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Having lived as a contemplative monk in India for a few years, and having returned to the world to explore and embrace the world of money and commerce, I take care to point out the difference between materialism and material engagement.[/caption]Material engagement is unavoidable, since we are also physical beings inhabiting in a physical world, and there are enlightened ways to engage in the world of “stuff” in the form of beautiful things, cars, houses, fine artwork etc, and in the world of work, business, and wealth creation.

Materialism is when we take this too far, and our focus – either individually or collectively – becomes obsessed or addicted to having and owning things beyond our healthy, balanced desires.

Regarding the collective level of materialism, I watched with delight when I discovered the animated online movie called ‘The story of stuff”, which clearly highlights the message that we have a problem with our approach to “Stuff”. We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.

You can watch the 21 minute movie here..

The Story of Stuff Project’s journey began with a 20-minute online movie about the way we make, use and throw away all the Stuff in our lives. Five years and 40 million views later, it has become a  Community of more than 500,000 change-makers worldwide, working towards a more healthy and just planet.

You can get involved by watch and sharing these movies, join the campaign if you wish, and participate in the movements study programs.

More about the organization and its progressive projects here: http://storyofstuff.org