All posts by ray

Affordable Housing for Everyone?

Rent or Mortgage is the biggest expense most people have.

Professional economic advice generally says  “Rent generally should not be more than 25 percent of your gross monthly salary,” But the truth of the matter is that in the United States the average  is more like 50% of people’s monthly salary.

This situation has given birth to a very large and varied “Altenative Housing Movements” like the Tiny House movement, Full Time RV’ing, Shipping Container and Earthship houses and more.

Governments around the world rebel against this type of moment because it puts the power back to the people and cuts the flow of tax – RV’s and Tiny Houses pay much less taxes, (and sometimes no-taxes at all!). Governments do NOT like people who find a way around paying taxes – Except for the Rich 1% – they can use as many tax loopholes as they can find and they never get in trouble!

The tool that governments use to enforce their taxes is Building Codes and Permits. Tiny Houses work around those Codes and Regulations by being no larger than 400 square feet, and by plopping them on trailers so they are not permanent structures. Yurts and Tipis fall into this category as well…

On top of this, homelessness in the United States has never been successfully addressed and seems very unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

What is the solution to create affordable housing for all? Surely it isn’t something that we can expect any government to solve for us, so it’s something that each of us has to deal with and solve for ourselves…

Well, here are just a few ideas to Simplify your home and NOT have to spend half of your paycheck or more on rent or mortgage – enjoy!:

Building an Eco-Friendly Green Bamboo Home in 6 Hours! (Thailand Hut/Small House/Tiny Home)

This LA Musician Built $1,200 Tiny Houses for the Homeless. Then the City Seized Them.

Awesome Modular Bamboo Home by H&P Architects:


Simple Bamboo Huts:


Building an Eco-Friendly Green Bamboo Home in 6 Hours! (Thailand Hut/Small House/Tiny Home)

How the Mississippi shantyboats helped build a culture

Living on a 4 Season Houseboat – Beautiful Floating Tiny House!



Community Exchange System

Do we really need money?

What is money anyway?

Where does it come from?

How do banks create money?

Can we make and use our own money instead of depending on banks to print it for us?

Listen to Tim Jenkin explains what money really is and how you can create your own and use it to trade amongst your friends:

See also:





You Get What You Give

Support our free site by purchasing your copy of our eBook now!

You Get What You Give ~ Learn the Teachings, Tools and Techniques to Live an Easy, Peaceful Life of Joy right Now ~

Read the Table of ContentsIntroduction and Chapter One by clicking here


Get the eBook for only $2.99! 

Read the Introduction and Chapter One by clicking here

You Get What You Give ~ Learn the Teachings, Tools and Techniques to Live an Easy, Peaceful Life of Joy right Now ~

by Ray Diaz


Part One

Peace or Happiness?
What is Karma?
The Science of Karma
The Karmic Cycle
Breaking the Karmic Cycle
Right and Wrong
Fake it Till You Make it
The Compass
You Get What You GIve

Part Two

Mindful Meditation
– What’s happening Now?
– Watch what you’re doing
– Walking Meditation
Nine Deep Breaths to Peace
How to use Mala Beads for Meditation
Suggested Reading


“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all beings within himself, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.” – The Buddha

I have an important message for you, and the core of the message is this:

Your life does not have to be a struggle. You can live a peaceful and easy life – a happy, peaceful walk in the park, so to speak…

With the tools I reveal to you iun this book, you will gain control over your whole life, even your future lives!

Understanding how Life really works, will quickly free you from the hidden negative energies that affect your life without you even noticing it.

The information I’m about to share with you took many years of study and metitation to find, understand so I could then apply it in a simple and practical way. Applying this information has turned my life (and the lives of many, many oithers), into a peaceful, easy and enjoyable existance – it flipped the coin from a life of struggle, to a life of ease and joy.

These priciples, layed out in detail here not difficult to apply, and they are all completely revealed – everything is exposed and nothing is left out.

To make things even easier for you, this book is laid out in two parts: Part One is Theory and Part Two is Practice. After you you understand the theory (ALL the ideas and principles), you will learn many practical, simple, yet powerful tools and techniques that will allow you to not only walk the path, live the path. In other words, if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to be able to walk the walk. And this book will teach you exactly that.

It is my sincere and heartfelt intention that you learn and practice these valuable principles techniques and apply them to your life so you can start living a life of peace, happiness and abundance, from here on out.

I also hope that you will share what you learn with others, so we can turn this existance into a peaceful and easy life of joy for every being on our planet. This may sound like a very ambitious goal, but I know that after you read this book, you will see that it is possible to attain since its not very difficult to live a peaceful life when you see and understand how it really works.

Easy to read and full of real-life techniques, this book has all the information you need to start changing your life for the better and start living in peace right here, right now – not in future lives or other-worldly realms, so let’s get started!

Chapter One – Peace or Happiness?

“Happiness is man’s nature. You need not worry about happiness at all, it is already there. It is in your heart — you just have to stop being unhappy, you have to stop the mechanism functioning that creates unhappiness.” – Osho

Ask anyone what they want most in life and the number one answer will be “Happiness.”

Alright, maybe the number one answer will be “Money,” but that’s only because most people believe that having lots of money will automatically bring them never-ending happiness.

Everyone wants to be happy, and the things that they think will bring them that happiness will be as varied as the people you ask. Some believe that the perfect relationship will make them happy, others a good job or lots of money, but what most people don’t not stay, and it cannot last.

Happiness is an emotion , not a state of being.

