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May 2022

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The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Anyone who feels a bit overwhelmed by life. Anyone who doesn’t, but still wants some suggestions for how to slow down and calm down.

In a nutshell:
Buddhist monk and professor Sunim offers reflections on ways to more deeply experience different aspects of life: rest, mindfulness, passion, relationships, love, life, the future, and spirituality.

Worth quoting:
“Unless we recognize the still point beneath the surface of our changing emotions, we will feel we are hostage to their whims.”

“When you make a mistake, simply ask yourself what you were meant to learn from it.”

Why I chose it:
Life is a lot right now. Right now? Always? Who knows. But I’d rather enjoy what I can than stress about what I cannot change, and I’m always looking for fresh (or reliable) takes on how to do that.

Review:
A book on slowing down that actively makes the reader feel calm? Sounds like a good book. And it is.

As I mentioned above, the book is split into eight sections, and each section includes a couple of short essays, and then some quotes or brief reflections / statements. They are a bit all over the place, but not in a bad way. It’s not so much a book of inspirational quotes; it’s more like a collection of somewhat related thoughts that the author wants to share with the reader. It feels almost like poetry, but it isn’t, at least not in the traditional sense.

Reading this book gave me more of a feeling than an intellectual reaction, if that makes sense. Some words rung true and are things I already incorporate into how I live my life; others were new and things I wanted to try to take on. And still others – nope. Couldn’t relate, can’t relate, or just disagree. But that’s okay. Everything is not for everyone.

The book also includes some lovely illustrations. Usually I sort of glance over such illustrations, but they are interesting and a bit fantastical and calming as anything. A cool addition to what is already a nice reading experience.

Will I all of a sudden be calmer, less stressed, more able to see the things that matter in the world? Probably not. But I think this book, and other like it, move me in that direction.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Recommend to a Friend + Keep

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