This is a copy of a comment I left on a previous posting titled Landfill Fodder.
I’ve given away books a number of times, only to regret it later. I’ve lost a whole box of my basic Buddhist reference books and then found them again four years later in an attic. I was really glad to be reunited with them too. So there is a shifting population and a shifting relationship to books for me.
When I went to the US to be a monk in 1980 my belongings were in a backpack, which I could lift and carry. There was also a box of books, which came via mail. That’s all I had in the world and it felt good to be traveling light. Very soon however I found out the greater weight was what I carried in my mind!
If I had talked to somebody about this drastic shedding of my belongings before entering the monastery I’d probably have kept more stuff. Some of it would have come in handy later on in my monastic life. So, if you are thinking of following up on a monastic vocation, the physical stuff doesn’t need to all go. Just the clinging to it.
Here is a young chap writing about his journey with accumulation, and his journey with letting it go.