The Art of Stillness

I recently read the book The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer

The Art of Stillness

The Art of Stillness

Author:
Genres: Inspirational, Non-Fiction
Tags: Best Reads of 2014, Mindfulness
ASIN: 8954626254
I have been waiting to read this book and my impatience to finally devour this book was rewarded by having to wait longer than I wanted. Reading the book reminded me that my impatience is not the answer that I need. This book is powerful. It is short and simple to read. The idea of stillness makes sense and does not require much thought to process. However, to implement or rather have it be part of your life is challenging. That is the reason so many people need to read the book and think it through about how to adjust life so this is part of the 24 hours.
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About the Book

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James

This quote resonated with me because it really makes stress seem to easy to get rid of. In the end stress does not actually exist unless we choose to allow that thought to permeate our mind.

“Heaven is the place where you think of nowhere else.”

Wow! Once again I thought about how many times have I been somewhere, doing something, being engaged but really my mind is elsewhere thinking about this or that? This happens all the time. When I coach my 8th grade basketball team I always tell them that while at practice only think practice because there is nothing else you can actually do so you might as well make the best of it. We need to remind ourselves of this. How do we stay in the moment. When we are at one with the experience of NOW we are happy. Just last night I was at a concert and instead of recording for the future I just let the moment be. This is what I love about live music! Music keeps me in the moment and my brain thinks of nothing else but the lyrics and music. The question becomes how do we do this with the mundane elements of life?

“It is only when you stop moving that you can be moved in some far deeper way”

I am taking December to live this statement. We are so busy as people. We rush from here to there and never really stop and take in the moment. I have a problem with this and am working to make sure 2015 is not the year for movement, but stillness. Decluttering our “busy” lives of the things that we think are essential, but really just keep us from those moments of stillness. We don’t always have to be doing something to be productive and often times all the business keeps us from being as productive as we can be.

“The way of contemplation is not even a way and if one follows it, what he finds is nothing.” Thomas Merton

This is key for me. This idea cannot be something that I check off my to do list. It cannot be one more thing to do. As John Kabat-Zinn stated on 60 minutes if it becomes one more thing just don’t do it. The key is to restructure your life to just having this happen naturally because it is how you live. That is the paradox of reading books like this and trying to live the ideas

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

 

I have been waiting to read this book and my impatience to finally devour this book was rewarded by having to wait longer than I wanted. Reading the book reminded me that my impatience is not the answer that I need.

This book is powerful. It is short and simple to read. The idea of stillness makes sense and does not require much thought to process. However, to implement or rather have it be part of your life is challenging. That is the reason so many people need to read the book and think it through about how to adjust life so this is part of the 24 hours.

IMG_2067

 

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James

This quote resonated with me because it really makes stress seem to easy to get rid of. In the end stress does not actually exist unless we choose to allow that thought to permeate our mind.

“Heaven is the place where you think of nowhere else.”

Wow! Once again I thought about how many times have I been somewhere, doing something, being engaged but really my mind is elsewhere thinking about this or that? This happens all the time. When I coach my 8th grade basketball team I always tell them that while at practice only think practice because there is nothing else you can actually do so you might as well make the best of it. We need to remind ourselves of this. How do we stay in the moment. When we are at one with the experience of NOW we are happy. Just last night I was at a concert and instead of recording for the future I just let the moment be. This is what I love about live music! Music keeps me in the moment and my brain thinks of nothing else but the lyrics and music. The question becomes how do we do this with the mundane elements of life?

 

“It is only when you stop moving that you can be moved in some far deeper way”

I am taking December to live this statement. We are so busy as people. We rush from here to there and never really stop and take in the moment. I have a problem with this and am working to make sure 2015 is not the year for movement, but stillness. Decluttering our “busy” lives of the things that we think are essential, but really just keep us from those moments of stillness. We don’t always have to be doing something to be productive and often times all the business keeps us from being as productive as we can be.

“The way of contemplation is not even a way and if one follows it, what he finds is nothing.” Thomas Merton

This is key for me. This idea cannot be something that I check off my to do list. It cannot be one more thing to do. As John Kabat-Zinn stated on 60 minutes if it becomes one more thing just don’t do it. The key is to restructure your life to just having this happen naturally because it is how you live. That is the paradox of reading books like this and trying to live the ideas.

What do you think of this post?
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One thought on “The Art of Stillness

  1. Right on! Whenever I am consciously aware of “the now” and living more like this post, I always feel things are better and more peaceful. The trick is to slowly make this a default mode vs. something to try. Perhaps meditation would be key. Your introspective posts about stillness, meditation, living in the now, etc. resonate with me.

    -Jeremy