Jewels from the Zen master

13 Mar|Tom Hodgkinson

In advance of our event with Zen Buddhist¬†monk Haenim Sunim on Wednesday 15 March, we thought we’d run a few short selections from his best-selling book, The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down (Penguin Life). As you can see, being idle is an important skill.

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Those who work in a playful, relaxed manner tend to work efficiently and creatively. Those who work non-stop, driven only by stress, work without joy.

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It is important that you work hard, but don’t be enamoured of the feeling of working hard. If you are drunk on that feeling, then you care less about the actual work than about how you appear to others to be working hard.

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A cruel irony: the reward for someone who works hard is more work.

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When you wake up in the morning, say to yourself: “I won’t spend today passively, just doing what others tell me to do. I will take the lead and forge my own destiny!”

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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.

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Only when we slow down can we finally see our relationships, our thoughts, our pain. As we slow down, we are no longer tangled in them. We can step out and appreciate them for what they are.

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Come and see Heanim Sunim live in conversation with Tom Hodgkinson on Wednesday 15 March, 6.30pm. You will have the chance to put your questions to Heanim, and also to pick up a signed copy of his book. Click here for more info