Simplicity and Spirituality – Raoka

As I focused on “Simplicity” last month, I couldn’t help but think that the chase after a wealthy life style is a rather complicated affair: the standards keep shifting, and the worries are many. That’s why Spiritual contemplatives and mystics speak so often of ‘detachment’. By taking our focus off of getting stuff, we have more of ourselves available to focus on learning to love rightly, or taking time to be face-to-face with those in need, or learning , or learning how to depend on the Spirit. You can’t be spiritually in tune and chase wealth; most of the time, the paths go in opposite directions.

From the time I started learning about spirituality and the Divine, I was often faced with situations where I needed to  make choices. Choices between Needs and Wants.
As my core nature, since I was a child, I never really ran behind material objects. I still remember when I was about 12 years old and I needed to buy a gift for my friends birthday, I asked my dad for a few rials(I was brought up in muscat, hence the rials). I distinctly remember my dad literally lighting up and handing me a 50 rial note, which to me was like millions. I told dad ‘daddy this is too much. I need only 1 rial to buy my friend a nice book for her birthday.’  To which he said, ‘when was the last time you ever asked me for anything? You don’t even take any pocket money from me, nor let me buy you nice stuff. Buy your friend whatever you like and then buy something nice for yourself too.’ …I protested, that I didn’t need it. But he didn’t take no for an answer. I finally used the 1 rial and bought my friend a really nice book and a few days later, when dad was asleep, I quietly put the rest of the money back in his wallet. He noticed it, but never asked me. I guess he knew his daughter better than she knew herself.

When spirituality entered my life, it was all by accident. It was surprisingly at a time when I was about 17 and was at a very vulnerable place emotionally and mentally. I mean its that time when you get sucked into the being like the crowd. Trying to be a certain someone you feel you should be, cause everyone is being that way. Being part of the IN crowd. And boy, I was really really IN! So IN that I became rebellious. At this time, I met my religious and spiritual teacher. I had seen her at a social gathering. Her humbleness, her sheer simplicity made me curious. I started going to her for spiritual and religious knowledge. From being her most difficult student, to becoming her childrens counselor and her best friend…it has been a beautiful journey.

In more ways than one, spirituality brought in me simplicity and vice versa. Its like two sides of the same coin. If you want to be closer to the divine, if you want to grow spiritually, simplicity is key. If you are simple, spirituality just comes to you.

What is my definition of simplicity?
Being humble, Being rooted, Being aware and most of all being Unmaterialistic.
It all begins with the choices we make. The eternally battle between needs and wants.
We need water, but we want Evian.
We need air, but we want airconditioning.
We need food, but we want exotic dishes that tickle our tastebuds.
We need clothes and shoes to protect our body, but we want branded wear.

Do you see the distinction between needs and wants?

I saw this distinction a while back, and it has been an eye opener for me. The minute I stopped wanting to have the latest gadget, the latest fashion, the In thing… complete being felt so light. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from me. I could truly breathe. It was and still is an amazing feeling.

All those who know me personally, know this about me…that I am simple. I am lucky to have found a life-partner who shares my simplistic values and lifestyle. Don’t get me mistaken for someone who can’t afford to live the most lavish life. On the contrary, I most certainly can…but I choose to still do all my work myself. I choose to have less material belongings. I choose to live in sync with Nature and Spirit.

All our lives we keep chasing after the comfortable lifestyle. We keep running behind material objects, thinking when we have this, we will be happy. When we have more money we will be happy. When we have more cars we will be happy. When we have more property we will be happy. In this chase after material growth, we literally overshadow our spiritual growth and happiness.

I have no reservations with people who live with material luxury. Infact, I admire people who can balance their material and spiritual growth. But for me its not possible. I can’t be running behind the perfect lifestyle and still be growing spiritually. I just keep thinking- what are we truly going to take from this physical life after we have passed away? Will our big houses and massive bank balances help us in the journey of this soul? A soul that still has places to go and lifetimes to lead…
The only meaningful baggage we will be able to carry, is our good deeds. And ironically these good deeds although weightless in the physical sense, are the most valued in the spiritual realm.

I am a follower of the simple life and that makes me very happy.

Simplifying your life can truly enrich your soul, cause there isn’t a better more satisfying way to live.

What about you? Have you tasted the pure sweetness of Simplicity? Do you believe what I believe about simplicity and spirituality going hand in hand? Please do share your wisdom in the comments below.

