Blog, Inspiration, Travel, Writing

The Art Of Stillness…

October 3, 2018

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday I listened to a wonderful Super Soul Conversation podcast between Oprah and the author Pico Iyer. When Pico was twenty-nine he gave up a fancy apartment in New York City and his dream job as a travel writer for the New York Times to live a simple, more reflective life in Japan. There are bits of wisdom from Pico Iyer in this conversation and quotes from his book, The Art of Stillness, that resinated deeply with me that I’d like to share with you:

“Making a good living isn’t the same thing as making a good life.”

“For all the daily excitement, however, something inside me felt as if I was racing around so much that I never had a chance to see where I was going or check whether I was truly happy. Indeed, hurrying around in search of contentment seemed a perfect way of ensuring I’d never be settled or content.”

“When I was in my apartment in New York City I felt like I was missing something. When I’m in my two room rented flat in Kyoto I never feel like I’m missing anything. I never hanker for more material goods then I have, or for the life I used to have.”

“I needed to give up more material things in order to gain more invisible things.”

“Luxury isn’t about all the things that you have, it’s about all the things you can do without.”

“One could start just by taking a few minutes out of every day to sit quietly and do nothing, letting what moves one rise to the surface. One could take a few days out of every season to go on retreat, or enjoy a long walk in the wilderness, recalling what lies deeper than the moment, or the self.”

“It’s only by going nowhere, by sitting still, letting my mind relax that I find thoughts that come to me unbidden are far fresher and more imaginative than the ones I consciously seek out.”

“The slower I am, the happier I am.”

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