Minimalism and Spirituality
Have you ever heard the word “Minimalism”?
Minimalism lifestyle has been calling much attention lately as a practice of awareness and intention regarding your belongings, time, and energy. I would like to share my thoughts about this way of life and mindset, and how Minimalism can be applied to Spiritual growth during these challenging times, in the spirit of Divine Light.
The origins and history of Minimalism as principles of reducing belongings in order to gain in areas of more importance dates back thousands of years. Many religious groups from Buddhism to Christianity have a practice of renouncing possessions to gain peace and spiritual enlightenment.
In modern times the concept of Minimalism has mixed with an artistic movement and evolved into what is a common lifestyle today. Minimalism became popular in the 50’s and 60’s in America, as a simplistic trend first in music and then in art and design. The ideas were to remove all but the essential.
By definition, Minimalism as a lifestyle is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what is important, so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with owning material things. Minimalism is about the meaning we assign to the things we own. However sometimes we give too much meaning to our things, often negatively affecting our health, relationships, personal growth, and our role in contributing to the happiness of others.
As God’s minister, for many years, my work required traveling between Europe and Japan every three months. I decided to minimize what I carried with me during those trips. At the beginning, limiting things to my basic needs, was difficult but surprisingly I was able to live comfortably.
Also during those years the threats of terrorism in the world made me think about the importance of time. The time I have and how to focus my attention to important things in life. I decided I had to give myself a three month deadline to accomplish most of my projects.
As you can imagine as God’s minister there are many things I have to renounce to better serve God and others. But in doing so and practicing Divine Teachings and Principles have showed me a new way to relate to things, people and God. And how to use time to accomplish what is important in life.
All of our belongings in the physical world demand something from us. Our time, our attention, our energy. And material clutter is not the only thing taking our time, attention and energy from us. How about our mind clutter? Our negative emotional Clutter?
Material things, the abundant information we receive and the ways we react to changing circumstances in life can clutter our physical, mental and emotional aspects. They can take away our attention, energy and time. But what do we really lose when we give them too much meaning?
Here, we get to think about what is important as the foundation not only for Minimalism but also for ourselves in life. I found the answer in the spiritual practice of World Divine Light Organization.
Minimalism is practicing being intentional with the things we allow to take from us and practicing awareness of the things that make us feel full and that bring out our most authentic self.
“Our most authentic self” is what calls my attention. In that sense I think what we lose when we give too much attention to our belongings and mental and emotional clutters is our authentic sense of self.
According to our teachings we are God’s children. That is our true nature, our most authentic self. The first Osienushi-sama, the founder of World Divine Light Organization stated that his life mission on earth was to remind people of who they truly are. He received many revelations from God during his lifetime. The essence of our spiritual practice is synthesized in the Three Pillars of Truth. That is Receiving Divine Light, Giving Divine Light, and Dedicating ourselves to Divine Light.
To me this is the key that opens the true meaning of life.
When we receive Divine Light we become more and more who we really are by clearing the cloudiness blocking us from our true self. The practice of receiving Divine Light scrubs impurities -Karma- we have accumulated through life times and inherited form our ancestors.
When we give Divine Light to others we help them realize their true nature as God’s children. We focus on giving to others as part of our spiritual growth.
When we dedicate our talents to the service of God and others we are helping God in the creation of the Spiritual Civilization.
I have found that practicing the Three Pillars of Truth is the best way of remembering who I truly am. We call it living our life in Spirit Primary Principle. Focusing our attention only in the material aspect of our lives takes away not only time and energy.
We habitually lose our sense of selves when focusing our attention on material things as well as intellectual and negative emotional clutter. According to Divine Teachings our mission in life is to realize our divine nature which is the source of eternal happiness.
Therefore, Minimalism to me is not just a matter of organizing my time and things but at the same time, clearing out what is valuable and important for me and my mission as a human being.
As time goes by, some of the material things I valued highly or recognized as important to me vary going through the experiences in my life. Minimalism does not advocate getting rid of everything you own for we live in a material world and we have to use material things for a higher purpose.
Minimalism does encourage us to take a look at how our possessions, thoughts and emotions may actually be cluttering out our time and energy and taking away from us our most authentic self, our joy and happiness in life.
By practicing the Three Pillars of Truth you will find that gratitude plays an important role in enjoying freedom and quality of time with important people in your life. We have to be grateful for the Life God has given us.
Focusing on practicing the Three Pillars of Truth has helped me establish stronger relationships with God, myself and with others. It has centered my life and time in what is important and transcendental for humans throughout our history of spirituality in the world. It has cleared my path to happiness. Focus your life in what is important and always remember your most authentic self.