Please note: This article is part of the RAOKA Movement{Random Acts of Kick Arse}. The theme in focus was SIMPLICITY. Want to join in the RAOKA fun movement? Read the details below.

Awesome RAOKA Crusaders and Their “Simplicity” contributions (list will be updated hourly, so please do come back to read more) :

Joy @ Unfolding Your Path To Joy wrote Embrace Simplicity
Tim @ 360 Degree Self wrote Raoka Simplicity
Gayze @Gazehound’s Animal Communication wrote Simplicity

-M @ The Exception wrote Continuing to Simplify
@ Personal Development One mind at a time wrote RAOKA Time! Simplicity And Another Year Of Life!
-Keith @ Straight Up Living wrote Simplicity

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath

What is RAOKA? H
ow can “you” be a part of it? The RAOKA mission seeks to remind us that Random Acts of Kick Arse happen all around us—and also to spread the spirit. Each month, us RAOKA team core members vote on a new theme based on your submissions. On the first Wednesday of each month (
US time zone) we invite everyone to post about what we’ve observed, passed along, or created. During the first ten days of the month, contact me with your theme ideas for the next month. I’m the Caretaker& Loving Keeper of The RAOKA Crusade with my core team mate Gayze. Check out her WONDER post along with other crusader posts linked at the bottom of this post. Thank you Lori for entrusting me this awesome mission and thank you to Sami for starting it! Love you both!Raoka Logo created by Melissa

Be Involved in RAOKA! If you’d like to become a Random Acts of Kick Arse Crusader—here’s your chance:

  1. Propose a theme by contacting me the first ten days of the month or simply follow along with our monthly themes and spread the Random Acts of Kick Arse!
  2. Write a post about what you have been up to and publish it on the first Wednesday of each month. If you would like a reminder emailed to you each month or would like more information, please contact me. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to play along in the comments.
  3. When you see my RAOKA post published, add your details in the Comments below including the URL address of your own RAOKA post and the title of your blog. I will then create a link to your post for others to see what kind of Beautiful Random Acts you’ve been up to. You can copy – paste the other Raoka team mates links from below this post into your post and write a two line intro to what Raoka is all about in your posts footer. Also, Let your readers know that they can contact me anytime if they would like to be part of RAOKA too.
  4. I would love love love to have you on board :) The more the merrier!
  5. Stay Tuned! Next month’s theme is “New Beginnings” as suggested by Me 🙂 .

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46 thoughts on “Simplicity and Spirituality – Raoka

  1. Hello Zeenat, this was a wonderful article. I want freedom and just enough money to live comfortably and experience life. That’s it. If I slave away for money I give up that good life you so beautifully describe 🙂

    1. Hi Stephen,
      I agree with you…just enough to live and truly learn where we can go..physically and spiritually.
      The good life is right here…right 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment here. Always love seeing you here.
      SO Much love~

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    1. Hi Joy,
      Allowing divine simplicity…ahh I love how you put it 🙂 It just makes it so much more magical..just like you 🙂
      I’m glad each of us have a different yet unique take on ‘simplicity’ makes for great learning form each other na 🙂
      Love you too…and believe you me…you are the one that allows me to shine.
      So So So Much love~

  4. Very informative and useful article. It is a eye opener for me. You said it rightly. Going after material things and spiritual growth are different ways and it would be difficult to achieve the both at the same time. Jesus Said that we cannot serve god and money at the same time.

    Nice article, Thanks

    1. Hi Jacob,
      I’m so glad you agree with my point of view.
      Jesus’s words are indeed Divine Wisdom.
      Thank you fro your lovely and insightful comment.
      Much love~

    1. Hi AMit,
      Knocking at our door..hmm..I like that analogy. Its really apt.
      I think the chase behind material happiness truly tires us..and there is just so little left of us to think about anything else. When the focus is not wealth…but pure goodness…then well..the Universe’s Divine plan works wonders 🙂
      Thank you for your awesome comment and compliments 🙂
      Much love~

  5. Hi Zeenat:

    This is a beautifully written post! I really enjoy how you’ve combined your spirituality with simplicity. I especially enjoyed your definition of simplicity and how you distinguish your needs vs. wants. I know that every time I seem to covet a material possession and finally get it, I’m let down a bit. Many times these possessions satisfy our appetites for a while and then we want something else. I’m still learning to let go of these wants one day at a time. Simplicity is a great, powerful word and worthy of deeper focus. Thanks for this post!