Get a new job, a new relationship, or tons of money, and you’ll feel happy for as long as the situation or thing feels new and exciting…

But after while, the new car doesn’t feel so new anymore. You get used to it, and you start looking for another one that’s even better than the one you got just a few weeks ago.

Here’s a story: A friend of mine, when people would walk him over to show off their shiny new car, he’d look at them very seriously and say, “Wow. Cool man! Did you make it? ” – in other words, what’s so special about a new car?

Things in the Physical Universe do not last, and the positive emotions one gets from them is as lasting as an ice cube sitting in the pavement, sunbathing at high noon.

Aside from this short-lived high, the other problem with relying on external possessions for happiness is the problem of fear – fear that the new car may get scratched, stolen, crashed into.

Fear that you’ll loose the money it’s taken so long to save. Fear that your new sweetheart will leave you for someone else, for someone younger, richer, more interesting… get the picture?

Possessions cannot guarantee happiness – not in a million years – the opposite is actually the case. Nothing guarantees happiness and no thing can make happiness stay with you, permanently and unchanged even for a little while. Happiness is not a thing, it’s an emotion. It changes with each mood swing, with each shift in situation, like the ebb and flow of the tide, because it is an emotion, it’s volatile, capricious, wavering and fickle.

Now, Peace is much different.

Peace is the lack of negative emotions, lack of agitation, consternation, anxiety, distress, dismay…

Peace is Equanimity: mental calmness and composure.

Peace can stay unwavering even in the midst of chaos.

Peace is being calm and still when everyone around you is in turmoil.

Peace is being in the Center of the Cyclone.

Here’s a little experiment:

Fill a bowl with water, but not all the way to the top. Leave some wiggle room for the water to move.

Take the bowl in your hands and make the water sway around or back and forth in a pleasing rhythmic manner. The rhythmic sway represents happiness, like a baby swaying in her mother’s arms…

In little time you’ll notice that it’s not so easy to keep this nice swaying motion for long without spilling some water, and chances are that when you do spill some of it, you’ll react by jerking the bowl which will spill even more water, making it very turbulent – Not pleasing or happy anymore, is it?

Now, take the bowl with the still turbulent water, and set it on a table or floor and leave it alone for a bit… Without doing anything at all, you’ll notice that the turbulent water will calm down pretty quickly and in just a few moments it will become completely still – completely at Peace.

In fact, no matter how much you agitate it, if you set it on a level and unmoving surface, the water will calm itself down, level out and become completely still until something or someone agitates it again.

Nothing is needed for water to regain its peaceful state. In fact, many things can agitate it, but simply leaving it be will bring it back to its natural state of calmness and peace. This is why Lao Tzu said “Be like Water.”

Water takes the shape of any container it’s poured into. It will flow around any obstacle or even flow through it! It can penetrate many solid objects like rocks. It will always find it’s level and if left alone, it will always become perfectly still, calm and peaceful.

The true masters in the art of living are even more efficient than water because no one can agitate them. No one can shake them and push them out of their center. They truly are at the Center of the Cyclone at all times – no matter how chaotic their environment may be.

They don’t keep going back to center – they’re simply never pushed out of center in the first place.

They practice “Mind over Matter:” if they don’t mind , it doesn’t matter – and they do not mind because they have no mind controlling them, making them react, taking over… They are in a state of No-Mind.

Now, even though you’re not a Master yet, you should still strive for Peace, but not for Happiness because peace will bring a happiness that does not change, that does not waver at all.

Even though peace will not give you an ecstatic feeling of elation, it generates a balanced state of contentment that does not depend on any thing or situation in order to exist and maintain itself, because it is your true nature and its source is already within you. More precisely, you are peace! Karma is closely related to peace and escaping its mechanism is a very important step towards attaining and maintaining a true peaceful state of being – so let’s continue…

Get the eBook for only $2.99! 

Cheap and Easy Minimalist-Camping Shower

This is a great simple camping shower.

You will see two versions of the shower, the fist is good because of the handle and the second has a shower head.

They work great because you can use them with only one hand.

You can also paint the outside of the bottle black so you can lay it out under the sun to heat up the water before every shower.

The second video shows another option that is not as simple but is more shower-like.


Parts List (Home Depot Part Numbers):

  • Sink sprayer nozzle -part no. 58432
  • Sink Sprayer Hose -part no. 58583
  • Brass Barbed Fitting 1/4″ ID-1/4″ MIP -part no. LFA-192



  • the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of an inability to change or achieve something.


  • to prevent (someone) from doing or achieving something.

Frustration is the tipping point to anger.

It it a very negative emotion, as it teeters at the edge of anger, and once we fall into anger, the floodgates of negativity open wide, and the raging river takes us for a ride.

The very difficult trick is to stay in the Center of the Cyclone, and notice the upsurge of the waters of frustration, to feel its coldness envelope us, and to remain stoic, waiting for the flood to slowly drain away, even if everyone around us is kicking and screaming while being tossed about by the raging river.

This is not an easy feat, but it truly is a worthwhile practice.

Since Being Peace takes practice – we should all practice, practice, practice…

Secret Temple, Higher Self, and Chakra Activation – Guided Meditation


This is a very deep Guided Meditation that will take you through Four different Levels of meditation:

  • Body and Mind Relaxation
  • Your very own Secret Temple
  • Connect you to your Higher Self (or Universal Consciousness)
  • Chakra Activation

It is a very powerful Creative Visualization Meditation, that if followed regularly for a few times, you will soon be able to sit and do it by yourself…

The Secret Temple is the Key to this meditation.

