Escape Mental Excess: Memoirs on Meditation

Written/photo by: Ryan Antooa

Written/photo by: Ryan Antooa

“Minimalism”

Shortly after the word dances fervently off your eardrums and percolates in your mind, you likely envision an all white design space with a Swedish-designed chair in the middle, or someone clad in all black with a turtleneck, carrying a MacBook and a red pencil.

If you’re like me, 

your mind wanders to images from publications like Kinfolk and Montecristo - as well as the idea of minimalism vs. maximalism as a mentality – opposed to only physical notions of clutter.

While most entertain the physical aspects of minimalism, what about minimalism from a mental standpoint?

Decluttering your mind - through devices like meditation - is a quintessential part of the minimalist equation to truly bring freedom from the all-encompassing.

To truly embrace minimalism, there have to be mental paradigm shifts in addition to physical changes in your immediate surroundings. In fact, they work in a feedback loop where mental shifts ripple over to the physical aspects of life, and vice versa.

Something as small as taking 5-10 quiet minutes to yourself each morning, to the other end of the spectrum (say, embracing Buddhism in its totality), can lead to the shift you need to experience clarity. Ready?

Declutter, deconstruct,  and didact: free yourself from the things that distract.

Along the themes of minimalism; meditation isn’t just for self: it strengthens your relationship with people, places, and experiences around you.

“As gold purified in a furnace loses its impurities and achieves its own true nature, the mind gets rid of the impurities of the attributes of delusion, attachment, and purity through meditation and attains Reality.” - Adi Shankara

Escaping the excesses of the world can prove to be a difficult trial, especially in modern times: start with the palace of your mind, reduce excess thoughts, and you may yet achieve the clarity and intentionality you seek.

If you are an acolyte to meditation, here are a few resources to spark your journey:

Headspace

McGill - Audio For Meditation and Relaxation

Mindful Resources

Just Balance

Incense, chakras, and crossed-legs aside - all meditation requires is a few minutes of mindfulness to improve the openness and depth which you perceive the world around you - as well as your relationships.

Breathe deep, settle, and give meditation some time - it will do the same for you.

photo by: Ryan Antooa

photo by: Ryan Antooa