    1. Hi Tim,
      Our material appetites do most often pull us down and do not allow our spirit to fly. I’m learning to let go of my wants everyday too…there are still some attachments, I would like to free myself completely…slow and steady 🙂
      I’m so glad you contributed this month and too love the power of ‘simplicity’.
      Thank you fro your lovely comment here.
      Much love~

  6. Hi Zeenat! Beautiful post. I love your take on simplicity and balancing it with spiritual growth. For me is not so much how much I have but how attached I am to the things I have. My goal is not to place value or get attached to what I have regardless if I have one or ten of it. I agree that it can be a fine line to create the balance and not mix wants and needs.
    Thanks for this great reminder. Loving blessings!

    1. Hi Andrea,
      I’m with you on attachments….I too have a similar take on simplicity…where although needs and wants are my best measure, my level of attachment makes me feel like there is something I need to do about it, to simplify spiritually too!
      I’m glad you liked this post Andrea. Thank you so much for your insightful comment here.
      So much Love~

    1. Hi M!,
      New year Happiness to you too!
      Simplicity is such a vast topic na..yet we each with our own personal stories and insight make this topic a very powerful one. Simplicity in all aspects of our lives culminates into such beautiful depth….hence we do continue to simplify in every moment 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely contribution to this months raoka and for your lovely comment here.
      Much Love~

  7. Lovely thoughts, Zeenat, thank you so much!

    We keep running behind material objects, thinking when we have this, we will be happy. When we have more money we will be happy. When we have more cars we will be happy. When we have more property we will be happy. In this chase after material growth, we literally overshadow our spiritual growth and happiness.

    This is something that comes up more and more in my life. What is your end goal? For most of us, if we really think about it, the end goal is happiness, peace, contentment, harmony. For each of us, the details of that, the “evidence” along the way, will differ. But if we keep our eyes on the end goal, the details along the way will take care of themselves.

    Wishing you all Joy in 2011…

    1. Hi Gayze,
      Your words resonate with my heart so so much! Thank you for being you and for your amazing wisdom! And you are totally right…the end result makes the journey amazingly simple and beautiful.
      Thank you fro your awesome comment here and for your superb contribution to raoka.
      Much love~

  8. Zeenat my darling, here is your spoiled material girl friend who is in envy and awe of you every day and today is no exception….I am meditating more and love the simplicity of thought and the simplicity of happiness it brings me. I am buying a lot less and I am selling/giving away more. I am asking for experience rather than “stuff” and recycling all the time. Maybe I am in the right direction….and I love every word here and your gentle approach to such a huge topic…you are brilliant in print and I can’t wait to see you in person..simplicity and all! Huge hugs!! Keep shining for us….!

    1. Darling Farnoosh, You are far from actually being a material girl…and thats what I admire about you. You are truly able to balance the material with the spiritual….look at you being the yoga doing rubber band gal…..its so awesome that you can be all you want and still have such a big heart, that gives gives gives. You are unique my dear.
      I cant wait to see you too…oh by the by..i just got skyping..and have added you to my contacts…hope we can touch base there….face to face 🙂
      So much love to you…~

  9. Happy New Year, Zeenat. It’s easy to lose sight of what you have if you’re always thinking about what you need. When you’re happy your goals and needs seem to materialise in your life. Sometimes my passion gets in the way of the dream. Simplicity is a wonderful way to live. Hugs and love to you and family.

    1. Hi Simon,
      New Year greetings to you too!
      I agree with you…that is you are happy at your core..dreams do materialize in the most unexpected ways. Simplifying life is happiness to me 🙂
      Thank you fro your loving comment here Simon!
      Love right back 🙂

    1. HI Joshua,
      I did read your take on wants and needs…and it was awesome!
      How wonderful that you are celebrating your birthday on this raoka posting day…and to top it all you spend your birthdays just like me 🙂
      Thank you for your amazing contribution to raoka this month.
      So Much love~

  10. The more I simplify my life the easier it gets. I write about happiness, but often forget this subject because it’s hard to write about simplicity. You did a great job here.

    Simplicity is hard to write about because it’s different for everyone. It’s an important subject that should be talked about more often.

    Simplicity is the cornerstone of a happy life because it’s about enjoying where we are now and not what we need to be happy.