Think of it as your own private place where you can go and do your own spritiual work: ask guidance from Universal Consciousness, pratice Healing Visualizations on yourself or others, Talk to your Guandian Angel… your imagination is the only limit. And, after visiting your Secret Temple for a while, it will become as real as any place in the physical universe.

The best way to use this Guided Meditation is to sit, or lay down and relax, then access the video straight from your phone – earbuds work best. Remember to set your phone to Airplane Mode so it won’t interrupt you with alarms or notifications.

Block out 30 minutes so you can listen to the whole thing, start to finish, without interruptions.

Set the volume on the low side – like someone whispering in your ear.  This will make it easier to relax, since a higher volume setting could make it harder to go deep.

Listening to it before going to sleep will actully relax you so deeply that you will have very good night’s sleep. You will go into a very deep relaxation, so if you want to make sure you won’t fall asleep, listen to it while sitting, either cross-legged on a cussion, or in a comfortable reclibner or chair.

If you listen to it every night, you will notice that your days will be much more peaceful and easy, and interactions with people will be very easy and smooth.

If you want to “try it out” before you sit or lay down to experience the full effects, listen to it while walking around with eyes open, so you can listen to the whole thing before going deep into it, and see if you like it before hand.

A lot of thought, time and effort went into designing this Guided Meditation.

It is designed to take to a level where you can later do this meditation by yourself. It is also related to the Nine Deep Breaths to Peace Technique described here – so read that as well when you get a chance…

All who have tried it so far enjoy it, and have found it very useful, so I sincerily hope you find it as useful as we do.




The Crystal Ball

Down the trail between the trees I came upon a great big rock.

About waist high, Perfectly round it seemed.

I ventured a touch… Perfectly round and perfectly soiled. Laying my ear on it. A hum from within.

I knocked. Then knocked again.

Surprisingly hollow, each knock came back to me… not quite an echo…

A faint and muffled h-e-l-p! emerged from within — What was that..?

I quickly rubbed the dirt away and showed it to be the color of polished charcoal!

My ear against the glass, now clearly heard the voice.

Rubbing the surface, still black as pain…

I rapped the surface as loud as I could — my knocks came back!

They were blows from within. Cleaning the inside bit by bit.

Through the new little window cleaned away, I saw a very dirty child. Big round eyes, muffled voice, “Help! Get me out!”

I have to be quick! — slamming the largest rock in sight, but all it did was clean some more.

He must have gone in somehow, but where’s the door. I said, “How’d you get in?! Clean it some more?”

Blank stare from within. I rubbed and rubbed, till my hands were pain.

“I cleaned most of the outside, you must clean the inside now!” Screaming now.

He looked at me strange. Like my words were nonsense.


Time stretched on, then he started to clean.

“There! I can see it! It’s a door and a latch is inside!” — I jumped like a little kid.

I ran my hand around the square door but could never feel a seam. That’s why I couldn’t find it before The simple latch was clear, but unaccessible to me…

“Throw the latch buddy!”

Crazy talk, I read in his eyes.

Pointing to the latch I mimicked, yet he stayed frozen, eyes pleading to mine.

He kept screaming, “Help me! Help me! HELP ME!” — This went on and on…

Rock as heavy as my heart, I slammed the it against the glass door, time after time until my arms were dead.

“I can’t help you little guy. I can’t break in!

I’ve done all I can. Throw the latch and free yourself! If you would only try…”

I turned down the path, facing my feet. Steps heavy. Eyelids too.

Then a tiny voice stopped me cold. A child’s voice slowly reached me, “Wait for me! Wait for me!”

I turned to see a boy, flying through the trail. White teeth shining. Each step was joy!

We melted in a hug as time dissolved, then took our time back in giggles and song.



Copyright © 2016 By Ray Diaz

Feed your Inner Child!

Keeping your inner child alive and healthy is one of the most important things that everyone should do.

The worst insult that my 9 year old daughter hits me with is: “Dad! You are behaving like an adult! I’m so ashamed of you!”

She knows the importance of keeping your inner child alive and well and I’m lucky to have her there to remind me.

We climb trees, ride our bikes, make polymer clay figures, play with the dogs, draw, and much more.

Another thing we do is play Minecraft together.

We always laugh so hard when we play, that Sofi suggested that we upload some videos and see if we can motivate other parents to play more with their children while hopefully making them laugh while watching us play.

Here is a series of videos of Mindcraft gameplay with my daughter. I hope we make you laugh at least a bit:


How to use Mala Beads for Meditation


A Japa mala or mala (Sanskrit:माला; mālā, meaning garland) is a set of beads commonly used by Hindus and Buddhists. Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity. This practice is known in Sanskrit as japa. Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads. ~ from wikipedia

Although malas are most comonly used to count mantras, they can also be used for Mindfulness Meditation as an aide to keep track of the breath.

Using the beads to keep track of yor inhaling and exhaling, serves to ground you and help against loosing yorself to the stream of thoughts…

There is a very powerful grounding that happens when you count each breath with the flick of a bead. They connect your breath to the physical universe and it can be the difference between constantly loosing yorself to the thoughtstream and staying grounded much more easily in the present moment.

You can use them with eyes open or closed, but if you feel you’re getting dragged into the raging river of  thoughts, you can open your eyes and look at the beads.

They can be used to practice Mindfulness Meditation and if you use a mala that is divided in groups of nine beads, it can be used to practice the Nine Deep Breaths to Peace Technique.

