counter create hit The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

Availability: Ready to download

A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug. Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug. Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still. In The Art of Stillness—a TED Books release—Iyer investigate the lives of people who have made a life seeking stillness: from Matthieu Ricard, a Frenchman with a PhD in molecular biology who left a promising scientific career to become a Tibetan monk, to revered singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who traded the pleasures of the senses for several years of living the near-silent life of meditation as a Zen monk. Iyer also draws on his own experiences as a travel writer to explore why advances in technology are making us more likely to retreat. He reflects that this is perhaps the reason why many people—even those with no religious commitment—seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or seeking silent retreats. These aren't New Age fads so much as ways to rediscover the wisdom of an earlier age. Growing trends like observing an “Internet Sabbath”—turning off online connections from Friday night to Monday morning—highlight how increasingly desperate many of us are to unplug and bring stillness into our lives. The Art of Stillness paints a picture of why so many—from Marcel Proust to Mahatma Gandhi to Emily Dickinson—have found richness in stillness. Ultimately, Iyer shows that, in this age of constant movement and connectedness, perhaps staying in one place is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before. In 2013, Pico Iyer gave a blockbuster TED Talk. This lyrical and inspiring book expands on a new idea, offering a way forward for all those feeling affected by the frenetic pace of our modern world.


Compare
Ads Banner

A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug. Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug. Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still. In The Art of Stillness—a TED Books release—Iyer investigate the lives of people who have made a life seeking stillness: from Matthieu Ricard, a Frenchman with a PhD in molecular biology who left a promising scientific career to become a Tibetan monk, to revered singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who traded the pleasures of the senses for several years of living the near-silent life of meditation as a Zen monk. Iyer also draws on his own experiences as a travel writer to explore why advances in technology are making us more likely to retreat. He reflects that this is perhaps the reason why many people—even those with no religious commitment—seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or seeking silent retreats. These aren't New Age fads so much as ways to rediscover the wisdom of an earlier age. Growing trends like observing an “Internet Sabbath”—turning off online connections from Friday night to Monday morning—highlight how increasingly desperate many of us are to unplug and bring stillness into our lives. The Art of Stillness paints a picture of why so many—from Marcel Proust to Mahatma Gandhi to Emily Dickinson—have found richness in stillness. Ultimately, Iyer shows that, in this age of constant movement and connectedness, perhaps staying in one place is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before. In 2013, Pico Iyer gave a blockbuster TED Talk. This lyrical and inspiring book expands on a new idea, offering a way forward for all those feeling affected by the frenetic pace of our modern world.

30 review for The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

  1. 5 out of 5

    R.C.

    This book wasn't what I expected. Rather than a book about the art and science of meditation or mindfulness, it was a book about how the author or famous people the author knew or had read about REACT to these things. It's partly autobiographical, partly biographical, partly a koan to be meditated on, and yet it managed to flit from one of these to the other so quickly that there was no sense of grip, no feeling that anything meaningful had been discussed in any detail. The book, at heart, just This book wasn't what I expected. Rather than a book about the art and science of meditation or mindfulness, it was a book about how the author or famous people the author knew or had read about REACT to these things. It's partly autobiographical, partly biographical, partly a koan to be meditated on, and yet it managed to flit from one of these to the other so quickly that there was no sense of grip, no feeling that anything meaningful had been discussed in any detail. The book, at heart, just talks, dancing about a central theme without delving deep anywhere. It doesn't describe how to be still, just advocates it and says how freeing and wonderful it is. I felt like the dots were not connected. The book seemed to advocate that one just needed to go someplace quiet and remote and voila, happiness! The author gave brief mention of how sometimes stillness can do the opposite, but there wasn't a lot of insight into why you get one or the other or what to do if that's the case for you. Overall, the book had some pretty turns of phrase, some poignant, pithy points of view, but anyone looking for instruction beyond what's given in the summary will probably be disappointed. (I got this book from Goodreads' First Reads program, and boy am I glad. I can't suggest that anyone spend $15 on 45 small pages of text and 8 double-page spreads of pretty pictures.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    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 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!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vikki