    1. Hi karl,
      Thank you fro your compliments about the writing…its just so close to my heart..that the words came poring out 🙂
      But youre right…simplicity can mean totally different things to different people…but realizing that fact can bring about immense happiness for sure.
      Thank you for your lovely comment here…and I await the time you write about simplicity….it will be awesome I’m sure.
      So Much Love~

  11. Hi, Beautiful Zeenat!

    What a glorious post! This line stood out for me, “If you are simple, spirituality just comes to you.” Reminded me of the adage that some of the poorest people on earth are also the happiest.

    I have many lovely things in my life that make me smile when I look at or experience them. I’m also happy to give things away if I see that they would delight another. There’s an element of “simple living” that dances along the lines of staying open to whatever comes or goes. My heart is happy knowing that the Universe is infinitely abundant, and generous in sharing. Therefore I need not hang tightly to material things, knowing that they come and go like waves in an ocean. My life is easier knowing this.

    Much love to you, oh wise one!

    1. Hi My Joyful Angel,
      I have to agree with that adage..cause here in india..there is a big percentage of the population below the poverty line…but whenever you see them, meet them…there is no way you can feel anything but happy. I am always amazed at their sheer simplicity and immense happiness. Their life purposes are simple too..and that in itself makes them so content.
      Simple living agrees with you and your heart so much dear one…simplicity indeed breeds happiness!
      Lots of love to you too my smiling angel~

  12. Zeenat,

    Wonderful post, and I am not surprised. You really walk the talk and I am grateful I met you.

    I’m with Megan, in that, this line jumped out and grabbed me, “If you are simple, spirituality just comes to you.” WOW and I mean WOWOW! That is a very powerful statement!

    Thank you my friend.

    1. Dear Keith,
      You and Megan both catch just the right line…the one that literally came right from my core 🙂 Insightful little minxes you are 😉
      I’m glad you liked this post keith..and I loved your take on simplicity too…amazingly powerful stuff!
      Thank you for being you and for your amazing contribution to raoka this month.
      So Much Love~

  13. Beautiful, I understand what you are saying, having been in a situation where we have learned to live simply I know that to be truly happy and live from the heart with love i don’t need stuff.
    Thanks for sharing your life
    with love

    1. Hi Suzie,
      I love how you say you live from the heart with love and don’t need stuff…That in itself is exactly what I was trying to say here 🙂
      Happiness is inevitable when simplicity lives within us.
      Thank you fro your lovely comment here.
      much love~

  14. I love this post well love you and your wisdom. Simplicity is divine. This past year has been a huge change for me and I am finally enjoying simple. More involved with my church which makes me very happy.

    1. Hi Sweetie…enjoying simple hmm…I like the sound of that 🙂
      I know how much change can be challenging…but you going simple and enjoying it means you are indeed on the right track 🙂
      So Happy to hear about you…and happier to see your comment here.
      So Much Love~

  15. Hi Zeenat,

    I didn’t know you grew up in an Arabic country. 😉

    I believe it all depends on the person. A person is able to live luxuriously and still be connected with God and with simplicity. It is about finding the balance inside of your heart. Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Dia,
      You didnt know I was brought up in muscat..hmmm 🙂 But now you do 😉
      You so right about finding the balance….but to me personally I have a problem with finding this particular balance. I often lean more towards simplicity than luxury….even in my heart of hearts 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment here.
      Much Love,

  16. A friend who by most objective standards is not a wealthy person, recently said to me, “Anything I have beyond my basic needs is wealth. I am very wealthy.” In a culture (the US) that focuses on extravagance but lives with a mentality of lack, I thought this was a remarkable statement.

    1. Hi Galen,
      Youre so is a remarkable statement and infact can serve so well as a measure for when we are leaning towards extravagance…lovely! Thank you for sharing your wisdom here Galen. You always leave me thinking…
      So Much Love~

  17. Dearest, dearest Z, I am crying reading this. I really am. You’ve no idea how much this means with me. I wrote a post a bit ago title: It’s Not About Success. Then I recently wrote: Spiritual Weight Loss, about letting go of things and social conditioning, etc, and I am now thinking of doing another post at some point that speaks more about his topic.

    I feel I too am finding my way into letting go of almost all the values that my society holds in front of them, almost as if those values/things were “God” itself. I too can’t live like that. I can’t run after material things. My husband and I have talked about this recently and we are letting go of SO much. In every area of our lives. I NEVER ran after material things and don’t want to start now.

