On the Journey: Simplicity

The Jan issue of On the Journey has arrived! HERE
This month, UU Journey Groups will be exploring SIMPLICITY. Don't miss it, and don't miss your Journey Group meeting to get together to work with this theme!

The Jan issue of On the Journey features
  • poems from Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, William Wordsworth, Sandra Gilbert, Peter Gizzi, and Josphine Miles
  • a quotations page of 23 provocative, witty, or trenchant remarks
  • Henry David Thoreau's de rigueur passage on simplicity
  • a taxonomy of "five simplicities"
  • essays on reducing stress by doing less and doing it slowly, reducing consumption, and de-cluttering
  • 9 TED talks curated for your viewing edification
  • a page of questions
  • a spiritual exercise for the month
The Questions Page. Select one or two questions about which to share your thoughts or musings with your Journey Group.
  1. (a) Were the questions for the “Defining Moment” (p. 2) interesting? (b) Did you reflect on any of the questions about the poems (pp. 2-3)? (c) Do you have a comment on any of the quotations (p. 4)? (d) If you watched some or all of the TED talks (p. 9), which were particularly interesting?
  2. The passage from Thoreau (p. 5) is well-known. Did you find yourself engaging (anew) with this brief “simplicity manifesto”?
  3. “Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being.” (Lao Tzu) What disconnects you from “the source of being”? How might you return?
  4. Which of the “Five Simplicities” (p. 5) support or are part of which other ones? Which ones would make other ones harder?
  5. What do you think of Toni Bernhard’s suggestions (“How to Reduce Stress by Doing Less and Doing It Slowly,” p. 5)? Do you think you’ll try following any?
  6. How about Michael Forman’s (“5 Ways to Reduce Unnecessary Consumption,” p. 6)? Do these suggestions call to you?
  7. Then there were the tips from Madeleine Somerville (“Creating Change, Reducing Consumption: How Living with Less Can Transform the World,” p. 7). Anything there that you’ll adopt?
  8. Finally, Julie McCormick write about “How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress” (p. 8). Have you been inspired to do some do-cluttering?
  9. In what ways are you prepared to be (or continue being) counter-cultural in the direction of a simpler life?
  10. What do you wish you could say “no” to in your life? Why haven’t you? What would happen if you did?
  11. Who might be your teammates in building a simpler and more fulfilled life? Who could you ask for help, and what help would you ask them for?
  12. The old Shaker hymn says, “Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free.” What’s the connection between simplicity and freedom?
  13. Do you already have the balance you want? If so, how do you notice and appreciate the simplicity and beauty of your life?
  14. Does simplicity mean something entirely different for you from how these questions seem to treat it?
  15. Is there a different question about simplicity that is niggling at you?
The link to the current and all past issues of On the Journey can always be found at cucmatters.org/p/journey-groups.htm

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