(This article is an approach to get into the praxis of simple living and to realize its efficacy. The article does not make a list of things as what to do or what not to do, rather it is left to the reader to work out his or her own simple living lifestyle and make changes as one goes along this path. The basis of this presentation is to seek some disciplined enjoyment of life towards self as well as towards the environment around.)

The nature of simple living if willingly explored, accepted and experienced is both rewarding and blissful. The discipline helps in creating an ethical and guilt-free living.

While rejecting some or most of society’s false and pretentious customs or norms, the adaptation to simple living is plain and instinctively natural.

In simple living, the only expression which matters most is the word ‘simple’. It is a descriptive adjective attached to the word living. It describes, defines and gives character to the word living.

The word ‘simple’ has several definitions.

· Simple means easy to understand or deal with;
· Simple means not elaborate just plain, unmixed;
· Simple means not decorate, luxurious, grand or sophisticated;
· Simple means modest;
· Simple means free of deceit;
· Simple means lucid, natural, neat, unadulterated and
. And simple means sincere.

These attributions are the embodiments of simple living offering a complete and genuine package of peace and comfort.

Spirituality, health, environmental concerns, and economics are mainly the four reasons people seek a simple living for quality and good value in their lives.

Whatever the reason or reasons one picks initially to lodge into the simple living habitat all the above four motivations merge into a wholesome experience of tranquility and contentment.

The fundamental nature of simple living is a disciplined enjoyment of life while caring for fellow beings and the environment. Engaging in simple and ordinary pleasures of life are the dynamics to experience the joys of simple living.

However, simple living demands more than simple pleasures. It is the change of attitude along with a change of lifestyle in harmony with consciousness. Simple living demands a reversal of life which is otherwise outwardly rich and inwardly poor.

Indeed, the most popular form of simple living is to comfortably and voluntarily adjust life to basic minimum needs which curbs wastage and the ego of having plenty.

Very true “wealth consists of not having great possessions, but in having few wants”. As well as the “shortcut to riches is to subtract from one’s desires”.

Getting away from the consumerist mentality and reducing needs for purchased goods are the entry points for simple living. How far an individual can go to survive with bare minimum needs is a matter of practicality. In our social and cultural environment of materialism, it is indeed an anomalous challenge. Moreover, extreme frugal living is damaging to the economy, though good for the environment.

Simple living can be argued as an alternative lifestyle for the upper and middle classes. The poor in society all crave for some catching up in our materialistic world. Enough economic activity has to be maintained to bring along these unfortunate people to the minimum standards of living before getting on to the ride of simple living.

Living with minimum basic materialistic needs is the hallmark of simple living, but its strength lies in the purity of consciousness where one can explore and practice one’s own ever-evolving guidelines of simple living and enjoying every moment of it.

by Promod Puri,

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