The art of simple living

One of my favourite things to do is spending time at the bookstore not far from where I live. The eastern philosophy section is my favourite part of the store and I can easily spend hours browsing through the books on display. The most recent and truly fascinating find is ‘ZEN – The art of simple living’ by Shunmyo Masuno, a monk and head priest of a 450-year-old Zen Buddhist temple in Japan.

In this book, Masuno gives 100 lessons segmented into four parts. The following are some are worth sharing here:

  • Lesson 62 – Cast away the three poisons

If we can cast away these three poisons (greed, anger, ignorance), we can live happily and freely

  • Lesson 94 – Free yourself from money

Instead of chasing money, you need to figure out how to contribute to society. You must work out how to be useful in the world. Once you act on this, you’ll find that the money you need will ultimately find you.

These lessons coincide with some of the lessons we teach at Wealth Creed’s financial literacy programmes. We often tell attendants that a lack of knowledge in this era of information and technology is their doing, to a large extent. Before committing your money to anything, do your homework. Research. Ask. Find out if it’s a good idea or not.

We also teach that the amount of money you possess is secondary. It’s what you do with it that makes all the difference. So often, people chase a ‘number’ without possessing the knowledge, discipline and patience to look after that money. All of which amounts to naught. Learning to live within your means is the greatest liberator and something that we should all strive for.

Being a self-employed parent in this fast-paced world we live in means I often find myself fatigued and in need of an energy boost. Reading self-help books such as this one is a great help and I’d recommend it to you too.
It is enlightening with very practical guides and some philosophical lessons too to help you manage some of life’s challenges.

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