    Being on line the last 3 years I seem to read everywhere I go, people talking about “success” and in most accounts it’s money, big house, fancy cars, etc. Even the “Law of Attraction” is used this way in most cases. Rarely do we see it used in terms of healing all the children in Africa who have AIDS, or helping the homeless, or battered women, or abused children.

    I am well and truly, every single day, questioning what I am doing, what I need to let go of, and what is really of value to me. THANK YOU for encouraging me to do this. I have no interest in the latest brand names, or any of it. HOWEVER, I DO care about really listening to and living from my heart, I do care about actively loving, and not only when it’s easy, even when someone hurts me. I do care about living my passions of creativity, music, writing, art, etc. I do care about helping others who are gravely suffering or lost because it makes ME more whole, more connected to the world, I forget myself when I reach out to others. It is a wonderful feeling that brings so much love and healing to everyone involved.

    I am so so soooooooooooooooooooooooo glad you wrote this. You are the most beautiful soul. Thank you for confirming the direction that I too am taking in my life.

    I love you more than any words I have, but then you know that because we really are soul sisters. We really are, Z. Thank you for what you gave me today. I tweeted this and hope everyone reads it. You just keep being you, dear one.

    Love always,

    Did you download Skype yet? It’s easy and free. Just Google “SKYPE”. 😉 🙂 🙂

    1. Darling RObin, Ohh we love like no other….:) what a special and truly sublime relationship we have. I do truly feel immensely blessed to have you in my life everyday. I just need to see your beautiful face…and all is right in the world. Thank you!
      I agree with you on every point here Robin darling…every point. I too cant keep praying and asking fro things for myself…..I keep thinking who is praying for poor the homeless the grief stricken the trauma laden…ahhh…I know most modalities talk about self preservation…but sometimes I feel like the self preservation borders on egotistical!!
      I think just thinking about healing the world…together with pure heart..can make such a big difference…bring about such a major shift….we would be amazed!
      May this simplicity of thought and action penetrate into each and every being….
      Thank you fro confirming to me too….that we are indeed tow peas in a pod…so divinely make my mind boggle and my heart burst with so much love for you.
      Love you lots fna lots and lots….
      p.s. already downloaded skype…sent you a request too….now accept soon…so that we can talk sooooooooooonn… Hugs.

  18. Hi Zeenat, This is a beautiful post and I agree with everything you say. i too have never felt the need to have more than what is necessary but I seem to have acquired so much ‘stuff’ over the years.Most of it, however, is the normal basic things of a home with kids growing up. I have a recurring dream/nightmare about trying to clear out the house to catch a train, a boat or a plane and always missing the ‘insert mode of transport here’ because I keep finding more stuff to clear up or pack up. I daydream that someday I will get rid of everything except what fits in the boot of my car…along with my dogs and cats…and taking off into the sunset to somewhere that I can live the ‘simple’ life with nature. Thanks Zeenat….your words always encompass so much soul! Love and light to you and your family

    1. Oh Rosemary,
      Your dream sounds like you are going through some kind of anxiety… me…we can talk about this..
      And the stuff…you keep trying to clear out signify something much deeper….
      But I am so glad you aren’t one of those..who can run behind material stuff….makes living so superficial na…
      The simple life is right now girl…wherever and whenever you decide…you have started on the right track 🙂
      Thank you fro your lovely comment here and superb compliments… me blushing.
      Lots of love~

  19. Hey Zeenat,

    Yes, I have tasted simplicity. It all started 4 years ago when I left my job to stay home with my daughter. Since then, I’ve been living a simple life.

    I do believe that simplicity and spirituality go hand in hand. I can’t have one without the other. Life for me is not about a lot of material things. Material things take the mind off those things that are more meaningful in life.

    Fancy cars, clothes, gadgets don’t excite me these days. What excites me the most is hearing my daughter laugh her head off and give me those little hugs. This all helps keep me grounded in what really matters in life.

    Once my life got simple, my spiritual walk began to grow and blossom.

    Beautiful post!


    1. Hi Evelyn,
      I completely agree with all you said..and am so glad you are with me on this 🙂
      I especially love how you said “Material things take the mind off those things that are more meaningful in life. ” there is so much truth in that line and so much power too!
      Thank you fro sharing your wisdom here Evelyn…
      May you blossom to infinite heights.
      Much love~

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