730 The seven stones of simpler living

Speech Materals

How to live a lighter, healthier, more sustainable life.

There’s something deeply satisfying about stacking stones. It’s a common motif in Zen gardens, which seek to create order out of nature’s seeming chaos. In doing so, they highlight the harmony and balance of our place in the world.

It’s not difficult to find a lesson in the stones for those of us trying to simplify our sprawling lives. We’ve chosen seven from the riverbed for you today — ideas that can help you live a lighter, healthier, more sustainable life. Stack them as you will.

1. Reduce consumption
2. Reduce your waste stream
3. Trim your energy use
4. Prepare and grow your own food
5. Reduce your reliance on automobiles
6. Reduce your personal stress
7. Learn to give back

I – Word Understanding
Stacking – piling; arranging things on top of one another
Motif – theme; an important idea or design
Sprawling lives – extravagant or excessive lifestyle

II – Have Your Say
1. What is your concept of simple living?
2. If you are to reduce your consumption, which items are you willing to forego? How do you plan and control your spending?
3. In your current lifestyle, what things keep you from growing and preparing your own food? Do you know some people doing it?
4. How conscious are you when it comes to your energy use?
5. What are the things you do to reduce personal stress?

730 The seven stones of simpler living

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