This imminently practical book is designed to be a guide that you then discard or give away along with most of your other things. Except that author Light Watkins, also known for his work as a meditation instructor, asks the reader not to start by cleaning out closets or getting rid of the second car, but on the interior life.
Exercises focusing on interior minimalism are offered inspirationally and often with detailed instructions. For example, “You are Spirit,” Watkins explains, explaining how this simple teaching allows you to “make important decisions from your heart,” “be willing to give what you want to receive,” and “follow your curiosity,” all of which are involved in choosing a minimalist life.
Watkins shows you how “to allow yourself to be led by your spirit.” And this is where meditation, as grounding, is central. Watkins’ list, “The ten steps for meditating like a Spiritual Minimalist,” probably begins and ends in just about the same way you’ve been taught to meditate before, except that Watkins follows his step-by-step instructions with “Please don’t overcomplicate it.”
Then he asks rhetorically, “How will you know it’s working?”, answering: “You’ll know by the quality of your decisions.”
You will be more present in your own life. You will pay closer attention to important matters, and to other people. You will rediscover wonder. All of these practices open up to you the less controlled you are by stuff, procedure, others’ expectations, and inner and outer clutter.
It turns out that “making decisions from the heart” is essential to being willing and able to take on a more minimalist way of living. This is why Watkins explains that a daily meditation practice — simply done, without fuss — is most essential.
A more minimalist way of living will allow you to live with less stress and greater peace of mind, and you will make minimalist choices the more you reduce stress and find peace. The process is circular, with the one always feeding the other.
Watkins speaks of “the freedom of choicelessness” and shows with careful examples from his own life how this works, for example, with a “capsule wardrobe” of just nine things to replace what is currently your dressers-full and closet-full of clothes. Two of these items (I want to intrigue you, to read this book) are a meditation shawl and a single pair of white shoes.