Cultivating the quality of simplicity

Report by Megan Lim.

Bro. Tan sharing the ways in which we can simplify our lives and thinking process.

On Sunday 18 June, Nalanda founder Bro. Tan spoke about an essential element of Dhamma practice – maintaining simplicity in livelihood and having fewness in desires.

In the present age, the world is chronically addicted to material consumption, where many people want to live lavish and luxurious lifestyles.  While countries may grow in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, at the same time, we also grow in insecurity, fear of failure and judgement, and increasing self-centredness.  The more material things we desire and accumulate, the more complicated our lives become.

In truth, all we need to live are the four requisites of food, clothing, shelter and medicine.  When we learn to live with contentment and having fewness in desires, we experience many benefits such as enjoying more quality time, work-life balance, better health, and healthier interpersonal relationships.  Internally, we may also develop wholesome qualities of modesty and sense restraint.

Bro. Tan shared the ways in which we can simplify our lives, such as thinking more straight-forwardly, and thinking less of problems but more on solutions.  Meditating on the breath is another way to simplify our minds, for is there anything simpler than breathing in and out?

As simplicity is often connected with purity and clarity, it is indeed an essential part of Dhamma practice.  We would like to express our gratitude to Bro. Tan for sharing this timely teaching.  May our practice grow in depth with the cultivation of simplicity.  Sadhu!

Nalanda youths entertained the congregation with songs and hymns to liven up the occasion.