S.A,

I really like this quote.
It reminds of how we tend to acquire "things" thinking that they will make us happy but sooner of later we inevitably loose interest in them and they just cluter up our houses. We need to realize remind ourselves that "stuff" (whether material or emotional) will never provide us with long-lasting happiness or peace. This also reminds me that Thich Nhat Hanh lives in a very modest cabin in France without much "stuff."

What a great example, don't ya think?

Speaking of cluter, I need to do some "spring cleaning" and clean out the junk we have amassed throughout the winter.

Peace to you all.

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Zen Unbound said...

While the Buddha is right -- You can't collect welfare if you have a lot of assets -- it is the stuff that is *not* *yours* that he asks us to abandon.

Unhappily, my tons of clutter are *mine*, *mine*, *mine*. The clutter needs me to dust it and oil it and step over it and ignore it. Who else would want it? It's worthless, useless junk. So, what I need to do is go to Staples and buy boxes to put it in. Then, rent expensive storage space to put the full boxes in. Then, I'll give the storage place my credit card number so that my rent bill is paid without me being aware of it. And then -- sigh -- I can have my junk and abandon it, too.

"James" said...


I understand.

Also, I was reading over the quote again and I starting thinking, "I guess the Buddha is also saying that in nothing is actually 'ours' or 'yours' but that also everything is 'ours' and 'yours'".

Just me thinking out loud again. I could be totally off the mark.

Zen Unbound said...

I think you're right, James.

But the Buddha also said not to take that which is not given.

Doesn't this idea mean that we are not to take ownership over something that someone else owns? Sort of puts the kabosh on everthing NOT being ours and yours.

And if everything IS ours and yours, then there should be no resistance for me to just take anything I impulsively want.

It is confusing. I think I'll call the credit card company and stop future payments on my storage rental.

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