2 Dec
Posted in: Books
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Going Nowhere

Another of my Dharma buddies (thanks, Thomas!) pointed me to a beautiful little book by celebrated travel writer, Pico Iyer, with the wonderfully provocative title —  The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. Which was inspired by Iyer’s visit with the famous singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen during his 5 years of living as a Zen monk.

Here’s a passage from the book:
Going nowhere, as Leonard Cohen would later emphasize for me, isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply…

So much of our lives takes place in our heads–in memory or imagination, in speculation or interpretation–that sometimes I feel that I can best change my life by changing the way I look at it. As America’s wisest psychologist, William James, reminded us, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

It’s the perspective we choose–not the places we visit–that ultimately tells us where we stand. Every time I take a trip, the experience acquires meaning and grows deeper only after I get back home and, sitting still, begin to convert the sights I’ve seen into lasting insights.


(The photo above is one of many included in the book, all taken in Iceland by Eydis Einarsdottir. Click here to see more.)

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