The Art of Stillness

slow living Apr 26, 2018

'Sitting still can be a way of falling in love with the world and everything in it.' 

I recently stumbled across a book by Pico Iyer 'The Art of Stillness - Adventures in Going Nowhere'. It seemed incredibly apt and related to the slow movement and my Zen Stitching philosophy and workshops. I had to read it.

Iyer is a travel writer, and whilst he generally writes about movement in this book he contemplates the pleasures of stillness. Nowadays the chance to sit still is the ultimate treat, and to be unplugged from technology can be our greatest luxury. Stillness invites the unexpected pleasures of clarity and sanity.

As a travel writer Iyer contemplates that at some point all the horizontal trips in the world can't compensate for the need to go deep and somewhere challenging and unexpected. Movement makes richest sense when set within a frame of stillness. As an avid adventurer myself I can identify with the appreciation of stillness, and many textile techniques offer the same depth of contemplation.

These days science has caught up with 2000 years of meditation and has been able to demonstrate that the practice can lead to clear thinking, better health and improved emotional intelligence. It can lower blood pressure, boost our immune system, and change the architecture of our brains.

In an age of speed, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.
In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.
In an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still. 

Pico Iyer also has a 14 minute TED Talk