Real Life Minimalists: Archan Mehta

Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.

Today we hear from Archan Mehta, whose meditation practice led him to minimalism. He’s a writer, consultant, and teacher with a Ph.D. in Management, and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

Archan writes:

Okay, I admit it: I’ve had a tendency to acquire things and hoard stuff. You could say: Well, you almost made a career out of it. I would go shopping and save up for a rainy day. But, as we all know by now, those rainy days only exist in our imagination.

The clutter was so bad…it got to the point where I could not find what I was looking for; and this bad habit started to interfere with how I managed my day. It was a lousy feeling, that is, not being able to accomplish the things that make life worth living; not being able to achieve closure on daily tasks.

Folders, laundry bags, pens, pencils, clothes, etc. were littered all over the place, and I found myself tripping over some of these items. In order to escape from this condition, I found solace in bookstores and libraries: after all, reading was my favorite hobby.

Suddenly, I came across the works of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Shakti Gawain, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and others. Reading their books opened my eyes to the possibility of embracing voluntary poverty: it was an idea whose time had come, but I did not accept it fully, since it was an intellectual concept.

However, once I accepted meditation into my life–advocated by these writers–things started to fall into place. Slowly but surely, I started to make meditation a daily practice and it changed me. I was able to experience a shift in consciousness and started to live mindfully. The need to own things fell by the wayside: my shopaholic days were over.

Today, thanks to the daily practice of meditation, I have few needs. I have donated most of my stuff to charity or I have removed these items from my life. I finally feel like there’s a load off my shoulders and it feels surreal. There is so much freedom in voluntary simplicity and a functional lifestyle. Will it work for you? There’s only one way to find out–try it.

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

15 comments to Real Life Minimalists: Archan Mehta

  • Mal

    Oooh, I’ll be checking out some of those names! Thank you!

    (Word of warning to others planning to do the same: Shakti Gawain has a bit about how rape victims are partly to blame for their rapes because they brought that energy into the world/the world was just reflecting their energy/some similar victim blaming claptrap (I was quite young when I read it, so can’t remember details). Doesn’t mean she’s worthless – I’m in the happy position of being able to skim that sort of evil nonsense without being traumatized, so I’ll be looking into her again and seeing about what I can learn/apply. But this may be a thing you’ll want to know going in.)

  • Mrs Brady Old Lady


  • Vasudha Seth

    Archna, it’s nice reading your article.
    Even I am also following minimalist living.
    But sharing is always loving!!!

  • Hello, Archan. This was a short, yet powerful, post. I find it amazing all the different ways people are triggered to change; it’s different for everyone it seems. I never would have thought that meditation would be the catalyst for changing a shopaholic affliction. I’m glad you discovered that technique and reclaimed your life!

    I love the line “…started to live mindfully” because that is a key to wealth. Whatever wealth a person seeks can be found through mindful actions. It works with what we in our mouths, what we take out of our wallets, and how we choose to move from place to place (walk vs drive).

    Thank you for letting us get a peek into your lovely life.

    Ree ~ I blog at

  • Great to see a post about meditation! Very powerful. Transcendentalism seems to be quite similar.

  • I can see how meditation could help you buy grounding you and getting in touch with your inner values. The times I spent too much and had a clutter problem was when my life felt out of control.

  • Archan Mehta

    Thanks for posting my article: I am glad your readers enjoyed it. Have a good one.

  • I like the phrase ‘a load of my shoulders’ as that is exactly how I feel about voluntary simplicity. I feel so much lighter, physically and mentally. It is a fabulous feeling.

    Thanks for sharing your story


  • Diane

    Thank you so much Archan for sharing this lovely story. I too have read most of the authors you’ve mentioned and practice medidation; however, I never thought of applying it to minimalism. I came about minimalism in a different manner, which you can read about when my profile is posted on July 22. Although I wasn’t a shopaholic, I sure did attract a lot of things over the years and now feel so free letting them go. I will be moving again and thought of selling my furniture but prefer your idea of just donating them to charity. After all, who needs people coming in and out of your home looking at your things and trying to bargain down the price, when there are so many charities that could give my furniture to people in need. I do hope you comment on my profile — would love your opinion. Thanks again!

  • Joanne

    Thank you for your inspiring post. I have clutter that sounds like yours.

    I have not meditated for years and reading that it helped you lighten the burden of clutter may be what I needed to urge me to return to it.

    In addition to Miss Minimalist’s e-book and blog, I am finding Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston helpful. The author says clearing clutter can help clear fear from your home and make room for love.

  • Tina

    I find clearing clutter to be a source of pleasure. I fill a bag every week for Goodwill or Salvation Army. I recycle 2-3 bags full of papers,plastic and glass every week. I wear clothes my children have handed down and try to not buy anything new except food and detergent.
    We have an empty room in our condo which we are turning into a guest room and we have one small
    TV to the amusement of many friends. Living smaller means we don’t pay for heat in the winter and we park our car indoors. We also could retire earlier.

  • Tina

    I find every time something new enters my life, something has to leave. My son bought me a drawing book I wanted for Mothers’ Day, so a beading book is leaving. I may also give away a quilting book. I also copied 2 pages from a library book and put them in one of my notebooks. I am still giving away art supplies, my niece is getting some buttons I had saved for a project I never finished.

  • Tina

    I like to make art out of things I would normally recycle or toss. I only get art supplies at thrift shops, garage sales and rummage sales. Recently, I have been cutting paper napkins in half, like my grandfather did, so we waste less paper.We never buy paper towels or Swiffer refills because we use rags.

  • We buy either 100 0/0 recycled or bamboo toilet paper. I have gotten our garbage down to maybe 1/2 a bag each month. There is no good use for used cat litter and we live in a condo. All I have bought new was one pair of slacks and a pair of gym shoes. I am wearing shirts I was given or got at Goodwill. I have a lot of plants to give away, taken from cuttings of plants I have.

  • I gave a presentation on frugal gardening yesterday. I gave away 4 kinds of plant cuttings, 2 sided copies of many articles I had collected and wild flower seeds. Today, I have a stack of books and magazines to give away to the library.

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