A book by Haemin Sunim
The things you can only see when you slow down is about the importance of slowing down in our increasingly fast-paced existence.
An easy read and a great book to pick up and put down frequently, it is filled with bite sized chunks of wisdom and poignant insights. These are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Youngcheol Lee, which provide excellent pauses for thought in themselves.
Haemin Sunim is one of the most influential Zen Buddhist teachers and writers in South Korea. He went to the States (UC Berkley, Harvard and Princetown) to study film but then went back to Korea for monastic training before returning to the US to teach Buddhism. He now lives in Seoul, though travels widely and his book has sold more than 3 million copies. Despite his enlightened approach, he is also very much in touch with modern society (he has over a million followers on twitter) but chooses his own path.
Written with a touch of humour, a lot of insight and invoking feelings similar to those when engaging with a wise older relative….it is as thought-provoking as it is practical!
The book is focused on ways to embrace and appreciate everyday moments. It has eight short chapters with topics including rest, relationships, life, and spirituality. Each chapter is introduced with the authors experience and perspective and followed by a collection of thoughts, observations and everyday advice.
My recommendation is to read a few pages at a time and spend some time dwelling and absorbing the words you have read rather than reading it as a novel. You may wish to keep a pen handy to note your own thoughts and feelings and a highlighter to record those words that resonate with you most!
This is a perfect book for your bag or the car or coffee table. So portable and easy to dip into for a lift in your day or some perspective.
Central to Haemin Sumin’s approach to life is the need to take notice, appreciate what we have and approach each day with compassion for ourselves and others.
I’d like to finish this with a few of my favourite words from the author himself.
“Those who work in a playful, relaxed manner tend to work efficiently and creatively. Those who work nonstop, driven only by stress, work without joy.
To keep doing your work for a long time, do not treat it just as work. View it as a source of enjoyment and growth.
The road to happiness lies not just in finding a good job, but also in learning to enjoy what you are asked to do. “
“Everything in this universe is evanescent.
Because it is evanescent it is also precious.
Spend this precious moment wisely. “
“Dream big but start small. A small adjustment can have a big affect on your life.
For example, if you want to be healthier then start by going to bed half an hour earlier.
If you want to lose weight, then start by drinking water instead of soda.
If you have an important project to complete, then start by getting your desk organised”
“Your freedom is more important than money.
It is better to live the kind of life you want than to earn more and be constrained.
Don’t sell your freedom”
“Just because our eyes are open, does not mean we are awake”
“We can be consumed by anger for a long time without realising we are angry.
Similarly, we are easily lost in thought without knowing we have been thinking”
“When we look at the outside world, we are looking at only a small part that interests us. The world is not the entire universe but a limited one that the mind cares about.”
“When you hear something that makes your blood boil, don’t shoot off a text or an email right away. A wise person sleeps on it. An instant emotional reaction often leads to regrettable outcomes.”
“A VERY modern dilemma: There are countless television channels but nothing interesting to watch. Too many choices make people unhappy.”
“To get food unstuck from a frying pan, just pour water in the pan and wait. After a while the food loosens on its own. Don’t struggle to heal your wounds. Just pour time into your heart and wait. When your wounds are ready, they will heal on their own.”
I hope you may be inspired to allow this book to help you connect and slow down. Do let us know how you get on 🙂
Mindful Pathway offer courses in the practice of Mindfulness for the general public and in house in companies – for more info, visit our homepage.