    I found an Arabic Proverb that I loved. It is "Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence." Then a week later I found The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer. I love this whole idea. The subtitle is adventures in going nowhere. I've always loved sitting in the backyard looking at what looks like nothing. But in actuality, tons of things are happening - birds are singing, clouds are moving, squirrels are frolicking etc. Maybe this books just gives permission for i I found an Arabic Proverb that I loved. It is "Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence." Then a week later I found The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer. I love this whole idea. The subtitle is adventures in going nowhere. I've always loved sitting in the backyard looking at what looks like nothing. But in actuality, tons of things are happening - birds are singing, clouds are moving, squirrels are frolicking etc. Maybe this books just gives permission for introverts like myself to act naturally. I guess the premise of this book is in this age of technology when we are bombarded with so much going on, we crave the silence. I have always been an advocate of children having time alone. I saw in Readers Digest this month, sociologist Sherry Turkle saying in Scientific American "Children especially need solitude. Solitude is the precondition for having a conversation with yourself. This capacity to be with yourself and discover yourself is the bedrock of development." While I was reading this book I kept thinking of the saying, "An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest." We need to just stop - and rest and let our mind run free. I loved this book and will buy it, reread it, remind myself to listen to the silence.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Guess what? TED Talks now makes TED books. Unbeknownst to me, this was one of them. I knew when I picked it up at the library. It was tiny. It was only 66 pages. It could be read, like a short story, in one sitting (or, in my case, one lying on the floor). As far as meditation-stillness-quiet books go, this one's a lightweight. In that sense, the literal matches the figurative. Still, it's an easy and smooth read, and no fan of contemplative reads is going to leave it unfinished. Plus, it gave a Guess what? TED Talks now makes TED books. Unbeknownst to me, this was one of them. I knew when I picked it up at the library. It was tiny. It was only 66 pages. It could be read, like a short story, in one sitting (or, in my case, one lying on the floor). As far as meditation-stillness-quiet books go, this one's a lightweight. In that sense, the literal matches the figurative. Still, it's an easy and smooth read, and no fan of contemplative reads is going to leave it unfinished. Plus, it gave a few leads for books and quotes and even music. Let's start with music. It mentions how Iyer met Leonard Cohen up at a retreat to see why one of his (Iyer's) idols spent so much time doing nothing and even hanging out with the Dalai Lama. Seems the musical genius (I know cuz the book told me) really gets off on turning off. By the end of the book (30 minutes later), Iyer returns to Cohen, talking how he put out a "funereal" album called Old Ideas. Now I have something to check out on YouTube. I just love me some "funereal" music! Hallelujah! (Joke = It's the only Cohen tune I know, thanks to the cover by Jeff Buckley.) Shout-outs (quietly, please!) also go out to some classic homebodies, namely Marcel Proust, Emily Dickinson, and Annie Dillard. Another literary mention goes to a French writer unknown to me, Matthieu Ricard. His The Monk and the Philosopher is lauded for its argument re: the "Buddhist science of mind." Iyer likes even better Ricard's Motionless Journey. Sounds intriguing to a guy who doesn't fly. As for the quotes, I can't chase them all down, so let's sign off with this one: "Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need." Admiral Richard E. Byrd. And that's the cold truth.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The

    Pico Iyer hung out with Leonard Cohen in a monastery! Pico Iyer is here to tell you that meditation and quiet are important, especially in today's wacky, busy world. Pico Iyer has traveled almost everywhere in the world. Pico Iyer has checked out from society and chosen a quiet life--except for when he is traveling the world, giving TED talks, talking to Google HQ about his writings, and hanging out with Leonard Cohen. Pico Iyer shares some aphorisms. Pico Iyer says he doesn't claim to have any Pico Iyer hung out with Leonard Cohen in a monastery! Pico Iyer is here to tell you that meditation and quiet are important, especially in today's wacky, busy world. Pico Iyer has traveled almost everywhere in the world. Pico Iyer has checked out from society and chosen a quiet life--except for when he is traveling the world, giving TED talks, talking to Google HQ about his writings, and hanging out with Leonard Cohen. Pico Iyer shares some aphorisms. Pico Iyer says he doesn't claim to have any answers, just raising some questions for you to think about. Pico Iyer tells us that the idea of stillness was known to ancient philosophers, and maybe you should try it. Pico Iyer says that Leonard Cohen really embodies these ideas. Did Pico Iyer mention that he hangs out with Leonard Cohen? This is classic TED-talk jive.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dpdwyer

