Theme 2017: Embracing Simplicity
Green Tara | Image © Kirsty Porter 2012
The Buddhafield theme for 2017 is Embracing Simplicity
Our lives are often complex, busy and stressful, with too many things to do, too many conflicting responsibilities, too many possessions and too little time. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed, disconnected and burnt out. Our consumerist society encourages a mindset of wanting more and wanting things quickly.
Simplicity is central to the Buddhist tradition. Practices, skills and ideas have been developed over centuries to support us in opening to the beauty and subtlety of a simpler life. They can transform our own lives and the world.
One of these practices is mindfulness. Developing patient, loving awareness can help you slow down and open to the pleasure of being present with yourself and with life. It helps cultivate gratitude and appreciation for where you are and what you have.
This is not about scarcity or austerity but instead a fuller experience of what we already have. In embracing simplicity we have the potential to make our lives richer, more beautiful and to focus on what really matters. Simplicity is not about giving up the positive benefits of modern life, but rather making more careful choices about our lifestyles and actions. These effects of those choices can be worldwide, and socially engaged Buddhism explores how embracing simplicity has a positive impact on the environment, helping us to tread more lightly on the earth.
To really embrace simplicity we need to be sensitive to the inner world, to meet any feelings or emotions with kindness, understanding and courage. Buddhism teaches that we can transform the mind with satisfying, joyful practices such as meditation, reflection and friendship. Listening and tending to our heart, body and mind we naturally move towards contentment, connection and a beautiful simplicity.
Our programme of events for 2017 explores the theme of simplicity. How we can embrace simplicity and through this encounter feel more alive, more in touch with what matters and more truly able to live in harmony with ourselves, others both near and far, and with the earth itself.