How many things do I not need?

As my time in Qimei draws to a close, I need to spend a little time sorting out my things. I’ve been here for 2 1/2 years, so it all builds up! When I say “builds up”, I mean I have one drawer, a couple of tiny shelves, and enough trash to fill one small bin. I started a couple of hours ago, and now it’s done. It’s good to be a monk!

What strikes me when I do this is how many things I never needed and didn’t use. In this modest collection of things, unused items include:

  • several pairs of socks
  • a few t-shirts
  • a set of robes
  • some batteries, cables, and other assorted electronic/tech stuff
  • business cards!
  • a couple of bits of medicinal stuff (lip balm, band-aids …)
  • a few bits of paper, documents, etc.
  • some unread books (what? I wrote them, I don’t have to read them as well!)

Not to say that there aren’t material things that I like. I have my attachments! Some birthday cards from family; a scrap of rag cloth woven by the villagers for the Sangha in my second rains retreat; and my beloved Code keyboard.

Only one thing I’m torn about, though. Years ago, when enjoying the true American ambience of Palm Springs with my friend Alex, I bemoaned the unnecessarily complex and unreliable state of coffee makers. I sketched out a design for a super-simple, robust coffee maker. It was very basic, but I’d never seen one like it. Well, a few years later, someone gave me one! Almost exactly what I’d thought of. Darn, I missed the patent! And it’s just as good as I imagined. So, do I take it with me, or leave it here in case I return? Here, why don’t you help me out? :coffee:

  • Take coffee maker on travels—you never know when you’ll need it.
  • Leave it—attachments are bad!

0 voters


ooo, what kind of keyswitches?

I voted "leave it"
Why do you have to drink coffee?

Cherry mx clear!

I can’t even touch type, but I still love them. :keyboard:

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A local monk made a distinction that has really stuck with me. That is the difference between “study monks” and “meditation monks”, as laypeople our attitudes can be adjusted according to the “type of monk”. That is, I think we can be more liberal with scholastically-oriented monks than monks devoted to meditation. What I’m trying to say is, let the monk have his goddamn coffee! lol, especially if a keyboard and coffee maker is chosen over socks (understandable choices).

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I am going through the same process right now. It’s amazing what an anagarika can acquire in a year.
I’ve got rid of a lot, but my leaving gift… a minipresso. It’s my dream coffee gadget.

Keep the coffee maker.


And you’ve convinced me to keep the Christmas card my brother made. It was in my recycling pile


I know!

Brew coffee in one of those socks!


:penguin: :cactus:


Develop your energy capicity naturally (depending on coffee is a crutch). :wink: Or opt for tea—all you need is hot water. :slight_smile:


Mine is really portable! :O)

Take it: you never know when you might need to make others good coffee too!


Well, what are you going to do if this break?



Dear Ajhan Su-java (eugine?). I voted that you keep it. Coffee has spiritual origins among Chritian monks and it was said to allow them to meditate. I can see it keeping you coding and collapsing the wave function of impending universes!!

with metta,


It is admirable to have so few possessions, and coffee seems pretty harmless to me…I say you do what you feel is right - I trust your judgement, Bhante.:slight_smile:

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Unless the coffee maker is on the order of this dreamy piece of equipment, it’s probably ok to keep it.


Only thing in your list that caught my eye was business cards! (with exclamation point!). I am assuming these are business cards for other people, Bhante? If they are for you, I feel like I really need to see what your business cards say. Inquiring minds want to know!

Bhante Sujato, Monk Extraordinaire? :slight_smile:


I voted leave it, but that’s because I very much appreciate coffee that I don’t brew myself. So much that I’m not sure what state my coffee kit is in right now (do I still have cofee somewhere in the garage)?

Now, that’s my view, so it means nothing of course.

But thanks for the interesting story and may I suggest you do whatever is good for you, for others or both you and others :D.


A friend asked me to share this from the Dhamma doodle thread here: :wink:

Feeding on Joy! :sparkling_heart:

Dhp 200
Happy indeed we live,
we who possess nothing.
Feeders on joy we shall be,
like the Radiant Gods.


Happy indeed we live,
we who possess no coffee maker,
Feeders of joy we shall be,
like the Radiant Gods.


Happy indeed we live,
we who possess nothing but coffee makers,
Feeders of coffee we shall be,
like the caffeine-overdosed Gods.