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Category: Beyond Stuff-Love

Stuff-love, materialism, is a large part of our human experience, but it isn’t everything.

WALK LIKE A “BESTOWER”

WALK LIKE A “BESTOWER”

Nipun Mehta walks his talk. He’s been doing it for over 20 years now and his walk has been highly successful at helping other people walk theirs.

Mehta was a UC Berkeley computer nerd and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who witnessed and participated in the peak of the DotCom madness.  By the time he was in his third year at UC Berkeley, he was at Sun Microsystems doing work that gave him what he says was more money than he needed.

There he was, well on his way to finishing a degree at Berkeley with a career in fabled Silicon Valley ahead of him, and he felt hollow somehow.  It felt like he was coming to a personal dead end and he didn’t like it.

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 4): On Wabi-Sabi

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 4): On Wabi-Sabi

As a Perfectionist in remission, I am here to tell you that wabi-sabi — a Japanese way of seeing the world — works as an antidote to the never-good-enough, shiny-new-thing madness induced by the classical hyper-focus on perfection and the kind of seamless orderliness that arises from the mathematical, mechanical precision that evolved in the super-industrialized Occidental West where more is always better.

I grew up in a pineapple plantation camp on Molokai.  Many of my neighbors were Issei, first-generation immigrants from Japan, who brought it with them from their homeland.  I was marinated in wabi-sabi.

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MULTIPLY THE FUN (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

MULTIPLY THE FUN (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

Consistently over the years, assorted research has shown that job dissatisfaction is a problem for about two-thirds of the people in America.

This “disengagement” has wide-ranging effects.  Gallup tells us that this job irritant issue has cost as much as $350 billion a year in “lost productivity.”

(It can also suck a soul dry, and turn your life into a desert, but nobody scientific ever mentions that.)

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 3): A Touch Test

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 3): A Touch Test

18th-century British textile designer, poet, writer and socialist activist William Morris famously advised:  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

It’s become a sort of go-to standard that organizers, minimalists and de-clutterers of every ilk use to look at the stuff with which we all surround ourselves.

These days every time you hear that phrase, you can pretty much expect that somebody is going to try to persuade you to get rid of some beloved something.

The perpetrator of the phrase may even hand you some sort of condescending, mealy-mouthed, holier-than-thou thing about your “unhealthy” attachments to “mere material objects.”

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 2): Material Mind

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 2): Material Mind

Probably since the beginning of time the love of stuff has ruled the world.  And as long as there has been stuff-love, there probably also have been those who growl about all this rampant “stuff-ism.”

According to those grouses, making and getting and keeping and trading and maintaining and so on and so forth goes against “right” thinking and the proper order of something or other.

Stuff-ism is going to destroy the world as we know it, they say, or at least put a heavy dent in it.

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 1): Buying Green

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 1): Buying Green

The Guys in the Know tell us that one of the biggest marketing trends in this new Year of the Rat is probably going to be Green.

Green consumerism and eco-consumerism — a.k.a. “conscious” consumerism or “sustainable” consumerism – continues to gain ground, it says here.

It may even be going mainstream as more and more shoppers get into trying to save the planet or save their own souls by making every purchase a “moral act” and by buying “right.”

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HONORING IMPERMANENCE

HONORING IMPERMANENCE

One of the wisest thoughts I’ve ever encountered about impermanence is this one from English writer W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, THE RAZOR’S EDGE:

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” 

It reminds me of a Hawaiian aesthetic that holds that beauty is made more precious when we understand that it is ephemeral and will not last.

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MAKE THE ORDINARY SACRED

MAKE THE ORDINARY SACRED

I am reading a book by a man I admire greatly, Edward Espe Brown.  He was the first head cook at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center back in the 1960’s and later founded Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.

His earliest book, THE TASSAJARA BREAD BOOK is a classic.

More than one dear friend remembers their well-thumbed, flour-coated and oil-stained go-to copy of the book and the loveliness that flowed from their hands and the kitchens of their youth.

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WALK THE REAL

WALK THE REAL

I’ve been beating my head on the wall I’ve made using the flood of abundance-mindset and positive-thinking books – past and present – that populate my shelves as well as articles and posts and audio tapes and video thingummies and podcasts that lurk in the spaces my computer can reach.

It all sounds so good.  It’s all warm and fuzzy and smiley-face cool.

It’s also cotton-candy unsatisfactory.  I’ve got a really bad sugar-high going and the crash is imminent, looming, and certain.

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REDEFINE YOUR BOXES

REDEFINE YOUR BOXES

I confess:  I am in love with artist Dustin Yellin’s mind.

He strongly believes that “if you have amazing people around you, then amazing things will happen” and he’s been proving that truth over and over again.

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