For a description of the mala and a visual demonstration on their use, please see the video below:



Nine Deep Breaths to Peace


Nine Deep Breaths to Peace – the 9 to 1 Technique
It’s now common knowledge that the mind affects the body in many powerful, and sometimes negative ways. A stressed mind can literally sicken the body to the point of killing it by stroke or other illnesses. And we’re not talking about imagined illnesses either – New studies have even found links between stress and some forms of Cancer, so the relationship of mind over matter is much more direct and solid than most scientists were willing to accept.

But now, scientific studies have found a direct connection between thoughts and emotions and the stress hormone cortisol. It has now been proven that stress causes changes in hormones that in turn lowers the body’s immune system which causes people to get sick.

The old Masters have long understood the subtle and direct link between the Breath, the Mind, and the Body, and they tell us that when the Mind gets agitated, the Breath becomes shallow, fast, and short, and the Body becomes tense.

One important lesson the old Masters taught was that the reverse is also true: that if your mind is agitated and you slow down your breathing, your mind and body relax.

So the next time you feel angry, agitated, nervous, or just not-peaceful, use the simple 9 to 1 Technique:

Sit down if you can and close your eyes… then simply count from nine to one, taking a deep breath in and another deep breath out with each count. You don’t have to do anything but count each deep breath from 9 to 1 and when you count to 1, I guarantee that you’ll feel much more calm and relaxed than before.

When you get to 1, keep breathing at the rate that your body wants to breathe without controlling it. You’ll notice that it will now be an easy, slow, smooth and peaceful rhythm. Sit as long as you wish and enjoy your peace for as long as you like and then open your eyes and continue with your day.

This Tool alone can truly change your life as this is something you can do anytime anywhere. Even if you couldn’t find a place to sit, you could do it standing up, and if you can’t or don’t want to close your eyes, you can still do the 9 to 1 count-down with eyes open with good results.

You can use this method right before an important meeting or phone call, and if a phone call gets too stressful, you can tell the person you’ll have to call him back, or put him on hold, then do your 9 to 1 Technique and continue the call in a much more peaceful mood.

You may be thinking, “Why count from nine and not ten, or another number?” – Because nine slow deep breaths add up to about one and a half minutes, which has been found to be just the right amount of time to create the desired effect of calming your mind.

You could count from ten or more, but there is no need. Also, psychologically, counting down (9 to 1) calms the mind faster and more effectively than counting up (1 to 9). Your mind naturally associates counting downwards with relaxation and upwards with rousing, or waking up. We naturally count from 1 to 3 to start a race, for example.

Also, the number Nine is considered an auspicious number in Buddhism and traditional Buddhist Prayer Beads have 108 beads.

The number 108 can be broken down as (1 + 0 + 8 = 9)

Number 1 stands for God (Universal Consciousness), Higher Self, Truth

Number 0 stands for emptiness or completeness,

8 stands for infinity or eternity.

According to neuro-scientist Jill Bolte, any emotion that rises up within you only lasts 1.5 minutes – ninety seconds, (or 9 slow, deep breaths), but we prolong that time for as long as we feed it with our thoughts.

Here’s how it works: You get a negative emotion, so you start analyzing it, trying to figure out how to resolve it when in truth, the best thing you could do is nothing – just let it go. For example, you get a negative emotion, and you ignore it. You keep going about your business and it will fall away by itself. But as hard as it is to not scratch an itch, it may seem even harder not to start thinking about, (and trying to resolve) the negative emotion that just turned up.

The fact that many negative emotions begin with a thought or decision can make it much harder to realize that your mind is the one fueling the negative emotions and keeping them alive.

Imagine that your attention is energy, and this energy fuels the negative emotion simply by your connecting that energy to it and “linking” the energy source to it. Your attention is fuel for your thoughts and emotions as electricity is to a light bulb. The more you pay attention to the negative thought or emotion, the stronger it gets, and if you bring it out into the world by talking about it, it will get even stronger.

Sometimes you don’t even realize you were taken away for a mental ride until minutes, hours or even days have passed…

Here’s where the 9 to 1 Technique comes in:

Simply by counting 9 deep breaths, you disengage from the thought-stream that is trying to take you for a ride. Those 9 deep breaths bring you back to the present moment of now and pull you out of your mind long enough for that negative emotion to vanish on it’s own.

You don’t do anything to make the negative emotion go away, you simply ignore it long enough so it falls away by itself, naturally, and the 9 to 1 Technique is a very simple and powerful tool to do this.

But don’t let its simplicity fool you into thinking it’s not powerful. The most powerful tools are the simplest.  The Buddha became enlightened with the simplest tool: Watching His Breath…


See also: Mindfulness Meditation


What Makes You Happy?


When asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Logan LaPlante answers, “Happy.”

Many Masters have said that we should see things through the eyes of a child, that we, as pure spiritual beings, become corrupted by our parents, teachers, and spiritual leaders.

Here is a TED Lecture where Logan explains not only his chosen Education Method, (Hackschooling), but his outlook on life.

We can all learn from this young man who is much wiser than his years.

An Old Zen Story

A traveler arrived at the river bank and seeing a Monk at the other side of the river yelled:

How do I get to the other side!

The Monk yelled back:

You ALREADY ARE on the other side!

Think about it…

Simplify Your Bed


Hammocks can be found in most parts of the world, especially in countries like Perú, Brazil, Central and South America, and India, where people use them as their only, full-time option for sleeping.

