"Simplicity is one of those great words that can't be defined easily. But it can be described and it can be distinguished from things that just look a little like it. If we persevere, we can recognize simplicity when we experience it in others and, more importantly, when we practice it.

"Simple living is not about elegant frugality. It is not really about deprivation of whatever is useful and helpful for our life. It is not about harsh rules and stringent regulations. To live simply, one has to consider all of these and they may be included to some degree, but simple living is about freedom. It's about a freedom to choose space rather than clutter, to choose open and generous living rather than a secure and sheltered way.

"Freedom is about choices: Freedom to choose less rather than more. It's about choosing time for people and ideas and self-growth rather than for maintenance and guarding and possessing and cleaning. Simple living is about moving through life rather lightly, delighting in the plain and the subtle. It is about poetry and dance, song and art, music and grace. It is about optimism and humor, gratitude and appreciation. It is about embracing life with wide-open arms. It's about living and giving with no strings attached."
Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom

Don't Let Your Enthusiasms Die

"Don't let your enthusiasms die, but treat them like bright and dim lights on a car. When you're around people, maybe you should put your dims on a little more. When you're alone, turn on the brights. The brights want to search the land to see as far as they can. They have a fierce power to penetrate. The dims are a bit more subdued but they seem to be more proper and sensitive around others."
Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom

Hold Things Lightly

"Taking inventory is a good time to introduce you to the great Native American spirituality practice of giveaway. The principle of giveaway is to always have your hands open to a gift. Either you're giving it or you're receiving it with the possibility of giving it again. You never receive a gift with a clenched hand. If someone hands you a gift, you never put your fingers around it. That would say, 'I'm holding.' Hold it in an open hand to look at it. As you look at it, you wonder if it should rest with you or if it should rest with someone else. You have been listening and you know the needs of many, so that gift may come to you with the sure message that it is to be passed on. That's a spiritual understanding of recycling."
Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom

Pray in a Playful Way

"No one influenced my prayer and spirituality more than my mother and dad. My mother taught me to pray in a playful way. As a result I love to play with God, as if I were a child playing with my parents. I like going to a playground, getting in a swing and swinging high, because I believe God lives in us through the joy and power we sense when we swing high.

"I like flying kites because it is such a wild, freeing thing, I think God works within lifted spirits. That is true, I think, of any kind of play — running, roller skating, rolling in the leaves, just kicking around and making noise, wasting time, having a party. I still believe God is present in those playful moments, just as my mother taught me."
Stories of Awe and Abundance

A Nifty Prayer

"Isn't that a good prayer? I still say it today when I feel bad. I recommend it for you, too. Just stand wherever you are — in the kitchen, in the shop, or in the bathroom — and wrap your arms around yourself as tightly as you can. Rock yourself.

"Before long you will be able to feel God holding you in the same way you are holding yourself. You will be comforted the way you were comforted as a child when your mother held you in her arms and rocked you."
Stories of Awe and Abundance

A Spiritual Practice with Letters

"Over the years, I have made it a practice of pausing before writing and mailing a letter. I say a brief prayer for the person receiving it and ask that my message will contribute to the person's well-being. On receiving a letter myself, I often pause before opening it and ask that I will be open to the one sending it and to any message God might be addressing to me."
Stories of Awe and Abundance

Use Your Photo Album as a Prayer Book

"My photo album has become one of my favorite prayer books. Three or four times a year I get it out, not only to look and to reminisce, but to pray. I do a lot of remembering and reliving as the photos bring back memory after memory of people, places and events. But I don't stop there. Almost automatically I find myself becoming aware of the fact that God is present in these pictures. Of course I see God only with the eyes of faith, but God's presence is real nevertheless. And this same faith tells me God is present with me as well, as I look and reminisce with the photos. And as I pray."
Stories of Awe and Abundance

Pray While Walking in Cemeteries

"In spring and summer I frequently pray while walking in cemeteries. I got in the habit of doing that in Arizona, where it is dry and there isn't much grass, except in the cemeteries which are watered and maintained. As a result I learned to pray with the dead. That's a great way of praying — in the presence of the dead. The cemetery I walked in was green and grassy. It was all mine. Rarely did anybody invade my meditation place."
Stories of Awe and Abundance