Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Art of Stillness

“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 

“To me, the point of sitting still is that it helps you see through the very idea of pushing forward; indeed, it strips you of yourself, as of a coat of armor, by leading you into a place where you’re defined by something larger.”

“talking about stillness is really a way of talking about clarity and sanity and the joys that endure.”

“You don’t get over the shadows inside you simply by walking away from them.”

“Buddhists explain the nature of our mind: there may be clouds passing across it, but that doesn’t mean a blue sky isn’t always there behind the obfuscations. All you need is the patience to sit still until the blue shows up again.”

“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.”

“This is what the principle of the Sabbath enshrines. It is, as Abraham Joshua Heschel, the great Jewish theologian of the last century, had it, ‘a cathedral in time rather than in space’; the one day a week we take off becomes a vast empty space through which we can wander, without agenda, as through the light-filled passageways of Notre Dame.”

“The point of gathering stillness is not to enrich the sanctuary or mountaintop but to bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world.”

“In an 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.”

Quotes from The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer

Photos of Abkhazi Garden, Victoria, BC

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