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Step Out of the Rush…

Here is a wonderful story that has been floating around in cyberspace. THE SITUATION In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a... read more

Technology and the Simple Life

Apparently, ballpoint pens don’t work in space because of the lack of gravity. It is said that NASA, troubled by this realization, spent many millions of dollars designing a ‘space pen’ that could function in the absence of gravity. The Russians used a pencil. Whether or not this story is true, it raises interesting questions about how technology is used in modern society. Are we, like NASA,... read more

Take Back Your Time Day: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty

In a few days – on 24 October – a growing number of people will acknowledge, ‘Take Back Your Time Day,’ an initiative established in 2001 by world leaders in the Voluntary Simplicity Movement, most notably, John de Graaf. This initiative falls on 24 October because that is the day many North Americans and Australians would finish work for the year if they worked the same hours per year as the... read more

Audio Lecture on Voluntary Simplicity

Dear Simplicity Collective, Just a short note to bring your attention to a free, audio lecture by leading ‘simple living’ advocate, Mark Burch, which is available for download here. It is an insightful and eloquent overview of the idea of voluntary simplicity, particularly useful because of the thoughtful questions posed by members of audience at the end of the lecture, to which Mark responds.... read more

Breadmaking Workshop a Delight

Contining the Simplicity Collective workshop series, last weekend a roomful of novice breadmakers came together in the name of simple living to explore the art of breadmaking. We were very fortunate to have Andrea, Leesh, and Em as our wise and passionate tutors. Thanks so much to them for their time and willingnes to share their knowledge. It was a delightful afternoon of questions, practice, tastings,... read more

Small Ways to Make a Big Difference

Over the last three weeks, a large group of writers, educators, and activists organized by Raam Dev has come together to create a free ebook entitled, ‘Small Ways to Make a Big Difference.’ In terms of content, the book’s title speaks for itself. Many of the short contributions made in this book mesh nicely with the underlying ethos of the Simplicity Collective (I’ve made three... read more

A Brief History of Voluntary Simplicity

The celebration of the simple life is about as old as human history itself; so too are warnings about the dangers of greed and materialism. The story could begin with Siddhartha Gautama – the Buddha – who at the age of 29 gave up the superficial luxuries of a royal existence to seek spiritual truth in a life of extreme asceticism. After nearly starving himself to death through his practice of... read more

Life after Growth (Short Film)

The economic crash of 2008 revealed not only the frailty and vulnerability of the economic system, it also showed the false basis that the growth economy is built upon. The prescription from mainstream economists is more growth – but is this just taking more of what ails us? Has growth become uneconomic? Is there another way? There is, and the link below provides an inspiring introduction to it in... read more

Simple Living Workshop

Last night the first workshop for the Simplicity Collective was held and I am happy to report that it was a success. A wonderful evening of story sharing, philosophizing, and homemade spicy pumpkin soup. Thanks to everyone who turned up. It was truly inspiring to hear your stories and insights. No matter how many books I read on simple living, I learn the most when I am in conversation with others who are... read more

What Does the Simple Life Mean to You?

Here is an opportunity to share your ideas, perspectives, and insights on simplicity of living. One of the paradoxes of ‘simple living’ is that it is complex. Nobody has all the answers. The simple life is not so much a destination as it is an on-going creative process, and one way to creatively explore your own understanding of simplicity is to put it into words. What does the simple life mean... read more

The Social Significance of Voluntary Simplicity – Sustainability Week Presentation

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. – Victor Hugo THE SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY Samuel Alexander (Speech made for Sustainability Week, Melbourne University, 22nd March 2010) Hello everyone, good to be with you today to recognize and celebrate Sustainability Week. What strikes me most about Sustainability Week is how bluntly it reminds us what the other 51... read more

Sustainable Living Festival 2010 – The Simplicity Collective Represents!

Hello everyone, The Sustainable Living Festival is always an inspiring and energizing few days. It was great to be representing the Voluntary Simplicity Movement and it was great to have received so much support from the Melbourne public. More on the Festival below, but before saying anything further, as those signed up will be aware, I haven’t been updating this website recently. Instead,... read more

An Invitation / Incitation to the Simple Life

We are freer than we think we are. – Michel Foucault WELCOME LIFE POETS! NEWS IN BRIEF: Voluntary Simplicity Documentary (Wednesday) – The showing of the voluntary simplicity documentary was delayed one week and is now showing this Wednesday 29 April 2009, 9.30pm, Channel 31’s Plug In TV Show. The documentary will also be posted online in due course. Location, to be advised. A... read more

Voluntary Simplicity is an Expression of Freedom

MARCH 2009 THE LIFE POETS’ SIMPLICITY COLLECTIVE Invitation / Incitation www.simplicitycollective.com Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead WELCOME LIFE POETS! NEWS IN BRIEF: Voluntary Simplicity Presentation and Discussion – This Wednesday 1st April, 5-6.30 pm, Gryphon... read more

“Our Life Is Our Message” – Simple Living 2009

‘Our life is our message.’ – Mahatma Gandhi Greetings all, I am very pleased to report that last weekend at the Sustainable Living Festival hundreds of new members signed up to our Collective, and more are joining everyday. It was truly inspiring to meet so many warm and genuine people, and the conversations I had with so many of you has reaffirmed my belief that a quietly emerging social movement... read more
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