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Embracing Simplicity in Troubled Times

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

"There is nothing to chase after. We can go back to ourselves, enjoy our breathing, our smiling, ourselves and our beautiful environment." Thich Nhat Hanh

It is exactly in times like this that we need these ideas most.

We don't want to turn our backs to what's happening in our nation, our city, and even in our own home. And Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we can still come back to ourselves to find peace. We can find connection and enjoyment with what we have right now. Yes, even right now.

This is a lot to hold. We can be open to what's happening in the world, and we can also have practices that let the happenings of the world go and be with simplicity, and that that simplicity is beautiful.

One may argue that this is spiritual bypass. And in some cases, it might be. It's ultimately a matter of how we use our inner peace. Do we cultivate this simplicity for being a peaceful presence in the world? Or do we do it because our privilege allows it and we'd rather not deal with the world?

It's a balancing act, but if we prioritize simplicity, maybe it's not as complicated as we might think. Maybe it's as simple as the in-breath and the out-breath. They serve different functions, but they're a part of a greater whole, and they are in balance. If we can increasingly allow the natural cycles of doing and not doing, perhaps we can find a flow that feels simple, uncomplicated and natural. And in that natural flow, we serve the world in a way that brings more peace and allows more simplicity for all.

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