INTENT

Material Wellbeing Challenge, Round 1: Sufficiency

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When I was last writing about material wellbeing, or Being Thrifty, the focus was on the Sufficiency Sweet Spot.   So where exactly is that sweet spot? On the one hand, we have the subjectivity of sufficiency – as Asoke Buddhists reasonably observed, individuals must determine for themselves what is enough. On the other hand, we […]

INTENT

Social Wellbeing Challenge, Round 2: Mutuality

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I have long romanticized living in a commune where people help each other freely, all for the good of the group. After living in an intentional community in Thailand for a year, I now know that communal life is not all sunshine and daisies. Nevertheless, I’m still drawn to the ideal of mutual support that improves […]

INTENT

Social Wellbeing Challenge, Round 1: Belonging

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Social interaction is not only good for us, it’s a biological necessity—that much is clear from the research. Now I wonder, as an introvert married to an extrovert (two people who seem to have different social needs and responses to social interactions) how much interaction is necessary to get those benefits, and is it the […]

INTENT

Physical Wellbeing Challenge, Round 2: Fitness

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Realistically, it’s often easier to find excuses not to exercise than the time, energy, and will to do it.  That’s why Nike came up with the brilliant advertising slogan, “Just Do It.” So for most of us, overcoming mental barriers to exercise is really all it takes. But too many others face real obstacles to physical […]

INTENT

Physical Wellbeing Challenge, Round 1: Food

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If you read my 2018 post describing what I learned about healthy eating while living at Srisa Asoke, then you know the arguments for a whole-food, plant-based, chemical-free diet.  Now, it’s relatively easy to be a vegan when everyone around you is, too. Like in an intentional Buddhist community in Thailand. In a typical American […]

INTENT

Nature-loving, Part 1: Hug a Tree (literally)

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Though the INTENT framework comprises six interdependent dimensions of wellbeing (physical/mental, social, material, community, environmental, and existential), being nature-loving is quite likely the keystone of them all.  We can fully understand this by looking at its absence – the pervasive disconnect from nature that characterizes modern society.  Western culture has long celebrated mastery over nature – […]

INTENT

Engaged, Part 2: Participate in Community Change

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Strengthening communities through giving — the subject of the last installment of the Intentional Living Project — might be viewed by some as an elective activity. Individuals in this free society can chose when, how, and how much to give…or not at all. There is, however, another kind of community engagement that is both a […]

INTENT

Thrifty, Part 2: Rethink Waste for Sustainable Systems

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There’s a direct connection between consumption and waste: the more we consume, the more waste we create—and vice versa.  At Srisa Asoke, the ethic of “consuming little” also means actively reducing waste, specifically through the “3 Rs”: reuse, repair, and recycle. This installment of the Intentional Living Project’s exploration of material wellbeing (a.k.a., “being thrifty”) looks […]

INTENT

Thrifty, Part 1: Find Your Sufficiency Sweet Spot

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Being thrifty, or not wasting money and resources, is a long-held American virtue that fosters material wellbeing. Material wellbeing starts with the ability to meet basic needs for food, water, shelter, and clothing, plus essential services like health and education. If you’re reading this now, there’s a good chance that you have that covered. But […]