    Quite a superficial book, only 70 pages long, with many seemingly irrelevant photographs and not enough evidence that the author had really experienced stillness, silence, solitude. I did find a number of quotes from others to ponder: ---William James - "The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." ---Matthieu Ricard - "For me a flight is just a brief retreat in the sky." ---Blaise Pascal - "All the unhappiness of men arises from one simple fact: that they Quite a superficial book, only 70 pages long, with many seemingly irrelevant photographs and not enough evidence that the author had really experienced stillness, silence, solitude. I did find a number of quotes from others to ponder: ---William James - "The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." ---Matthieu Ricard - "For me a flight is just a brief retreat in the sky." ---Blaise Pascal - "All the unhappiness of men arises from one simple fact: that they cannot sit quietly in their chamber." ---Admiral Richard E. Byrd - "Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need." ---Thomas Merton - "One of the strange laws of the contemplative life is that in it you do not sit down and solve problems; you bear with them until they somehow solve themselves. Or until life solves them for you."

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Notes toward my own art of stillness: A word is worth one coin; silence, two—Chinese Proverb “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”—Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz. Recently I read Paradise Lost, an almost wordless version drawn by Pablo Auladell. In an interview he is asked What has most influenced and inspired your vision? The masters of silence and invisibility. My friend Jenn, Notes toward my own art of stillness: A word is worth one coin; silence, two—Chinese Proverb “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”—Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz. Recently I read Paradise Lost, an almost wordless version drawn by Pablo Auladell. In an interview he is asked What has most influenced and inspired your vision? The masters of silence and invisibility. My friend Jenn, a Buddhist who practices at the Peace School here in Chicago, lent me The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, which I read as was intended by the author and the series Ted Books: Small Books, in on sitting. Pico Iyer is a world traveler, manically writing a lot of books, but was invited to write this book as a non-Budhhist, someone who subcribes to no religion of any kind. I thought it was unremarkable, no particularly surprising in any way, but the parts I really liked were the sections on Leonrad Cohen, a favorite singer. Going nowhere was the grand adventure that makes sense of everything else. “There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. A man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down.”—Slowness, Milan Kundera John Cage’ Silence: http://dss-edit.com/prof-anon/sound/l... Thomas Merton became a Trappist Monk, taking a seven year vow of silence, and a vow of chastity, writing The Seven Story Mountain, which I loved in my twenties, but could not follow him to do. “We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.” --Merton Samuel Beckett’s Act Without Words, which I performed in my early twenties. Slow Growth, Slow Eating, Slow Reading. (Vs. Western Fast Food, Speed Reading, and so on), Sustained silent reading. Wordless or silent graphic novels such as The Arrival, Blood Song, Dockwood Silence, Martin Scorsese Silence, Shusaku Endo I heard this guy on Krista Tippett's On Being: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6..., a guy searching for the remaining truly quiet places on the planet that are left. The act of listening: “In an age of distraction, nothing can be more luxurious than paying attention.” --Iyer The Chicago Art Institute Sitting down om a wide, empty beach: “In an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.” --Iyer I think the place to visit may be Nowhere--Iyer