The inventor of the hammock has been lost to history, the Spanish Conquistadors wrote about how they learned of them from the Caribbean (Taíno) Indians – Hamaca is a Taíno word meaning “fish net.”

They found them so comfortable and practical that they adopted them right away.

Sleeping off the ground, above the wet ground, creepy crawlies and snakes was one major advantage at the time.

Hammocks were made of netting, which lets the air through, making it much dryer and cooler than sleeping on the ground.

Hammocks became standard sleeping quarters in Spanish Ships:

Click here some interesting info on more modern Navy Hammocks.

Watch a very interesting short documentary on how old netting hammocks were made:

Here’s a video promoting the virtues of replacing beds with hammocks:

Click here for a whole youtube channel dedicated to DIY Hammocks.

For people living in small spaces hammocks are ideal. They take up a small amount of space, and only while in use. They are super simple, light weight, easy to store and much cheaper than a bed.

You need about three nights to get the hang of sleeping in a hammock, (the trick is to lay diagonally), but once you get used to it, you won’t be able to sleep on a bed ever again…

Happy hanging!

Bucket Washing Machine

Washing your clothes by hand can be a Meditation.

I know it’s not the type of meditation that most people find appealing, but if you slow down and do it with Mindfulness, it can be quite satisfying.

You can closely observe your clothes while you handle them and if you’re like me, you can sometimes see what you ate the last time you wore that particular shirt!

Now, if you’re a Hardcore Minimalist, this Bucket Washer may even be too complicated, since you’ll probably prefer to wash them completely by hand. Still, maybe you’ll like to use the two bucket system without the plunger?

Environmentalists will probably love this Super Simple Human Powered Bucket Washing Machine since it saves water, power, and can give you a workout all at once.

There is a post on on this, and if you do a YouTube search you’ll find tons of videos on this as well.

Here’s how I got into this: We don’t own a washer or drier, so for us, washing our clothes meant a trip to the apartment’s Coin Laundry Room.

There were a few things that bothered us about doing the laundry:

  • Hauling clothes back and forth.
  • Going back and forth to move clothes from washer to the dryer, and to pick them up when done.
  • Sometimes the coin machine would be out of coins!
  • Sometimes a dryer would go bad and would leave the clothes wet, so we’d have to re-dry it in another machine.
  • People would leave their clothes in the machines and not come pick them up.
  • Some people would hog many machines and leave none for others to use.
  • It was easier to keep putting off doing the laundry because the mere idea of it would be painful…
  • Couldn’t do laundry on the weekends because there would be no machines available.

I believe this is an awesome alternative for single people or small families of three – four may be stretching it a bit. We didn’t do it to save money, we did it to save ourselves some time and hassle. For us, it turned out to be much easier than we thought and much more fun, and if we do it on a regular basis, it isn’t a hassle at all.

Here are some Bucket Washing Tips:

  • Use two buckets one to wash and one to rinse.
  • Let the clothes soak in the bucket for about an hour or more – plunging a few times in between – rather than using up a lot of energy plunging them repeatedly for a long time.
  • Replace the small stick with a Broom Stick on the Plunger and stand straight to save your back.
  • No need to buy a special Plunger just use a hard plunger and drill holes in it – see more on this below.
  • If you live in an apartment, you can put the bucket in the bathtub to control splashing.
  • We found it easier to not use the lid with the hole. It won’t really splash much if you don’t plunge it too hard, and as noted above, you can put the bucket in the bathtub.
  • Stack the Buckets and drop the plunger inside to store.

I don’t think it’s worth it to buy a specialized plunger:

Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) – $21.00 (shipping included) at



But if you’re handy and own a drill, you can make one yourself for $5.98 + tax. This is a good, hard rubber plunger:


I cut off the bottom flappy part with a razor and drilled holes in it:



These cheaper ones are too soft and flop up on you, turning inside out – not good…


Now, you can also wash your clothes in a bag. sells a pretty pricey one for $64.95 a bag:


But you can just use a Waterproof Camping Bag from eBay for $7.99:

I haven’t tried bag-washing yet, but there are many videos on YouTube that make it seem like a good method if you’re camping or traveling light.

You can haul your stuff in a waterproof bag, and then use that same bag to wash them in. Awesome.


Bucket Washing isn’t for everyone.

If you already own a washer and dryer, I don’t see why you’d go nuts and sell them off to do this, but if you’re a real Hard Core Minimalist, this may be a step up from washing by hand alone.

Because you can only do small loads, I believe this is an awesome alternative for single people or small families of three at the most – four may be stretching it a bit.

We didn’t do it to save money, we did it to save ourselves some time and hassle, and for us, it turned out to be much easier than we thought and much more fun, and when we do it on a regular basis, it isn’t a hassle at all.

Some people prefer the walking on your clothes in the bathtub method, since there’s nothing to buy at all, but we found it much harder when it came time to rinse since you have to wait for the whole bathtub to empty out. Now, if you let your laundry pile up, you can use the bathtub method, or combine it with the Bucket + Plunger method.

This is a good thing to know though. You never know when you may actually need something like this, like say you’re hit by a hurricane and you have no power for a week, or you’re traveling to a less advanced country.

I’ve been without power for over a week because of a hurricane and didn’t know about this back then.

This is also a great thing to teach your kids so they feel less dependent on gadgets and in case they ever need it some day.

Mindfulness Meditation

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~ The Buddha

To Be literally means to exist in the present.

To be Present means existing or occurring now.

