Today I started reading Happiness by Matthieu Ricard.  On the first page of the introduction I came across the following:

       “Renunciation… is not about giving up what is good and beautiful… Rather it is about disentangling oneself from the unsatisfactory and moving with determination toward what matters most.  It is about freedom and meaning – freedom from mental confusion and self-centered afflictions, meaning through insight and loving kindness”.

There are many common themes in Buddhism and minimalism (perhaps minimalism is Buddhism minus the spirituality), but this passage was especially poignant after yesterday’s discussion of extreme early retirement.  Who wouldn’t want to liberate herself from “the unsatisfactory” and boldly seek more vital and meaningful pursuits?

I do not have all the answers on how to live a happy life, but I doubt the answer lies in materialism, consumerism or competition.  I suspect that fostering good health, loving relationships…

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