What is “Renunciation”? // Matthieu Ricard

What is “Renunciation”? // Matthieu Ricard

True renunciation is not a constraint but a freedom. It comes from the strong desire to end the frustration inevitably created by the ordinary preoccupations of life….

Renunciation essentially means simplifying one’s mind, one’s words, and one’s activities, by letting go of what obstructs inner freedom. Constraint creates frustration; renunciation produces a real sense of joy.

Renunciation does not mean depriving oneself of what is truly good and useful in life but rather getting rid of unnecessary burdens. When hermits repeat ten times the magi mantra “I need nothing,” they are not making their life insipid but trying to get rid of the endless distractions that take over the mind and leave them with the bitter taste of lost time. They want to uncluttered their life to devote themselves completely to what is truly enriching.

— Matthieu Ricard (“On the Path to Englightenment”)

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