Voluntary Simplicity

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can
afford to let alone (Thoreau)

Voluntary simplicity responds to many of the critical problems of our era: environmental degradation, bureaucratic complexity, world hunger, a loss of social purpose and social cohesion, a dehumanizing economy, and many more. This way of life represents a creative and comprehensive response to a host of critical problems customarily considered to be separate. By coping simultaneously with scores of interrelated problems, this way of life provides a multifaceted approach that could not be achieved by addressing these problems on a one-by-one basis….

To live more voluntarily means (more…)

Take a Chance

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Every spring, plants and animals come out of their “winter sleep” to once again start a new life. Ignorant of the many troubles in the world, they continue growing and, in the process (like in the case of flowers), they share their beauty for all to see.

The cold of winter still lingers on, but “life” (plants and animals) take the chance, reproducing and experiencing growth pains in their march to become their true selves. And, as a result, all of us (people) benefit by their efforts.

Fear of the pain which often accompanies growth often prevents us from taking a risk. And yet, many of us complain about the rut which we have dug for ourselves. While it can be scary to go out and meet people different from us, start a new job, or move towards your dream (ideal life), it is this kind of risk which helps us to realize what we truly want and move towards an ever more fulfilling life, where we can share our newfound beauty with those around us, just like the majestic cherry tree.

Night and Day

A Guru asked his disciples how they could tell when the night had ended and the day begun.

One said, “When you see an animal in the distance and can tell whether it is a cow or a horse.

“No,” said the Guru.

“When you look at a tree in the distance and can tell if it is a neem tree or a mango tree.”

Wrong again,” said the Guru.

“Well, then, what is it?” asked his disciples.

“When you look into the face of any man and recognize your brother in him; when you look into the face of any woman and recognize in her your sister. If you cannot do this, no matter what time it is by the sun it is still night.”
(From the book “Taking Flight” by Anthony de Mello, page 161)

Donation Information: Abalimi Bezekhaya

JAMBO contributed ¥50,000 to Abalimi Bezekhaya (Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA). This is an organization working with development and environmental restoration in Cape Flats. Cape Flats is an impoverished area outside Cape Town which was partitioned as a “Black” residential area under the apartheid regime. Due to poor management, overcrowding, and the unjust policies of the apartheid era, Cape Flats became environmentally devastated. Abalimi Bezekhaya is working to “re-green” the area by promoting gardening and tree planting efforts. Please see www.abalimi.org.za/. These funds come from you, the participants of JAMBO, Thank you very much.