Minimalist living

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Monkey Mind
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Monkey Mind »

Yeah, I can't really explain why some have fancy boats or RV's, while others live in poverty. I could try, but it would be a long and opinionated diatribe...

I think the bigger point is this: we've had TV shows depicting mansions and elaborately refurbished homes as the "ideal" for a long time. I think it is interesting (and perhaps hopeful) to see media coverage of obviously wealthy people actively advocating for living small.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Spiny Norman »

chownah wrote:Does living minimally make one a better person?
Not necessarily, but it is cheaper. ;)
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chownah
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by chownah »

Some interesting examples of minimalist living here I think:
http://www.amusingplanet.com/2011/03/wh ... sleep.html
chownah
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Thales
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Thales »

I relate with this guy a lot. Yes, he allows himself a few luxuries -the projector, a nice apartment- but by American standards he's a regular Diogenes. I don't think the fact that there are people living with less and not by choice makes his lifestyle any less admirable. :shrug:
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sattva
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by sattva »

I liked this. Even though he takes it farther than I would want to, I think he makes some good points. I am going to be moving into my own space next month and I hope to apply at least some of his ideas. I did have to wonder though. He says he has company over, but he only had one set of silverware and no comfortable chairs for us old folks!
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Mkoll
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Mkoll »

BuddhaSoup wrote:All the more reason for the very wealthy to do their part to alleviate the suffering of those without food, or proper shelter. If the wealthy understood that there was a point of diminishing returns of happiness, and that they could instill happiness in others just by parting with 5 percent of their wealth (while they themselves would become happier!) , imagine how this rising tide of compassion could "lift all boats in the lake." So many in the US rail against socialism, but so long as there are the very wealthy, and there are high numbers of children going to bed so hungry at night they cannot breathe, more needs to be done to allocate the extreme wealth this nation produces.
I agree with you but of course I'm not rich so it's not my money that would be taken. But rather than going in that direction, we're going in the opposite direction. The gap between the 1% and everyone else is the widest its been since the 1920s (http://apnews.excite.com/article/201309 ... N7U02.html). And I don't see any signs of that trend slowing down, let alone reversing.
beeblebrox wrote:I don't think it's really appropriate (if ever) to try to use the Buddha's teachings as a standard to judge others with. They're only for us to practice with... they're not for people who didn't take refuge in them.

:anjali:
I would agree that it's not appropriate to judge people directly using the Buddha's teachings per se. For example, condemning some person for speaking idly is faux pas.

But a lot of his teachings are of basic human decency in a civilized society that is common to many other teachings and societies. For example, rapists deserve to be judged harshly for many obvious reasons apart from the Buddha's teachings. And it just so happens that one of the Buddha's teachings is to abstain from raping because it leads to a bad destination.

:focus:

Minimalist living is good. Less for oneself means more for others. He's inclining towards renunciation, good for him. :twothumbsup:
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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SarathW
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by SarathW »

I couldn’t gauge much watching OP video.
As a student, same as David, I had very little possessions.
I did not have a table I study using my ironing table!
I wore borrowed cloths from my friends. :broke:

Two years after my graduation I was commuted to work by a chauffeur driven car!

The real question we should ask is, if he sells his book and become a millionaire will he still have the same life style.

For that matter I like Warren Buffett!
He said he got only 4000 hours to live.
He still drives his old car and lives in the same old house.
(That is what said in the documentary. I hope it is not a publicity stunt)
I think he gives generously as well.

So interesting video to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxhk1A2BOdU
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Mkoll
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Mkoll »

SarathW wrote:For that matter I like Warren Buffett!
He said he got only 4000 hours to live.
He still drives his old car and lives in the same old house.
(That is what said in the documentary. I hope it is not a publicity stunt)
I think he gives generously as well.
Remember that he was the world's richest person for a long time. One doesn't get there without being absolutely and completely ruthless in one's business dealings. Mr. Buffett may be minimalist to that extent but that has nothing to do with how he got all his money.

:soap:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Anagarika
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Anagarika »

Mkoll wrote:
SarathW wrote:For that matter I like Warren Buffett!
He said he got only 4000 hours to live.
He still drives his old car and lives in the same old house.
(That is what said in the documentary. I hope it is not a publicity stunt)
I think he gives generously as well.
Remember that he was the world's richest person for a long time. One doesn't get there without being absolutely and completely ruthless in one's business dealings. Mr. Buffett may be minimalist to that extent but that has nothing to do with how he got all his money.

:soap:
Warren Buffett may be a slight exception to the ruthlessness rule. He seems to have a good, solid family and raised his children well. I have not heard of any that felt that he was ruthless, or cheated anyone in his business dealings. His legacy seems to be that he understands value, and did the hard work of determining the present and future value of businesses. Once he bought into a good business, he typically managed it and held it for a long time, creating wealth over time. He's now involved in philanthropy on a large scale through the Gates Foundation.

