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contentment regarding clothes

I am currently reading the Dalai Lama's 'How to Practice' and I just came across this passage:

"With regards to clothing monks and nuns are limitted to one set of robes... This limmitation in dress is the practice of contentment regarding clothes. Lay people can adopt a similar practice through moderation in dress. The same is true for adornments. Wearing more than one ring on each finger is certainly too much! It is a mistake to think that it is really worthwhile to spend more on food, clothing and adornments just because you have more money. Rather, spend more on health and education for poor people. This is not forced socialism but voluntary compassion."

Wow, this has really blown my melon. On the surface it is obvious, but it certainly is not the way I currently live my life. I wouldn't cut down to just one set of clothes, that would be impractical in my current circumstances, but could I cut down to 'sufficient'? The concept fills me with fear and excitement so I know it is worth exploring further, but I also know it would be counter productive to now get obsessed with culling down to 'the perfect practical wardrobe'. The idea is to simplify in order to make more room and resources for the things that really count. And then two pages later he writes "a gradual approach is better than trying to jump too high too soon..." so I am going to hold off on casting aside all my earthly possessions just yet. But wow, I sure am excited by the idea!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'm fascinated to see where you go with this.
Jan. 7th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
I knew you would be :) I was thinking of you a lot while I wrote this post :)
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
The lecturer of a philosophy unit I did at Murdoch in 2006 said much the same thing. She always wore very simple pants and T-shirts and said she owned just a few of each.
Jan. 8th, 2013 08:54 am (UTC)
That's a great quote.
Jan. 8th, 2013 09:59 am (UTC)
This reminds me of when you took on the 'no consumerism' challenge. You seemed to get so much out of that, that it will be interesting to see where this takes you. I find the idea really interesting too - at the moment we just seem to have so much stuff - and somehow since it isn't mine, per se (but for the baby or whatever) I seem to find it more intrusive than if it were actually my stuff. Oh gosh that makes me sound like a crappy mother, but I don't mean that. I mean btw the OCD cleaner putting everything away and the sudden accumulation of stuff, I have really noticed the lack of bare space, and I kind of crave it now.

bit of a tangent. sorry. but interesting post, that way my point. ;D
Jan. 8th, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
Also, you've probably seen this, but if not, here's an article about someone who wore the same home-made dress every day for a year. (Her website seems to be owned by someone else these days.)

ETA: Fixed link to the one I meant to use!

Edited at 2013-01-08 01:54 pm (UTC)
Jan. 9th, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
Very interested to see where you go with this!! I am finding myself looking at simplification also, with my move to Melbourne. I think I need to re-go through my clothes again, but I have been amazingly ruthless in my book culling (mainly because ebook availability helps and a bunch of them I can actually replace easily in Melbourne).

I'm not taking furniture, and I'm taking personal items rather than household items, though I think I will take a couple of particular items that I'm attached to - namely my cast iron skillet. I also have some pretty dinner party/afternoon tea setting ware that I wish to keep and use more, so I will take that too.

It is however interesting to consider how much of what I have here in Perth, that I won't replace in having my own kitchen and house/shared house etc. I'm curious to see what eventuates there too.

Please keep posting about this!!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )