"Lighten your material load, starting today. As you do so, less energy is spent hoarding, and insuring, and moving, and polishing and so on. The less attracted you are to your possessions, and the more you are able to share them with others unconditionally, the more peaceful your life will be. See how many things you can give away that you no longer use and don't ask anything for it in return; and don't tell anyone else that you did it. Just give not to get, but just for the beautiful soulful notion of unburdening your soul with all of that material stuff that you no longer need."
- "It is the space within the glass that makes it useful."
This has been a very challenging practice for me since I am one to hang on to things. I always think that I will have use for it at a later date; books, old electronic parts, old computers, boxes, clothing, shoes and so on. In a matter of time, I have realized that I accumulated so many things, that it has crowded up a lot of the free space in my rooms.
Now, it has become a lot easier for me. I give away clothing that I do not use, I sell books that, if necessary, could be purchased at a later date if I really needed them. I throw away old boxes and other unnecessary items. I do still have some old computers that are taking up free space that I want to get rid of as well. I actually have them there set aside to be thrown away right now.
Why? I feel much better when there is space around me. The 11th verse of the Tao describes this beautifully:
Though thirty spokes may form the wheel,
it is the hole within the hub
which gives the wheel utility.
It is not the clay the potter throws,
which gives the pot its usefulness,
but the space within the shape,
from which the pot is made.
Without a door, the room cannot be entered,
and without windows it is dark.
Such is the utility of non-existence.
It is the emptiness of the room that gives the room its usefulness. This is exactly how I feel. When there is space, there is clarity of thought and with clarity of thought, there is usefulness. I do intend to reduce the amount of 'things' that I hang on to. We have a way of attaching meanings to all these material things, when in reality, they really have no meaning. It does take a bit of thought changing, but I know it gets easier once you make it a habit of not clinging to possessions.
An important message from this lesson as well is the notion of giving. Most of the time, we expect something in return, but once we start giving and release all expectations, then our lives will change significantly. Not only will we feel great because we give out of joy or love, but also receive the same joy and love from others because it is one of the many laws of the Universe. We will start receiving all that we want in our lives because our givingness is being reciprocated. An amazing place this world is.