If you buy a 2010 Ford automobile with an engine idle problem from someone who wishes to sell it, and you, a mechanic, buy it for $5000, puts some money and expertise into rebuilding it, and then sell it to someone else for $10,000, is that being ruthless? He's a capitalist for sure, and we can debate whether what he does for a living is Right Livelihood, but there've been some real POS SOBs produced by my country in the field of business, but I feel he's the exception to that sort. He's an old fashioned entrepreneur, who made his money the old fashioned way. He studied well, learned a lot, and knew the value of time and money. Now, his wealth goes to the world, and a small part of it to his kids.
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Mkoll
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Mkoll »

That's my dad's opinion whose career was in high level corporate business/finance and whose primary retired occupation is still finance and business. He's an expert and I'm ignorant in these matters so I tend to trust what he says if it makes sense to me. And it does: one doesn't become #1 in a competitive arena without stepping on more than a few toes. And it doesn't get much more competitive than making money.

A quick internet search revealed that he's not the only one who thinks this.
Book reveals the real Warren Buffett
LAST UPDATED AT 18:56 ON Tue 7 Oct 2008

The new biography of the world’s richest man, the investor Warren Buffett, may have been an attempt to paint the businessman in a sympathetic light but according to early reviews it has achieved the exact opposite. The book, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, was written by Alice Schroeder, an American insurance analyst. It was put together with Buffett’s cooperation - which makes it more of a mystery why such an unsavoury character should emerge.

Although Schroeder heralds Buffett’s philosophy in the book as "the triumph of straight thinking and high standards over flapdoodle, folly and flimflam", she still ends up painting a picture of a man utterly consumed by the pursuit of wealth. By the age of seven the young Buffett was already reading books about the bond market and boasting to his friends that he intended to become the richest man in America.

Buffett’s ruthless side is on show throughout the book. When he purchased the ailing Berkshire Hathaway textile company for next to nothing in the 1960s he bought up all the shares - even those belonging to former business partners of his. Even Schroeder admits this is “not exactly sporting conduct”.

He spent a lot of his career looking for what he calls "cigar butts". These are dying firms that he can buy large amounts of stock in and squeeze one last profit out of before he lets them go under.

For most investors these revelations are commonplace. Buffett, however, has always prided himself on being a more ethical, morally-driven man than the Gordon Gekko figures of Wall Street fame. Schroeder sums up Buffet’s business philosophy as "having more information than the other guy". Unfortunately the other guy still loses out. ·

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/people/39701/b ... z2tKE3P3mw
:focus:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Babadhari
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Babadhari »

well as regards to minimalist living, i once spent a month living in a hut with no electricity, walls and floor plastereed with cow-dung, and the roof made of iron sheets,
my only possesions were a change of clothes and two books. my bed a mat spread on the floor. no phone, no television, dinner cooked on an open fire.
gladly i had neighbours and passers-by to share time with even though i couldnt reallly communicate with them
they were the most peaceful relaxing times i ever experienced and definitely played a part in changing my outlook to life.
however take me away from the internet for a month now and i would have withdrawl symptoms :embarassed:
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Anagarika
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Anagarika »

Mkoll, I appreciate your response. I'm not defending Warren Buffett, and especially as we are focusing on ethically minimalist or mindfully ascetic lifestyles, he's really not fodder for such an interesting topic. Ruthless, to me, however, are the real life Gordon Gekkos that we all know about. Greed for the sake of greed. Buffett seems to be someone who at a young age wanted to be an (the) American businessman/entrepreneur, the same way that Bobby Fischer or Boris Spassky were consumed by chess and became champions. Perhaps Buffett has a kind of high functioning isolationist quality to him...he seems disinterested in most of what interests other wealthy people ("why have ten houses that I'd have to heat and manage?"), wants only a hamburger and a Coke to be happy, and yet is completely immersed in researching and buying companies to create more wealth.

I guess to come back to topic, it's necessary to recognize that a renunciate life means giving up those things that one normally wants, or that one's friends or family or society would typically want or desire. To live simply just because you don't care about certain trappings of wealth suggests that you might just be too focused on or obsessed with one area of life, to the exclusion of other things. Didn't see the Picasso over the toilet because you were so focused on the free shampoo in the shower? I guess that makes him a bit odd, but not a mindful minimalist by volition.
SarathW
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by SarathW »

Here is another effort for minimalist living.
Is it possible in modern life.
Why and how monks should try to live without money. (see episode 2)
You can have a good laugh.
Do not give up your day job.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yocVGSG ... 3364.04202
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
chownah
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by chownah »

Minimalist living can be expressed in the most ironic ways:
Warren Buffett once bought Bill Gates lunch at McDonald's with coupons
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/17/warren-b ... yptr=yahoo
chownah
Disciple
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Re: Minimalist living

Post by Disciple »

Anti-consumerism/minimalism is the way to go. This whole phenomena of buying things non-stop for fleeting sensations of happiness is like an addictive drug, but this is what the bankers and globalists want in order to keep the slave masses drowning in debt. Thankfully we have a choice in how we wish to live our lives. I can easily live like the man in the video but with a few more pieces of furniture.
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