Rethinking Prosperity: Buddhism, Minimalism, and the Rise of Simple Living

Minimalism is enjoying something of a popular resurgence now. Renowned minimalists like the Japanese consultant Marie Kondo and The Minimalists (authors and filmmakers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus) have introduced the philosophy and benefits of minimalism through their books, talks, blogs, documentaries, and TV series. Now, people everywhere are embracing opportunities to pare down…

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Book Review: The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

With a rapidly expanding global population, we need to find ways to grow crops in both an efficient and sustainable manner. For example, it can’t involve an even bigger reliance on agrochemicals, which are unsustainable. Instead, we need to grow crops to feed billions of people in a way that is in harmony with the…

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‘It Could Be Worse’: Is This the Best Form of Consolation?

Consolation generally means the comfort that someone receives after a loss or disappointment, or while experiencing misery, distress, or anxiety. To console someone is to try to offer support, encouragement, relief, and a more cheerful attitude. Interestingly, consolation is not a uniquely human behaviour. Scientists have discovered that a range of non-human animals have the…

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McMindfulness: The Curious Mix of Spirituality and Capitalism

In the past decade, we have seen the meteoric rise of the ‘mindfulness industry’. The revenue of the most popular meditation app, Headspace, for example, is estimated to be over $50m a year. Following in the footsteps and success of Headspace, we have seen an influx of other meditation and mindfulness apps, such as Calm,…

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Is Enlightenment Actually Possible?

For some time now, I have been going to the North London Buddhist Centre for group meditation and classes on Buddhism. One of the courses I joined was on the dharma (the Buddha’s teachings), specifically focusing on the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, which can be formulated as follows: Life is dukkha (a Pali term…

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