One of the simplest things to do, and one of the simplest actions in life is to notice one’s surroundings, yet we spend most of our lives oblivious, inside our heads, lost in thought.

Mindfulness, which, among other things, is an attentive awareness of the reality of things (especially of the present moment) is an antidote to delusion and is considered as such a ‘power’… ~ WikiPedia

Mindfulness is Key to Peace. To slow down and be mindful – carefully observing the present moment of now… Absorbing what is happening without thinking, without labeling or judging.

Truly observing and absorbing what is

You can do this anytime, while walking, eating, washing the dishes, or watching your thoughts float by as clouds in the sky.

Osho prefers to call it Witnessing and he says it is the only true meditation:

I have tried all the methods [of meditation] and the most surprising experience was that the basic thing in each of the methods is witnessing.

Their strategies differ, but their soul is just witnessing.

So I have reduced the one hundred and twelve methods of Shiva into a single method. I am giving you the essential method which no meditation can afford to drop – it is the most essential.

You can add any other structure to it, but I have dropped the whole structure.

I am giving you the very soul of meditation.

You just try, give it a chance. And if I can succeed, I don′t see why you cannot succeed. ~ Osho ~ Witnessing: The Only Meditation

So remember, thinking has to be stopped not through chanting [a Mantra], but through becoming a witness to the thought process –– looking at it, watching it… a watcher on the hills, looking, seeing…

Meditation. Witnessing. Silently sitting and looking at the mind, will be of much help.

Not forcing, simply sitting and looking. Not doing much, just watching as one watches birds flying in the sky. Just lying down on the ground and watching… nothing to do… indifferent…

Not your concern really, where they are going; they are going on their own.

Remember, thoughts are just like birds: they are moving on their own. ~ Osho ~ Comments on Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing.

I like the way Osho explains things in such a simple, but exact way.

To him, Witnessing is Meditation and when you practice witnessing correctly, you arrive at a meditative state.

To Osho, meditation is both the practice and the state of mind. He talks about practicing meditation (the technique) and also talks about being in meditation.

Being in meditation is being the witness.

And how do you know you’re in meditation?

To me, it’s a change in the quality of the perception. When I’m in meditation, everything looks sharper. Colors look more vivid than when I’m looking through the veil of my mind, and this may sound like a cliché, but things really do look beautiful – and I mean everything looks beautiful, even things that you wouldn’t consider to be beautiful, like the cracks on the sidewalk, or the bark of a tree. Nothing really special. The thing may not look beautiful to you, but it is so to my eyes.

I also notice sounds that I wouldn’t catch if I was lost in my head. I hear the sound of my breath clearly and it gives me a sense of peace. Just listening to the sound of my breath makes me peaceful – for no apparent reason…

Things look more 3-D when the mind’s veil is not there clouding perception. Nature looks more alive, but so do “inanimate objects” like rocks and twigs. Everything seems alive. Everything has a kind of “invisible glow.” Invisible, because I don’t perceive it through my physical eyes, but I can tell it’s there.

I’m not at a point where I can easily induce this meditative state, but it happens often enough. Especially when I don’t let the stresses of daily survival carry me away into my mind. When I remember to do one of the exercises or techniques I will describe to you now.

They are simple techniques, but they are also quite effective.


What’s happening now?

The simplest tool I use to snap myself out of a stream of thought is to ask myself, What’s happening now?

This simple, but powerful question never fails to snap me right out of my mind and into what is really happening right now. I can repeat it as often as I like and it works each and every time.

Next time you feel that you can’t stop worrying about something or you’re dragged into a thought-stream that won’t let you go, try asking yourself, What’s happening now? and I bet that it will snap you right out of your mind.

The reason it works is because no thought is happening now.

All thoughts are in the past or future. They cannot be now, because now is timeless, thoughtless… Now is Pure Perception without any judgement. Pure Consciousness without the veil.

It can be fleeting at first, but with time, the thoughtless periods get longer and longer, and this very simple question can easily snap you out of your head long enough to lift the veil, even if only for bits at a time, until you’re in meditation more frequently and for longer periods of time.


Watch what you’re doing

This is a great complement to the What’s happening now? technique and it is simply what it says: Really look at something.

Watch what you’re doing.

Handle something and really look at it. If you’re tying your shoes, don’t do it mindlessly. Look at what you’re doing. Observe your fingers as they handle the shoe strings, feel their sense of touch and look at how you’re doing it. Don’t let an automatic mental program do it for you while you ponder some other thought… Really do it yourself – 100% consciously.

Eat a strawberry and look at it before you bite into it. Smell it, feel it – really observe it before you bite into it.

After you bite into it, savor it. Feel its texture with your tongue, look at the different colors outside, inside… Enjoy the beauty of this wonderful gift of a fruit by taking your time and really experience it completely as you take each slow bite.

Too often we wolf things down and hardly even notice what we just ate.

The key here is really looking at things, because when you look intently at something, your judgmental mind steps back as you experience the thing first hand.

Something about truly looking at that strawberry brings you to the timeless moment of now where thoughts are no longer involved.

Observe everything for 10 minutes at a time and you’ll cultivate Mindfulness in everyday living. You’ll get into the Meditative State much faster and easier just by doing this simple exercise.

This technique is much more powerful than it seems, but you probably won’t notice this until you practice it for a bit, so don’t underestimate it.


Walking Meditation

Take a slow walk anywhere, but do it with full awareness of what you’re doing.

Be mindful of every step. Notice the action of lifting the foot and placing it back on the ground.

