Is less more?

Is less more?

I often ask my myself, how much do we actually need?

Nothing endorses this more than when I go to a trade fair and see acres and acres of product. Undesirable stuff, stuff you’ve got no idea what it actually does or what it's used for, flat-out ugly undeserving items of junk. It puts me off wanting anything at all. 

How much happier are people with a lot less?
They treasure what they have and make best use of it. Traveling to India as a young girl this one smacked me right in the face, they use absolutely everything. Kids running around laughing using a stick to hit a ball fashioned from scrunched up newspaper. It really looked fun - no need for bat and ball there.
It was a spiritual voyage for me, I was living in Indian ashrams - sleeping in very basic conditions on wood plank beds, having bucket baths and eating rice and dhal.
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I’d been a journalist in New Zealand and always had great and noble aspirations of being an international correspondent - one with no judgement of other cultures and religions, well versed on their beliefs. For a moment I touched on it working for More Magazine when I was asked to interview one of the leaders of the Hare Krishna Temple in Christchurch. This was the Hindu perspective on who we are and why we are here - fascinating to me.
A 1 hour interview that turned into 3. To say a window opened up for me was an understatement. I’d been given a AFS scholarship and had studied in Thailand and I was very much open to Eastern thought with Buddhism and the monastic way of life. I’d been bought up a Catholic with nuns as teachers, a catholic priest as a family friend and an aunt and uncle that entered the order (later to leave).
This interview turned into a pivotal point for me as I was working then in fashion magazines...don’t ask, I don’t know how I got there either. I was feeling very out of my groove and sitting there as a guest judge of ‘the face of 1984” with these young things parading on a catwalk like cattle and I thought “what the bloody hell am I doing here?”. So within months I left my job, gave away everything I owned (much to the horror of my family) and joined the ashram as a celibate nun and would stay for a number of years.  Bet you didn’t see that coming!
It did shape me immeasurably and for 30 years I’ve never made mindless junk for landfill. I use natural fibres and natures discards and craftspeople and not machines. You buy and keep it and hand it on until it gives its all and then it will gently return to the earth. Less is more.

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