There is a deep longing in all hearts for simplicity and peace of mind.
But these aspects seem so elusive. Hectic schedules, deadlines, financial liabilities and relationship issues can haze your life completely.
If you find yourself overly confused and bogged down by life, here are 3 pointers that can help you make sense of it all and thereby bring in simplicity and peace of mind to your being.
1.) To live a simple life, you need to simplify your mind
What you think is what makes up your world.
In other words, the world you see is nothing more than a bundle of your perceptions and beliefs. Your inner world reflects externally as the outer world of perception.
If you are living a hectic and complex life it would just be a reflection of your mind activity.
This is not philosophy, it’s the truth of life. You can see this for yourself and you don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. Compare your external life situation with your inner world of thoughts and beliefs. Doesn’t your external world reflect your deeply held beliefs?
The way you perceive the external world is filtered through your beliefs and hence what you see is always congruent with your beliefs. If you wear red colored glasses on your eyes, you will see red all over.
So if you want to live a simple life you need to simplify your mind.
2.) Your mind is nothing but conditioned ideas
Our conditioning (right from our childhood days) created our thought patterns and beliefs.
There is no truth to any of your beliefs because it’s just one of the many perceptions people have about life. No perception is ultimately true. Even the most developed mind cannot understand the totality of life.
Once you really understand the behavior of a human mind, you will no longer be enticed by it. A mind is just a bundle of thoughts and it has nothing to do with who you are in essence.
The more you are caught up in your mind activity, the more complex your life becomes.
The problem is that the mind is always thinking negative thoughts with some rare moments of positive thinking.
Ramana Maharishi, a great sage from India, believed that simplicity is the measure of how unattached you are to your thoughts.
What ever be your present life situation, you can make your life really simple and beautiful by distancing yourself from your thoughts.
3.) Simple life happens in the present moment
Your mind creates situations and circumstances, like a dream state, but the reality is that life has nothing to do with your thoughts.
Life is simply the present moment, effortlessly flowing all the time.
Your mind comments on each moment of your life and thus complicates it. The moment by itself is always simple.
The secret to living a simple life is to be in the now and just deal with what life brings to your present moment awareness.
Initially it will be really hard to ignore the mind that wants to plan for the future and muse about the past, but with time you will see through its insanity. All you have to do is deal with the present moment. Just be aware of the reality of the present moment instead of living in your mind.
The mind creates harsh realities, it conjures up a fearful future and dreadful past. In reality these are just thoughts.
In Hindu religion the world of the mind is called “Maya” or Illusion. The mind always dreams and so its world is one of illusions. The reality however has nothing to do with the mind.
Life in the present moment is always simple and very helpful.
Life is inherently simple
The beauty of life is that it is inherently simple, so you don’t have to do anything special to make it simple.
Just become congruent with life, in other words just stay in the now and enjoy your presence. It requires some effort to stay present and not be pulled in by thoughts, but you will also realize that the sense of effort is also just a thought created by the mind.
The actual “life” is always the simplicity of the moment. Life exists only in the present and nowhere else.
The past and future are just dream states created in the mind, the past existed as the present at some point and now it’s only a memory trace. The future is just a projection with no reality to it. You can see this for yourself. You can go the wilderness or become a recluse, but your mind will bring its problems and conditioning anywhere you go.
Once you start living in the now, avoiding the dream state created by the mind, you will notice that your life becomes really simple on its own. External circumstance may change but they are not important anymore.
The secret to living a simple life is to realize that “life” is always simple it’s only the “mind” that makes it complex – no mind, no problems.