Living a Simple Life
Guides and Resources

Living a simple life has been the goal of philosophers and spiritual practices throughout history. The lifestyle we love on our desert homestead is a conscious adaptation of some of those teachings.

Through simplifying our lives, we now have the time and the energy to read, meditate, reflect, hike, and do all the seemingly mundane things so important to living joyfully. Tasks like cooking, gardening, home repair and building that were once just a time-consuming nuisance have become opportunities to live mindfully.

Below are some of the books that have enlightened and enriched our lives as we moved toward our dream. We continue to discover new books suggested by like-minded people from all over. As we do, this list will continue to grow.

Many of these books are available in public libraries and in brick and mortar bookstores. For your convenience, we have provided online direct links to these books.

If you have favorites you would like to share, please send us the name and author via the comments section at the bottom of the page. So many books, so little time!

Books that Inspire You

Share the books and authors that inspire you.

The Enlightened Heart , an anthology by Stephen Mitchell, was given to us twenty years ago by my sister, Julie and her partner, Mary. It can be found on the table next to my reading chair most days.

Mitchell’s inclusions in this lovely little book offer grist for my morning meditations as well as an enjoyable trip through the spiritual journeys of people from all over the world written over thousands of years.
Mitchell includes excerpts from The Upanishads to Basho to traditional Navajo prayers and so much more.

Tao de Ching, The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, as presented in English by Mitchell, are also personal favorites. These books by Mitchell and many more are available in bookstores and libraries. For your convenience, you can access all of Mitchell’s books online by clicking on any of the pictures.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a widely-read guide to living a simple life. It is a non-sectarian digest of spiritual teaching taken from a wide variety of traditions. You might find quotes from the Buddha, Jesus, and Lao Tzu all on the same page. I highly recommend both The Power of Now

Tolle, a German-born resident of Canada, began exploring the wisdom of these spiritual teachers while recovering from a personal crisis. He has since become one of the most widely read teachers in the world today.

Another great read by Tolle is A New Earth. This sequel toThe Power of Now expands on its themes and addresses many of the problems facing the globe with suggested solutions.

Peace is Every Step by Thich Naht Hanh is a compilation of short essays on bringing meditation from the “cushion” to every aspect of everyday life.
Through stories, examples, and gentle teachings, Thich Naht Hahn has shown us a way to make every moment of the day an act of mindfulness, literally an act of meditation.
From washing dinner dishes to a stroll in the woods to driving a car, the lessons in this little book can keep one in the present moment, alive and aware.
Thich Naht Hahn, a Zen Buddhist monk, was born in Viet Nam and currently lives in Plum Village, a retreat center in southern France. He is a teacher, author, poet and peace activist.

The Miracle of Mindfulness, another book from Thich Naht Hahn, is a more formal approach to meditation. In this book, he uses many concepts and terms unique to the practice of Buddhist meditation.
His teachings can bring a non-meditator from ignorance to a graceful introduction to mediation. He explains terms found in Eastern meditation practice in a way that is comfortable to the Western mind.
Whether one is an accomplished meditator or a novice, this book will guide and enrich the experience.
We have these two books and others on our bookshelf and refer to them often.

Money Sex War Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution by David Loy

Among the many authors and teachers who continue to inspire us here in our desert home is David Loy. Loy is a professor of Buddhist and comparative philosophy.
David Loy has the knack of directing the non-violent philosophy of Buddhist teaching to social justice.
Loy is a great lecturer and a prolific writer.

To view more of his books, just access Amazon through the link provided.

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