I got into meditation when I was in my early teens partly due to the stacks of spiritual books at home and my desire to read whatever I could get my hands on.
When I was in 9th or 10th grade, I used to try and visualize myself from the outside. I would close my eyes, lift my head slightly, and concentrate hard to see what my visualization of me was. Weird as that sounds, that is what I would do.
I would always imagine myself living in a very clean house – brightly lit, large flowing spaces, simple wooden furniture that never were always lower than the windows, clean flooring, dark wooden straw mats instead of thick carpets, and the house of my dreams were always deafeningly silent.
The kind of silence in which you can hear a pin drop.
The kind of calm surroundings where you can turn on light instrumental music and get lost in it forever. Or curl up with a book and not be bothered till you reach the last page.
There is something beautiful when you can see the clean lines of a coffee table just blend into its surroundings. There is joy in getting hit gently on the face by the rising sun’s soothing rays.
Or sitting outside and watching the rain fall on the green, lush leaves in your garden. Wow – what can beat that?
Am I there yet? Nah!
Well, after 16 years, several countries & cities later, and a lot more gray hair, I still find myself yearning for that house and those surroundings.
Sadly, I can’t do any of this while hopping over strewn newspapers, or shoveling my way through decorative throw pillows, or after banging my shin against that unnecessary coffee table that is in the wrong place. Or, while working at a desk with papers, pens, clips all over the place.
Which brings me to the larger topic of Cleanliness and Minimalism. And the role they play in mindfulness, meditation, and clarity of vision.
Cleanliness Brings Forth Clarity
To be able to see beauty in form and function, you first need to be able to see clearly.
It is like seeing the stars in the sky.
You can’t see them when there is light pollution, but take that out of the picture, and your breath will be taken away.
To be able to appreciate your family, you need to take away stress and your work pressures.
To appreciate what is in your hand, you need to look at your hand and not at the other person’s.
You need to clean up your house, your desk, your surroundings, your meditation space, and make it inviting. Make it a place that you would love to meditate. And where positive energy would love to collect and pour into you.
Minimalism, Cleanliness, and Decluttering is just that.
It is a way of life in which you apply a simple mental filter – “Is it a need or is it a want?“.
And you consciously and honestly follow that thought process.
You apply this to everything in your life – material or not. It can be applied to things you own, want to buy, or relationships in your life.
What is minimalism not?
- living like a hermit in a cave
- living without furniture
- living with one shirt and one pant and only … * gasp * .. one underwear!
What minimalism is?
- living within your reach and means
- curbing impulsive purchases and evaluating if you need something or not
- learning to appreciate quality
- taking care of your possessions and treating them with respect.
I think I’ll stop at this point and allow all of this to sink in. Let’s dwell more on the topic of minimalism, decluttering and cleanliness in the future as well.
For now, I pledge to make my bed each morning, dispose garbage on time, and place things back where they belong. Simple, easy-to-achieve, and delibrate 🙂
How do you practise minimalism and bring that into your daily life?