This brief FAQ was gleaned and expanded upon from Leo Babauta’s great minimalist site mnmlist.com
Q: Why be a minimalist?
A: It’s a way to escape the excesses of the world around us — the excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise. But too little meaning. Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.
There is a direct correlation between a philosophy of minimalism and that of an authentic spirituality that is learning the language of grace.
What more do we need when we are already abundant within?
We give out of our inner overflow.
We live out of a present awareness of abundance – in the stillness of the now that is teeming with life.
The life of the vine is flowing within, and nothing external, be it material possessions or an event/conference/meeting driven religion will satisfy. In fact the opposite is true far too often. It will only clutter the soul like soot smearing a two hundred year old chimney.
Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Q: Isn’t minimalism boring or too sparse, with nothing in your life?
A: This is a misconception about minimalism — that it’s necessarily monk-like, empty, boring, sterile.
Not at all.
Well, it can be, if you go in that direction, but I don’t advocate that flavor of minimalism. Instead, we are clearing away all but the most essential things — to make room for that which gives us the most joy.
Clear away the distractions so we can create something incredible.
Clear away all the obligations so we can spend time with loved ones.
Clear away the noise so we can concentrate on inner peace, on spirituality, on our thinking.
Clear away the clanging cymbals of religious mindsets trying to earn love; we can assuredly rest in a love that is.
Clear away the clutter of a driven, law bound spirituality and its incessant demands and live in the reality of the indwelling Christ.
Clear away the confusion of the system that always tries to ‘buy bottled water’ instead of diving deep in the clear water that lies within your breast. Thirst can never be satisfied from the outer well, only the inner well of Love shed abroad in the heart can satiate.
As a result, there is more happiness, peace, and joy, because we’ve made room for these things.
Years of consumerism will have tricked your body into thinking it needs a regular dose of retail therapy which in turn feeds your body with ‘feel-good’ chemicals dopamine and oxytocin.
– The Debt Free Minimalist
In the same way, years of religious consumerism will have tricked your soul into thinking it needs a regular does of law and human effort to validate the spiritual systems we seem so intent on pursuing. We need the feel-good chemicals of the event, the conference, the visiting apostle or prophet with that special gift we think they will give us. It is the ‘guru-syndrome’ covered over with spiritual sounding words (and a good marketing campaign) that preys on our innate hunger and thirst.
Minimalism is a radical departure from the system – so too is the simplicity of grace!
Q: What is minimalist living?
A: It’s simply getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.
The more I have understood and discovered the beauty of simplicity the more it seems to impact my worldview. Faith and life suddenly deepen into a more crystal reality. Grace is changing my entire life philosophy – not just the ‘spiritual’.
And is that not a good thing?
We crave that authenticity – an emerging inner integrity and congruence.
Grace, with the inherent soul-lean towards simplicity, beckon us to live in congruence with the truth of that world. Alongside this emerging reality of our deepest urges and instincts we will discover the foundations of love in profound ways.
Q: What are the benefits of minimalism?
A: There are many. It’s lower in stress. It’s less expensive and less debt. It’s less cleaning and maintaining. It’s more enjoyable. There’s more room for creating, for loved ones, for peace, for doing the things that give you joy. There’s more time for getting healthy. It’s more sustainable. It’s easier to organize. These are only the start.
He who is contented is rich.
– Lao Tzu
From the outworking of the inner minimalism of grace there is a profound joy found in the simplest things.
Divine rest is contentment, joy, life – an ending of the struggle for acceptance and peace.
The greatest gain a soul can experience is to know godliness (God-like-ness) within. That is contentment indeed. The divine nature indwells. We abound as we abide.
The fact that we are so busy spiritually betray a deeper unrest. An incessant doism plagues many modern spiritual movements – doing things, going to things, trying to get things – when all has already been done and given. It surfaces in our theologies, philosophies, and world-views.
Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.
– D.H. Mondfleur
Maybe you would be interested in looking at my Minimalist Pinterest Board.