slowing down and keeping quiet

im writing this from mysore. im here practicing yoga with Sharath, Pathabhi Jois’s grandson. i wake up at five, read the papers, have a cup of coffee, and then head to the shala for practice. in the afternoon, after lunch, i spend a few hours writing. once it cools down, its time for a walk ( and some poi fun:)). by nine, its time for bed. small town living, small pleasures.

Made me think of a piece by Pico Iyer, The Joy of Quiet ( a lovely read)  in the NYTimes.

The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

When telegraphs and trains brought in the idea that convenience was more important than content — and speedier means could make up for unimproved ends — Henry David Thoreau reminded us that “the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages.” Even half a century ago, Marshall McLuhan, who came closer than most to seeing what was coming, warned, “When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself.” Thomas Merton struck a chord with millions, by not just noting that “Man was made for the highest activity, which is, in fact, his rest,” but by also acting on it, and stepping out of the rat race and into a Cistercian cloister.

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