Feel the tactile sensation of each footstep.

Notice the skin under your feet, the pressure of the earth on the sole of your foot – on its muscles and bones.

Look down at your feet and watch the earth move under you as you walk slowly. Notice how right under your body, is the Present Moment of Now, right in front of you, you are looking into the future and behind you, the past – where you were just a moment ago.

Moving slowly and looking straight down – carefully noticing every little detail of what is happening as it is happening – will give you a clear sense of now.

You’ll have no worries about what lies ahead, no care about where you came from, just a clear notion of what you’re doing in the timeless, thoughtless moment of now.

Simple and sweet…

I will share two more Mindfulness Techniques but each one of these deserve a full post of their own. These are:

Nine Deep Breaths (The 9 to 1 Technique) and Two-Pointing.

Don’t Eat The Sandwich

Joe Rogan is one of my Heroes.


Mainly because he has the balls to say what he thinks and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He’s a much braver man than I, for sure. He’s also very smart, although says he’s not.

He’s funny as hell and his is delivery always sharp, smart, piercing and to the point. This is true even outside of his Stand Up Routines – like when he’s on un-rehearsed interviews or tearing up hecklers.

I also believe that he’s a true seeker of truth.

He’s a short video clip of his theory that humans are the Bacteria of the Earth.

I know it’s pretty much a re-hash of Agent Smith’s theory that humans are a Virus, but Joe Rogan’s delivery is much more entertaining than Smith’s.

Visit his website at: and get his tweets here: (@joerogan)

So I’m posting his video here to strongly encourage you to Not eat the Sandwich…

I try to live a life of harmonious integration. I try to flow with nature and life as best I can, mentally, spiritually and physically, and I believe that living a Simpler Life is the basic source of this flow.

I’m not here to preach, nor tell you what to do at all, but I have found that living a simpler life has made my life much easier and peaceful.

I will post later on more specifics about how I have simplified my life. My struggles and pitfalls, and the tools I have learned along the way.

But for now, I simply encourage you to Not eat the sandwich, because…

Karma can be quite the bitch.

More on that later…


Einstein’s Simple Wardrobe

It has been said that Albert Einstein had a closet full of the exact same clothes so he could wear the same thing every day and not have to waste time and energy in deciding what to wear.

Although there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to the fact, I once decided to follow what I thought to be Einstein’s brilliant example.

I’ve never been a morning person and always slept till the last minute and then rushed to get to work on time.

I actually timed my morning ritual to the point where if anything didn’t go as planned I’d be late for work, and although I usually made it on time, my work environment was pretty forgiving about this type of thing, so it was no biggie if I was late.

Since time was of the essence, I had turned my morning ritual into such a refined work of precision that even Einstein would have been proud of, but… I still had one annoying variable that would often trow a monkey wrench into the whole operation and inevitably mess with my morning Zen thing: trying to decide what to wear.

Maybe not really deciding what to wear, it was more about combining my clothes correctly, cause I didn’t really care too much about looking good, I was aiming for just looking decent. I had given up on learning how to dress myself since third grade.

My first technique to deal with my problem was to do all this matching the night before and leave my clothes laid out and ready for the morning rush, but this wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to be rid of this clothes matching nonsense once and for all!

I gave this problem some thought and remembering Einstein’s wardrobe story I thought – I’m not trying to impress anyone at work. Most of my peers already think I’m kinda odd, so what’s one more little eccentricity going to do to my image? They can’t fire me for that, can they?

So I went out and bought five, white, long sleeved shirts and five khaki, pleated Dockers slacks. Then I decided to use a brown belt and shoes. The best part for me was buying a big bag of plain white cotton socks because matching socks with the rest of my clothes was what made me give up on this stuff in the third grade to begin with!

Although I was freaking out quite a bit over the whole experiment, the socks were what made me the most nervous. I was sure everyone would notice my plain white socks and I would get my butt fired on the spot.

I know you’re dying to hear about how I became the butt of everyone’s joke at the water cooler, and how all the ladies ran away from the freak, but in reality, the experiment was a success.

I must have shaved off at least ten minutes from my morning routine since I had what I thought to be an Einstein-Type office wardrobe, and at work, no one ever asked, commented, nor avoided me as if I had forgotten to put on deodorant – at least not any more than usual…

A friend at work once commented on not liking to spend money on work clothes and I told him that’s just one of the reasons I had come up with my “office uniform” and proceeded to tell him how I was following Einstein’s lead, because I’m smart like that…

So it all worked out for me because:

  • I picked a decent enough uniform for my office environment (slacks and long sleeved shirt).
  • White and beige doesn’t call much attention to yourself, I could have also used a blue shirt and Khakis but I didn’t want to be mistaken for a Blockbuster employee…
  • I had a good back story if some one questioned be about wearing the same thing every day – Einstein’s Simple Wardrobe.
  • I’ve never really cared what anyone else thought about me – I am shamelessly immune to peer pressure.
  • The peace of mind of not having to deal with matching shirt, pants and especially socks outweighed any worry about being thought of as odd…

Since I really got into this no-brainer-wardrobe-routine, I expanded it to my weekend casual-ware this way:

I usually wear jeans, any colored t-shirt and Teva sandals – no socks at all – Woohoo! So there is nothing at all to match because Tevas and jeans go with any colored t-shirt.

I know that this type of radical, gorilla warfare wardrobe editing is not for everyone, especially for most women, since they have much worse clothes matching complications that men do – with so many purses and shoes thrown into the mix, but with a bit of effort, I believe they can also come up with a viable office uniform of their own.

