7 lessons from The art of stillness

At the end of 2014 I started to meditate for 10 minutes everyday. Believe me, it is the best way You can improve Your daily life spending only 10 minutes a day. I would like to explain You why but one the best way to understand it is reading a short ebook: The art of stillness. You will love it. Here You will find 7 quotes I pasted from my notes.

With machines coming to seem part of our nervous systems, while increasing their speed every season, we’ve lost our Sundays, our weekends, our nights off—our holy days, as some would have it; our bosses, junk mailers, our parents can find us wherever we are, at any time of day or night. More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk.

To hurry around trying to find happiness outside ourselves makes about as much sense as the comical figure in the Islamic parable who, having lost a key in his living room, goes out into the street to look for it because there’s more light there.

We glimpse a stranger in the street, and the exchange lasts barely a moment. But then we go home and think on it and think on it and try to understand what the glance meant and inspect it from this angle and from that one, spinning futures and fantasies around it. The experience that lasted an instant plays out for a lifetime inside us. It becomes, in fact, the story of our lives.

everything is moving. It’s beautiful.” Clouds and blue sky, of course, are how 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 obscurations.

still, reminding them that, if nothing else, it’s been found by scientists that meditation can lower blood pressure, help boost our immune system, and even change the architecture of our brains. This has no more to do with religion or any other kind of doctrine than a trip to the (mental) health club might.

Setting an auto-response on my e-mail, turning off the TV when I’m on the treadmill, trying to find a quiet place in the midst of a crowded day (or city)—all quickly open up an unsuspected space.

You can go on vacation to Paris or Hawaii or New Orleans three months from now, and you’ll have a tremendous time, I’m sure. But if you want to come back feeling new—alive and full of fresh hope and in love with the world—I think the place to visit may be Nowhere.

Ebola and our society

Fear isn’t only a function of risk; it’s a function of isolation. We live in a society almost perfectly suited for contagions of hysteria and overreaction.

In the first place, we’re living in a segmented society. Over the past few decades we’ve seen a pervasive increase in the gaps between different social classes. People are much less likely to marry across social class, or to join a club and befriend people across social class.

Good editorial by New York Times

To experience life in kairos, not just chronos

Nonessentialists tend to be so preoccupied with past successes and failures, as well as future challenges and opportunities, that they miss the present moment. They become distracted. Unfocused. They aren’t really there. The way of the Essentialist is to tune into the present. To experience life in kairos, not just chronos. To focus on the things that are truly important—not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now.

Very good book.

Greg Mckeown – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less