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Duane Elgin: Voluntary Simplicity

What Is Simplicity?

How do you practice simplicity? What does it mean to you?

We started Awakin call with Duane Elgin with those questions, and ideas started flowing with circle of sharing...

Birju: "Simplicity to me is so evolving and live - reducing my possessions was simplicity when I was in 300 sq ft apartment. Simplicity now is dedicated practice of meditation and self-reflection to think about what matters the most."

Mish from NYC: "Simplicity for me is to calm my monkey mind."

Nicole from Denver: "Simplicity for me is to unlearn comfort of easiness. For example, when I started walking to a grocery store instead of driving to it, I got to experience so many things. So, while driving is easy, walking opened me up to so many things."

One of callers: "When I start ridding my stories from the past, life became simpler for me."

I shared my thoughts on simplicity, "Simplicity for me these days is to look for answers that are short and quick. Any time that I have to explain a lot or make iterations over connecting the idea to others, I take it as a cue to simplify... it is telling me, something is more complicated than required."

Anne Veh: "Simplicity has brought shifts in my life that has blessed and empowered me in so many ways."

I got a new paradigm to look at simplicity from Duane on this call.

Here are the quotes and nuggets I captured while listening to the conversation between Duane and our moderator Birju. To listen to the audio recording of the conversation, please click on this link for our Awakin call page for Duane.

Simplicity is so much about clarifying your mind. That inner simplicity is so important.

Simplicity has a lot to do with the feeling of being grateful. It is essential.

Simplicity has brought so much inner growth. The richness and depth of inner journey brings power to journey of simplicity.

When you think universe is dead, it brings consumerism and complexity to life. However, universe isn't dead. Universe is a single living creature inside of which there are other living beings. Where do you see that? I think it is in our inner richness, and in quality of our relationships with people and things around us.

We are in process of growing up as one human family. This is the most pivotal time in history of humans. Global brain is waking up. We are acquiring unprecedented capacity of reflection. It never existed before.

Get beyond consumer mindset. Drop into more promising future by diving into your inner life of simplicity. Join the journey of collective reflection.

You are what you consume. And right now, we are getting all these messages on TV and the internet; they suggest that simplicity is regress and not progress. And this is spreading this disease of consumer mindset where we run after acquiring things.

It might be music. It might be poetry. It might be coaching. You might have a calling from inside... instead of following through on that... "I am sales person for so and so... I am not happy, but it is paying my rent" ...but, that's the problem. Follow your love, and see where it takes you. You will be amazed. It will simplify your life.

We are seven billion people on the planet now. Learn to embrace and appreciate diversity that all these people bring.

More nuggets from Duane...

Simple story can bring power to people to relate to the world.

Generosity, kindness that ServiceSpace has introduced can be a role model. And these role models are very important as we evolve.

Local economies celebrate us human beings, and not just cogs in a big machine.

Feedback about reality of our situation is so important. We definitely need stories of truth and reconciliation.

Life of materialism relates to only 5% of the world. The rest of 95% is actually invisible. How do we relate to that, appreciate that?

Simple, positive stories that show hope in future, can bring power to the present. We need more and more of these stories.

We have vision, but we don't have voice. We need collective voice that would challenge status of quo and rigidity of static nation states stuck in gridlock of narrow mindedness.

Now, we now have tools with the internet and technology. It's matter of having a vision of collective conscience and putting these tools to our use. It will start process of collective healing.

Duane on new birth for humanity ... We are at a time of planetary birth. This process is very demanding. It is excruciating. We will face this process of birth as a collective humanity. This is going to happen. It is not reversible. There is no guarantee we come out of it with a new life for all. It's a time of extreme contractions and relaxation. Do we make a promise for a promising future of a new life, or not?

What would that new life be? It is three parts -

One: New relationship with the mother earth - sacred regard for the mother earth.

Two: New relationship with rest of the life - that is, the life that is all around us. Every being has unique conscience - people, plants, trees, animals, birds ...etc all. The new life is embracing that consciousness that is all around.

Three: New relationship with the universe itself. We are part of that larger liveliness.

This is a crucial time for equanimity and compassion. We need that maturity to integrate and honor it all. Otherwise, world might drift in a dark age.

Duane's insights on simplicity in local living ... In the new world, we are looking at a new tribal system – each tribe being a city – an eco village retrofitted for the new future. These eco villages will fulfill needs of local people using it all developed in a holistic, sustainable way. These eco villages in turn will be interconnected for sustainable world. This is the key – that the cities or the local eco villages will play a central role in the new world.

The audio recording of the conversation with Duane is available. To listen it, please click on this link for our Awakin call page for Duane.

Here is link to Duane's book - Living Universe.

Here is link to Duane's Awakin reading on simplicity.

What an eye opener for me to look at simplicity in a whole new light. What did I learn?

Listen to, value, and embrace voice from inside. Act on it. Open up to people around me for meaningful connections and relationships. When I do that, I am becoming part of that universal conscience. I am nurturing myself from inside. This deep meaningful connection would stop me from chasing material things. And that is a natural and sustainable way to simplicity.      

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