Why Think Small?

Blog Post 2010-11-29 from Lee Varis on Vimeo.

Well now…

I’ve been configuring and testing my “Technopod” now for a while and I’m getting nearer to my first stress test excursion to Death Valley Dec. 10th… I’ll be writing about all that soon enough. Right now though I thought I’d share some personal thoughts!

I get asked a lot about why I’m doing this – trying to cultivate a smaller footprint and live out of 128 cubic feet of teardrop trailer space! This experiment in paring down material possessions is more of a spiritual quest than economic or environmental… reducing the clutter of “stuff” quiets the mind… less to think about, protect and enclose. I spend more time outside where there is no shortage of space and I’m exposed to all around me. The tiny working/sleeping space forces me to consolidate down to the essentials – a parallel process with my thoughts…

Breathing… drinking, eating… sleeping… exercising… working… this is my spiritual practice. Thinking mostly just gets in the way! My meditation practice is now about letting go of thoughts… just paying attention to the ebb and flow. Stuff comes up, of course… how can it not? Until I’m completely at peace there will be thoughts that run on, pulling me into some kind of attachment to one set of considerations or another. My former self would wallow in these attachments – now I try to pass them by… the less time wasted in them the better!

Letting go of stuff is like letting go of layers of ego attachments – its a slow process! At first, I quickly toss out a lot of extra crap and I feel relieved and comforted but the next layer is harder to identify. Things get harder and harder to let go of.  In the same way that I cling to parts of my personality, my imagined identity, I hold on to certain material “things” – some old shoes, a notebook, old portfolios, extra clothes I haven’t worn in years… it turns into a tremendous list of “I’ll decide later…” stuff. The way I think of myself is like that… a half formed thought that I refuse to let go of.

The things I can’t decide about get put into boxes and shoved into dark corners, into closets and behind furniture – hidden from view (out of sight out of mind.) There is a parallel with my “thoughts” – stuff that I don’t want to deal with, acknowledge or even briefly consider. These get shoved into the dark recesses where they fester and gain power to interrupt the forward momentum of my real life! Can’t let go of stuff that I don’t admit to having… As long as there is place to store all of it, well… but the space gets filled up and then you need a bigger space and that fills up – it never stops until you die and then someone just throws it all out, the memories fade…

No… I decided to let that go and now the process is different. Every day becomes a new discovery of something to let go of… Time to get small, get clear and quiet down. Breath in, breath out… let go, rinse and repeat…

 

Leave a Reply