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robin Morgan

    When I began to read Pico Iyer’s “The Art of Stillness” I read it like any other book; sitting in a chair in front of my computer. However, the book didn’t seem to do anything for me as it felt like I just read a string of words, sentences and paragraphs which have been put together. But this couldn’t be the case as the book had promised to take me somewhere or increase my knowledge. From what I’ve read about the author, I’d anticipated getting much more. If the book isn’t the problem, then the p When I began to read Pico Iyer’s “The Art of Stillness” I read it like any other book; sitting in a chair in front of my computer. However, the book didn’t seem to do anything for me as it felt like I just read a string of words, sentences and paragraphs which have been put together. But this couldn’t be the case as the book had promised to take me somewhere or increase my knowledge. From what I’ve read about the author, I’d anticipated getting much more. If the book isn’t the problem, then the problem rested with me. Sitting totally still, the realization came to me I must change; I didn’t have to change anything about myself, I had to change the way I’d approached in reading this. Laying on my bed in total silence, not a sound being able to distract my thoughts, and my mind a blank I began reading the book anew. This time the author’s thoughts and ideas became clear, and I began to understand this message. “The Art of Stillness” is a wonderful way to escape reality and to take someone to places they’ve never been to physically. And if your mind is allowed to take a trip to nowhere you’ll actually wind up in a place where your mind is allowed to wander aimlessly; and once it comes back, you’ll find yourself refreshed and feeling like someone new. Mr. Pico writing I feel talks to you in a very subtle manner, a manner in which you’ll learn a lot about things and yourself. I can’t see giving this book anything but 5 STARS. I received a hardcover copy of this book in a giveaway on GoodReads.com and this review has been my honest opinion. Robin Leigh Morgan is the author of “I Kissed a Ghost,” a MG/YA Paranormal romance novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Devika

    The concept of TED books is a great idea because many a times a TED talk does not seem deep enough, mostly due to the brevity of time. Did not like this book much because Iyer's writing style is quite obscure. There were many instances where I just did not get the point he was trying to put across. In essence, I took two things from the book: 1. Being happy in the present moment is not about being aware, but about being selective. The idea is to focus on aspects that would increase one's happines The concept of TED books is a great idea because many a times a TED talk does not seem deep enough, mostly due to the brevity of time. Did not like this book much because Iyer's writing style is quite obscure. There were many instances where I just did not get the point he was trying to put across. In essence, I took two things from the book: 1. Being happy in the present moment is not about being aware, but about being selective. The idea is to focus on aspects that would increase one's happiness and ignore the others. 2. Stillness in fact is an exercise that does not let one run away from anything. Being alone with one's thoughts forces one to face up to every suppressed emotion. Unless this is done, stillness cannot be achieved. I'd recommend only sticking to the TED talk for this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    In an age of speed, nothing can be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feelmore luxorious than paying attention. In an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still. Iyer composes a thoughtful essay-turned-book, ranging from his time with Leonard Cohen to Mathieu Ricard. The book doesn't delve deep and contained some really beautiful quotes, like the one above. This is a subject that I am very interested in, so in many ways, I wanted In an age of speed, nothing can be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feelmore luxorious than paying attention. In an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still. Iyer composes a thoughtful essay-turned-book, ranging from his time with Leonard Cohen to Mathieu Ricard. The book doesn't delve deep and contained some really beautiful quotes, like the one above. This is a subject that I am very interested in, so in many ways, I wanted more of a book-book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ci

    Many years ago I read Pico Iyer's "Video Night in Kathmandu" which is full of verve and nerve, beauty and filth. That is why I read this book even though it resembles Alain de Botton popular philosophy series. It can be read in one sitting, taxing very little of one's mental faculties, as it flew through smoothly with stories and autobiographical details. If this gives a reader some incentive to pause for a moment to reflect, it may have merited its existence. However, it is in the same genre of Many years ago I read Pico Iyer's "Video Night in Kathmandu" which is full of verve and nerve, beauty and filth. That is why I read this book even though it resembles Alain de Botton popular philosophy series. It can be read in one sitting, taxing very little of one's mental faculties, as it flew through smoothly with stories and autobiographical details. If this gives a reader some incentive to pause for a moment to reflect, it may have merited its existence. However, it is in the same genre of using spiritual practice as a mental hygienic exercise -- being still/mindful helping you to become more successful and happier back in the fray of the world, a fitting TED Talk theme. There is even less to commend on the author's writing: it has a hushed tone of new-age blandness. It seems that the author does not know where to place his experience of being still between awed sacredness and ironic modernism.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jo Ann

    Loved this little book about meditation and being quiet to renew oneself! One line from the author sums it up for me: "Going nowhere, as Leonard Cohen would emphasize to 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." Just after I read this book, I took a few days alone at an old CCC cabin at Devil's Den State Park about an hour away from my home to "be still and go nowhere." It was lovely! Loved this little book about meditation and being quiet to renew oneself! One line from the author sums it up for me: "Going nowhere, as Leonard Cohen would emphasize to 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." Just after I read this book, I took a few days alone at an old CCC cabin at Devil's Den State Park about an hour away from my home to "be still and go nowhere." It was lovely!

