Tag Archive: solitude


leisure – slowness

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sj5z5

W. H. Davies

Money, O!

When I had money, money, O!
I knew no joy till I went poor;
For many a false man as a friend
Came knocking all day at my door.

Then felt I like a child that holds
A trumpet that he must not blow
Because a man is dead; I dared
Not speak to let this false world know.

Much have I thought of life, and seen
How poor men’s hearts are ever light;
And how their wives do hum like bees
About their work from morn till night.

So, when I hear these poor ones laugh,
And see the rich ones coldly frown
Poor men, think I, need not go up
So much as rich men should come down.

When I had money, money, O!
My many friends proved all untrue;
But now I have no money, O!
My friends are real, though very few

W. H. Davies

Leisure

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sj5z5

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

find stillness to cure the illness

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter .

It’s a busy day, and you’re inundated by non-stop emails, text messages, phone calls, instant message requests, notifications, interruptions of all kinds.

The noise of the world is a dull roar that pervades every second of your life. It’s a rush of activity, a drain on your energy, a pull on your attention, until you no longer have the energy to pay attention or take action.

It’s an illness, this noise, this rush. It can literally make us sick. We become stressed, depressed, fat, burnt out, slain by the slings and arrows of technology.

The cure is simple: it’s stillness.

Pause

Take a minute out of your busy day to do this little exercise: pause in the middle of all you have to do, all that’s going on around you. Close your eyes, and sit still. Breathe in, and breathe out, and pay attention to your breath as it comes in and goes out. Just sit still, for about a minute.

This stillness might seem like inaction, which we’re taught is a bad thing. It’s lazy, it’s passive, it’s against our Puritan work ethic. And yet, this simple inaction can change our world.

Stillness calms us. It gives us a small oasis of quiet that allows us to hear our thoughts, that allows us to catch our breath, that gives us room to breathe at all. It is the antibody to the stress and rush we feel daily.

“Activity conquers cold, but stillness conquers heat.” ~Lao Tzu

The Strength of Stillness

Stillness has a calming effect on the world around us as well. By becoming still, we cause others to pause, to pay attention. Our quiet also quiets others. We set the mood for those who work and otherwise interact with us.

When we rush and set a frenetic pace, it stresses others and inspires them to rush frenetically too. Stillness has the opposite effect. It slows the world down, allows us to focus, gives us time for contemplation, for what matters most.

It takes strength to be still when others rush. It takes courage to be different, to go against the stream. But while others might think us weird at first, that’s OK. Sometimes it’s the weird ones that make the most difference. And soon, as our stillness inspires others to find stillness of their own, we won’t be the weird ones — we’ll be the ones with wisdom.

It takes strength to find stillness when the world around us is a chaos of activity, but it’s a strength that’s in us, and we need only to find it. Paradoxically, it’s stillness that will allow us to find that strength. Be still, look within, and it’ll be there.

Finding Stillness

It’s pretty simple, really, and you don’t need me to tell you to do this: to find stillness, you just need to take the time to sit still, every day that you can.

Find a time in the morning, when the world is still fairly quiet, to sit still. Don’t do anything, don’t plan your day, don’t check email, don’t eat. Just sit, and learn to be comfortable being still.

In practice, we’ll gradually find that comfort, and we’ll become good at it. If mornings are no good, find time during your lunch break, or after work, or just before you go to bed.

Find a place to be still. It can be a chair in your house, or a front porch, or the roof. It can be a park bench, or the beach, or a path in the woods. Let this be a ritual that you come to look forward to.

From this small place of stillness, calm will carry to the rest of your day, radiating like a soothing force. You’ll be calmer throughout the day, and learn to find little pockets of stillness everywhere: when you first start your workday, when you are ready to sit down and create, when you’re about to eat, when you are ready to exercise, during a meeting, even.

Practice, regularly. Practice, and learn. Practice stillness, and the stillness becomes a canvas upon which you can paint the masterpiece of your life.

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://www.thequietman.org/?p=79

Luis Barragán

Escalera
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Architecture Pritzker Prize: Luis Barragán’s Acceptance Speech

It is alarming that publications devoted to architecture have banished from their pages the words Beauty, Inspiration, Magic, Spellbound, Enchantment, as well as the concepts of Serenity, Silence, Intimacy and Amazement. All these have nestled in my soul, and though I am fully aware that I have not done them complete justice in my work, they have never ceased to be my guiding lights.

“It is impossible to understand Art and the glory of its history without avowing religious spirituality and the mythical roots that lead us to the very reason of being of the artistic phenomenon. Without the one or the other there would be no Egyptian pyramids nor those of ancient Mexico. Would the Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals have existed? Would the amazing marvels of the Renaissance and the Baroque have come about? …”

“In the gardens and homes designed by me, I have always endeavored to allow for the interior placid murmur of silence, and in my fountains, silence sings.”

“Only in intimate communion with solitude may man find himself. Solitude is good company and my architecture is not for those who fear or shun it.”

“Serenity is the great and true antidote against anguish and fear, and today, more than ever, it is the architect’s duty to make of it a permanent guest in the home, no matter how sumptuous or how humble. Throughout my work I have always strived to achieve serenity, but one must be on guard not to destroy it by the use of an indiscriminate palette.”

“The certainty of death is the spring of action and therefore of life, and in the implicit religious element in the work of art, life triumphs over death. ”

“It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis. … And it may not be out of place to quote another great friend of mine and of the Arts, the poet Carlos Pellicer: Through sight the good and the bad / we do perceive / Unseeing eyes / Souls deprived of hope.”

Zen Habits Simple Productivity