This past month I’ve been praying, meditating, and studying about simplicity. My primary text has been Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity, though I have also used other texts about Simplicity, and have augmented my study with the Queries from my local Quaker Meeting (they are also focusing on the value of Simplicity this month).
For those who are interested, here are the queries [Note: ‘queries’ are questions that can guide your meditation and silent worship]:
“Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center—a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time.” Thomas R Kelly, Testament of Devotion (1941, p.124)
“Simplicity, beauty, and happiness go together if they are a by-product of a concern for something more important than ourselves.” Elise Boulding, My Part in the Quaker Adventure
A life centered in God will be directed toward keeping communication with God open and unencumbered. Simplicity is best achieved through a right ordering of priorities: maintaining humility of spirit, avoiding self-indulgence, resisting the accumulation of unnecessary possessions, and avoiding over-busy lives.
Advice and Queries for all individuals:
Do I center my life in an awareness of God’s presence so that all things take their rightful place?
Do I live simply, and promote the right sharing of the world’s bounty?
Do I keep my life uncluttered with things and activities, avoiding commitments beyond my strength and light?
How do I maintain simplicity, moderation, and honesty in my speech, my manner of living, and my daily work?
Do I recognize when I have enough?