Someone once said to me, "Wealth isn't having more, it's needing less".
But this isn't about having nothing. We live in a material world, having nothing is unreasonable.
But you don't want to have a lot of stuff, you want to have the right stuff.
The thing is, 'stuff' can easily clutter up our life, keeping us 'busy', and getting between ourselves and others.
'Stuff' can make us miss what matters.
We go for stuff for many reasons: buying stuff is satisfying. (But briefly and not deeply). Plus, stuff is safe. Stuff won't break your heart or reject you, stuff won't cheat on you or leave you.
But stuff requires a lot of energy: you have to take care of, store, clean, maintain, and move your stuff. Which all takes time.
Nowadays, I look at almost every purchase with: "How much energy will this take to store/clean/maintain/move, etc?" I don't just look at what it will give me - which is what desire does, but also what it cost me - in the long term.
We really want to spend our time caring for people, not stuff.
Things often cost more than we realize, for example:
1. Stuff takes up RAM, which means it takes up space in your head. You have to think about your stuff. It weighs on your mind. For example: you won't park your expensive bike just anywhere or with just any lock.
2. A big house will take more time to clean than a small one. And more money to furnish.
3. Car's need maintenance, oil changes, insurance, tires, gas, brakes...
4. A cat or dog's vet bills can be in the thousands of dollars. They get arthritis and cancer and have accidents just like humans.
5. If you buy something and it's the wrong one, it will take time to return it.
The person with a big house full of stuff, a car and a dog can not respond to an inner impulse to travel - or play - as immediately as someone with less stuff. Even if you want to go somewhere for just a week, the dog or cat will need a sitter, and so on.
Not to mention how many hours of work you have to work each week just to pay for your stuff.
There is freedom and joy in having less, in having everything we need to accomplish our purpose, to do our work, and not much more.
And besides this, the desire-cycle is endless and addictive, and pain is an intrinsic part of it.
In Buddhism they say, "Indulging in sensual desires is like licking honey off a razor."
And the Buddha said, 'desire is suffering'.
Instead of extending our love to others, desire makes us self-centered, we become focused on self-satisfaction. Yet satisfaction really comes through purpose, from accomplishing something, self-discipline, service and compassion. The lower nature of personality is materialistic, but our higher nature is purposeful and transcendent - but we only know our higher Nature (Buddha Nature or Christ Nature) by practicing it. Those who love become loving...or as my teacher puts it, "We become good by doing good."
So...lol... I try to have the RIGHT stuff, and not a lot of stuff.
Which means the right clothes, not a lot of clothes I never wear.
The right computer, not one that's too old and gives me constant problems, or one much fancier than I need. (desire tells us we should have the *best* one, because...why not?, but remember, desire lies!)
The right home, the right food, the right everything.
We are learning to be both attached to what matters, and detached from what doesn't.
A simple life also makes great clarity possible. It frees you to focus on your work: your chosen vocation and purpose, and to do it well, even if it's "just" self-healing (a very important work which many avoid!). It allows you to spend time with people, enjoying them and serving them. And to relate to God/Mind/Higher Self, and to grow in that relationship.
To grow the inner qualities of intuition, vision, knowledge and love, takes time and focus.
With a simple life, you have the time and space to do that, to study both skills-for-living, and deep truth - which you can then share.
You have the time and space to cultivate a life of depth, instead of the more common life of busy-ness.
You are free to focus on just a few things, and do them well, instead of doing many things poorly. And if you don't know what those few things are - you have the time and space to figure that out - we grow towards simplicity.
A simple life also has room for silence, where our receptivity to our spirit's direction and understanding is greater.