  13. 5 out of 5

    L

    I hadn't found many piece of wisdom in this book. One particular one that stood out to me was the fact that just because there are clouds, doesn't mean the blue sky is gone. One has to be patient and wait for the clouds to dissipate. I think the best quote is from the back cover. "At some point, all the horizontal trips in the world stop compensating for the need to go deep, into somewhere challenging and unexpected; movement makes most sense when grounded in stillness. In an age of speed, I beg I hadn't found many piece of wisdom in this book. One particular one that stood out to me was the fact that just because there are clouds, doesn't mean the blue sky is gone. One has to be patient and wait for the clouds to dissipate. I think the best quote is from the back cover. "At some point, all the horizontal trips in the world stop compensating for the need to go deep, into somewhere challenging and unexpected; movement makes most sense when grounded in stillness. In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing could feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than standing still." Given some prior knowledge in stillness and meditation, I found this book to be rather disappointing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    Pico Iyer is well known as a world traveler and I listened to him often on NPR discussing some of his adventures. I was delighted to learn that he actually wrote a book on “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.’’ It is a book about how to “take care of his loved ones, do his job, and hold on to some direction in a madly accelerating world.” While the book is short (almost purposely done so) it packs a powerful message that going nowhere can be a most excellent adventure and generate Pico Iyer is well known as a world traveler and I listened to him often on NPR discussing some of his adventures. I was delighted to learn that he actually wrote a book on “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.’’ It is a book about how to “take care of his loved ones, do his job, and hold on to some direction in a madly accelerating world.” While the book is short (almost purposely done so) it packs a powerful message that going nowhere can be a most excellent adventure and generate immense creativity and peace. He began the practice of interrupting his travels to stay still in a single place when he was in his early 30’s. He went for a few days to a retreat in California and just enjoyed the sea and nature. In the book he describes in some detail meeting Leonard Cohen on a mountaintop where the singer/poet spent days at the Mount Baldy Zen Center meditating and performing odd jobs. Iyer also discusses the lives and works Proust and Emily Dickinson both having lived relatively cloistered lives yet their works refute the idea that sitting quietly in a room must be a waste of time. A flaw I found was that the author does not explain whether and individual can fit meditative stillness into his/her busy day, or whether it require fundamental transformation of ones life. In other words, he did not provide real suggestions on how to apply the book in a practical way. I enjoyed Iyre’s his recounting of a Gandhi story when one day Gandhi woke up and said, “This is going to be a very busy day. I won’t be able to meditate for an hour.” When his friends were surprised by this most unusual statement of deviation from his practice he added, “I’ll have to meditate for two.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Given the book's brevity, this is an interesting read. It contains some useful thoughts on the importance of quiet and space in one's life, in the midst of our tendency towards frenetic busyness and noise. With the dramatic increase of the availability of information in our age, in light of the technological revolution, what we need is quiet and the clarity of mind to properly sift that information. The photos in this book are beautiful as well, nicely complementing the ideas of the text. Still, Given the book's brevity, this is an interesting read. It contains some useful thoughts on the importance of quiet and space in one's life, in the midst of our tendency towards frenetic busyness and noise. With the dramatic increase of the availability of information in our age, in light of the technological revolution, what we need is quiet and the clarity of mind to properly sift that information. The photos in this book are beautiful as well, nicely complementing the ideas of the text. Still, this is a brief and merely suggestive text; it does lack a certain depth.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    3.5 stars. Thoughtful look at being still and meditating, with unexpected Leonard Cohen.