Females should do a search on capsule wardrobe to open their minds to a much simpler wardrobe experience. There are even capsule wardrobe professionals! I am definitely working too hard to make a living…

So, if you are immune to peer pressure like me, and want to simplify your life a bit, try Einstein’s Simple Wardrobe Technique and save yourself some time, money and clothes matching agony and watch how one simple life editing exercise spills over to other areas of your life.

Simple + Life = Peace

less is MORE

Less is more – the minimalist mantra made famous by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the ruling principle for his minimalist design could very well be confused for a Zen Koan.

It’s simple, catchy and true.

But you, my young grasshopper, may ask, “How can the simplicity of having less give me more? This makes no sense!”

I shall demonstrate…

Most of us will agree to the fact that we own way too much stuff, and most of these things go above and beyond our basic life’s necessities.

Each thing you own begs to be stored, cleaned, maintained and more, and most people don’t take this into consideration when they decide to get their greedy hands on new things.

That shiny new car becomes a burden when it’s time to clean it, have its oil changed, take it to the mechanic, and more. Then, with each car payment, you start to feel resentment, regret and bitterness toward it, almost as if it was an estranged lover.

The more exotic the car, the more expensive it is to maintain – not to mention the fear and anxiety of having it crashed into, stolen or worse.

You may have bought that printer at sale price, but you’ll be paying out of the wazoo for the ink or toner – maintenance costs.

Let’s say you go nuts and give away all the stuff in your house, you still have to pay to heat, cool, paint, clean all that empty space.

But people are waking up!

People have come to realize that they’ve been duped by the consumerist mind control of the powers that be. They have come to understand that the more crap you have, the more you are a slave to them.

While you may think that you own all this stuff, stuff ends up owning you.

Now, don’t go crazy on me and sell everything and run naked into the wild…

Balance is key.

Things are neither good nor bad – they just are. It is we who must find the balance between what we want and what we really need.

Next time you hold that shinny new something in your hands that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, remember that you’ll have to store it, clean it, maintain it, and so on.

Also ask yourself, “Do I really need this, or am I letting my emotions sweep me away here?”

Even if it’s a cheap thing, do you really need it? Will it end up just taking up space, both physical and mental? Because that’s another thing… Objects take up more than physical space and energy, they take up mental “space” and mental, emotional and spiritual energy. There is spiritual energy attached and “stuck” to each and every one of your your things. These things occupy your thoughts, even if at a subconscious level, and stress you out, weighing heavily on your peace of mind.

Compare a river battling many rocks in its path, clashing and trashing to move ahead with the clean, gentle flow of another one with no obstacles in its path. Keeping our environment clean and clear of extraneous junk, gives a calm and peaceful flow to our lives.

So here’s the simple equation:

less Stuff = MORE Peace! [ less IS more ]

More free time.

More peace of mind.

More spiritual equanimity.

More/smoother flow…

Simple + Life = Peace

Simple is Not Easy

Allan Watts once said:

“When the old master Hiakajo was asked ‘What is Zen?’ he said ‘When hungry, eat, when tired, sleep…'”

Did he mean that Zen (being in the eternal moment of Now, having no thoughts, no judgement of right or wrong, of good or bad, and experiencing everything as it truly is) is as easy as eating and sleeping?

Is it that simple? Is that it?

Well, yes and noYes, it’s that simple , but No, it’s not that easy!

You see, simple does not mean easy. They are two very different things.

Quit your job, sell all your stuff, and with the money you get, buy camping equipment and go hiking. Live in state parks, enjoying nature every day for the rest of your life. Live the dream! – Simple, no?

Well… Simple maybe… But not easy! – and not practical for most of us either.

There is a secret to all this simplicity…

A secret key that needs to be found and then turned so you can live in peace for any significant period of time, and this little simple key is balance.

Many eastern philosophies talk about this in detail. Masters like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism, and my favorite, Sosan (Sengstau, The 3rd Zen Patriarch) in his work The Book of Nothing.

Balance is about finding the middle ground. Not trying to bite more than you can chew. Not going to extremes, but finding the middle way – going with the flow, instead of swimming against the current?

So our approach is to simplify our life gradually, but effectively. Picking our battles by dividing and conquering small areas, one after the other, instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Slowly but surely. Fake it till you make it.

Stay tuned for future posts on specific, real life examples and techniques to simplify your way to lasting peace.

Ο + ☥ = ☮


This is a simple blog about the quest for the Simple Life as a way to peace…

This Blog will have two types of posts:

  1. Spiritual/Philosophical
  2. Practical

You will be able to read some posts that are more Spiritual in nature and others that give you practical tools to simplify your life.

But simple does not equal easy, as anyone who has every gone down this path will tell you.

What we’ve found is that it takes a holistic approach to be successful at editing and simplifying one’s life.

It’s not only about getting rid of stuff. That would be too easy! If we don’t work on the mental and spiritual side of this conundrum, no matter how much stuff we get rid of, in a very short time, we end up buried under a pile of crap bigger than the one we chucked out earlier.

It is a Mind, Body, Spirit issue – as are all our problems, really!

This blog is intended to share philosophies, tools and ideas to help you explore the Simple Life as a Way to Spiritual Peace.

So get on board on and stay tuned. We have a very interesting road ahead of us. Keep checking in because the fun has just begun.

Simple + Life = Peace
Ο + ☥ = ☮