Renounce and enjoy was Gandhi’s three-word summary of his life’s teaching. I intend to show how a few simple, but radical (from the root) changes toward simplicity in one’s lifestyle can create enormous personal liberation and joy, and is the surest way of creating lasting and deep social and environmental transformation in the world. Instead of lamenting our personal insignificance in the face of the enormity of corporate/military mayhem, we can create a movement of doing without that undermines the foundation of these powers while opening a world of creativity to our communities. The changes I’ll mention – living without income; using little money; giving up cars; finding, growing and sharing food, turning one’s daily life into performance art, and discovering the core of religion (to re-connect) – have all been tested by me (I’ve lived without income since ‘91, never driven), and can be applied to different degrees by all kinds of people. I’ll fit it all in by focusing on one typical day as artistic offering, with pictures of visionaries from many cultures doing the activities mentioned.
Grew up in New York City, graduated from Oberlin College having studied creative writing and religion, lived in a Zen monastery in California, then traveled through Asia including crossing the Himalayas on foot into Ladakh, became a Buddhist monk in New Mexico, trained in a monastery in Japan, became a tree-sitter in the cascades, settled in Portland to practice, teach, learn Indian singing and flute, and help share food with Food-Not-Bombs.