  17. 5 out of 5

    D

    Succinct and pleasant read. Leonard Cohen: "What else would I be doing? Finding new drugs, buying more expensive wine? I don't know. This seems to me the most luxurious and sumptuous response to the emptiness of my own existence." William James, American psychologist: 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 acqu Succinct and pleasant read. Leonard Cohen: "What else would I be doing? Finding new drugs, buying more expensive wine? I don't know. This seems to me the most luxurious and sumptuous response to the emptiness of my own existence." William James, American psychologist: 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 deeper blessing, sitting still -- is that it can get you as wide-awake, exhilarated, and pumping-hearted as when you are in love. Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past Matthieu Ricard inherited his mother's eye for the art of stillness as well as his father's analytical mind - Motionless Journey -- an investigation into how everything changes and doesn't change at all -- how the same place looks different even as you're not really going anywhere. All the unhappiness of men arises from one simple fact: that they cannot sit quietly in their chamber - Blaise Pascal Many in Silicon Valley observe an "internet Sabbath" every week, during which they turn off most of their devices from Friday night to Monday morning. Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine: I continue to keep the cornucopia of technology at arm's length, so that I can more easily remember who I am. Intel: Quiet Period of 4 hrs every Tuesday - turn off email and phones, do not disturb on office doors to make space for 'thinking time.' It doesn't seem crazy to think that training minds might help save lives at least as much as training bodies does. The Sabbath recalls to us that, in the end, all our journeys have to bring us home. Annie Dillard, who sat still for a long time at Tinker Creek -- and in many other places: I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as with a dying friend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    My criticism of the book is more about my expectations than the book itself. I expected a treatise on the importance of stillness/meditation. Instead, Iyer's The Art of Stillness felt too much like a name dropping memoir. It's a memoir, it's a bit of travel writing, and too little real discussion of stillness. I didn't enjoy this book, though I imagine those who are new to meditation might find this an easily digestible start. I resonated with the parts of the, very short, work that were about h My criticism of the book is more about my expectations than the book itself. I expected a treatise on the importance of stillness/meditation. Instead, Iyer's The Art of Stillness felt too much like a name dropping memoir. It's a memoir, it's a bit of travel writing, and too little real discussion of stillness. I didn't enjoy this book, though I imagine those who are new to meditation might find this an easily digestible start. I resonated with the parts of the, very short, work that were about his enjoyment of meditation and what he experienced out of those sojourns - breaks in his travel writing. But felt like his way into the meditation came at a way that was too class conscious, or money oriented, to be a true thoughtful look at stillness. We won't all be taking as much time off to cultivate stillness, we can't all follow in Merton's footsteps while quoting Emily Dickinson with a lovely monastery in the California mountains. For a book on stillness and being with the self, there was too much name dropping for me to feel like it was genuine. Mentors and teachers are an important part of experience, but this was much too much "insert what famous monk told me here." As far as production goes, the book is a nice piece but the addition of what I call "stock zen" photos seems kind of lame. They're beautiful photographs, but they're also the kind you'll see in any zen/meditation book/forum/PowerPoint ... and it felt lazy. I liked it enough that I might look at some of Iyer's travel writing, but likely not. Wouldn't recommend this one, and I wanted to like it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michele Harrod

    What a perfect little book to precede another trip to my newly acquired caravan. My very own monastic retreat, or the place the author refers to as 'Nowhere'. I found last time I was there, I took too many bad habits from home, so I had been thinking about doing this differently this time. Leaving the phone in the car, and choosing a time to check it every second day. Same for the computer. What's the point of going somewhere else and doing the exact same things I would have done at home? This b What a perfect little book to precede another trip to my newly acquired caravan. My very own monastic retreat, or the place the author refers to as 'Nowhere'. I found last time I was there, I took too many bad habits from home, so I had been thinking about doing this differently this time. Leaving the phone in the car, and choosing a time to check it every second day. Same for the computer. What's the point of going somewhere else and doing the exact same things I would have done at home? This book not only gives me permission to do this, but in fact, almost screams that is is absolutely imperative that I do! Contains some inspiring facts about meditation, some great tools companies are introducing to bring stress reduction techniques into their daily work practices, and with these three facts that I simply cannot dispute : "In age age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Basically a lecture on the value of stillness, or perhaps better known as quiet time (Go to your corner!), clearing out the mind and going Nowhere. It also fits in with his other work, somewhat a public relations piece for Leonard Cohen and Buddhism (though he says he is not one himself). I keep thinking to myself "If it quacks like a duck. . ." But the advise in good, and most likely correct; in this fast-paced, technology burdened, communication complex world, people should turn off everything Basically a lecture on the value of stillness, or perhaps better known as quiet time (Go to your corner!), clearing out the mind and going Nowhere. It also fits in with his other work, somewhat a public relations piece for Leonard Cohen and Buddhism (though he says he is not one himself). I keep thinking to myself "If it quacks like a duck. . ." But the advise in good, and most likely correct; in this fast-paced, technology burdened, communication complex world, people should turn off everything once in a while, and recharge. And I absolutely loved the pastel-like photography of Eydís Sigurbjörg Luna Einarsdóttir.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nithesh

