Iyer approaches stillness from a Buddhist perspective. “And it’s only by going nowhere- by sitting still or letting my mind relax- that I find that the thoughts that come to me unbidden are far fresher and more imaginative than the ones I consciously seek out.” pg 62.
It’s not a world that most people are accustomed to experiencing, a space of being rather than an active doing. But, as Iyer so succinctly illustrates, it’s a realm that our fast-paced and technology addicted world desperately needs.
To venture into this emptiness is a restful and required experience for the health of the mind as much as inspired action is necessary for the experience of a fulfilling life.
I think that our culture has forgotten the power of stillness and the beauty of balancing our male and female energies. This book is an excellent reminder to appreciate both.
For those folks out there who haven’t heard Pico Iyer’s TED talk on this topic, I would recommend that you watch it first, then read this.
I read this and then I listened to the talk. Almost all 18 minutes of it were taken verbatim from The Art of Stillness. So, you’ll enjoy it more, I believe, if you do the opposite of what I did.
My big takeaway from this was the idea of air travel as “a retreat in the sky” pg 56. I dislike flying to the point where I tend to reach my destination exhausted and ready to return home the moment I land.
I think if I could successfully adopt the process that Iyer describes of treating the flight as a “meditative retreat” that I could change my experience of air travel from a nightmare into a restful pause.
There are many large ideas like that contained within this small book.
For the right person at the right time, The Art of Stillness could change her life. As Iyer says, The Art of Stillness doesn’t contain any “new” ideas but they are powerful and much needed ones.
Readers who are short on time, but big on stress may really love this book.
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!
Thanks for reading!