    The Art of Stillness is a book that met me at the right place at the right time. During my backpack tour to Delhi , on a day where I was clueless about life, having quit a job that I coveted a couple of years back, wondering where I was going in life, I saw this book at Cafe Turtle. I bought it , ordered an iced cappuccino and blueberry cheesecake. I did not get up till I had finished this book. This needs a longer and deeper review or an article. If you are living the hectic, fast and probably The Art of Stillness is a book that met me at the right place at the right time. During my backpack tour to Delhi , on a day where I was clueless about life, having quit a job that I coveted a couple of years back, wondering where I was going in life, I saw this book at Cafe Turtle. I bought it , ordered an iced cappuccino and blueberry cheesecake. I did not get up till I had finished this book. This needs a longer and deeper review or an article. If you are living the hectic, fast and probably stressful sort of life, sit down and read this book in a single shot along with a cup of hot frothy filter coffee

  22. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    "Going nowhere" is one of my favorite things to do, and maybe that's why this book hit home for me. Sometimes (often, actually) I realize there's just nowhere that I want to be, so that's where my Jeep takes me. Yesterday, my Jeep and I put on 160 miles of nowhere and it was absolute bliss. How many places do we really need to be and how much stuff do we just create for ourselves to do? Break the mold and walk away more often. This book was a great reminder to prioritize better and more effectiv "Going nowhere" is one of my favorite things to do, and maybe that's why this book hit home for me. Sometimes (often, actually) I realize there's just nowhere that I want to be, so that's where my Jeep takes me. Yesterday, my Jeep and I put on 160 miles of nowhere and it was absolute bliss. How many places do we really need to be and how much stuff do we just create for ourselves to do? Break the mold and walk away more often. This book was a great reminder to prioritize better and more effectively.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Iyer points out the positive impact of sitting still and “going nowhere,” not just on our piece of mind but also on our work, our creativity, and our ability to solve problems. I found it particularly poignant after the recent passing of Leonard Cohen, who he looks to for inspiration throughout this essay. “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 l Iyer points out the positive impact of sitting still and “going nowhere,” not just on our piece of mind but also on our work, our creativity, and our ability to solve problems. I found it particularly poignant after the recent passing of Leonard Cohen, who he looks to for inspiration throughout this essay. “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.” I highly recommend the practice, and this little book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kme_17

    I got this one as a first read. I liked this one. It is a very short book that can be read in one sitting. However , the number of words does not harm the impact on the reader. It is a lovely book that makes you think of things in way that you haven't before. All in all a great book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    "Going nowhere (...) 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."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Milan

    The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer is a small book which is weighty in meaning. Our world which is obsessed with speed and rife with distractions, there are a few things that feel better than sitting still, slowing down, paying attention and going nowhere. A still life leads to more meaning and contentment. Stillness doesn’t necessary mean you have to be physically 'still.' It refers to the idea of limiting your thoughts and movements so that you can calm your mind. “Going nowhere, isn’t about tu The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer is a small book which is weighty in meaning. Our world which is obsessed with speed and rife with distractions, there are a few things that feel better than sitting still, slowing down, paying attention and going nowhere. A still life leads to more meaning and contentment. Stillness doesn’t necessary mean you have to be physically 'still.' It refers to the idea of limiting your thoughts and movements so that you can calm your mind. “Going nowhere, 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.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Read for my yoga book club and am eager to talk about it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    David Hailey

    This short little book resonated with me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shrey

    Clever twist on the travelogue. Nice little discourse on meditation and taking time out. This is also where I get to rep family - Pico is my second cousin!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rehan Abd Jamil

    This is good..I don't think I can sit still for even 10 minutes..

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.