|The Joy of Less - Happy Days Blog - NYTimes.com|
by bucy at 5:13 pm EDT, Jun 8, 2009
So — as post-1960s cliché decreed — I left my comfortable job and life to live for a year in a temple on the backstreets of Kyoto. My high-minded year lasted all of a week, by which time I’d noticed that the depthless contemplation of the moon and composition of haiku I’d imagined from afar was really more a matter of cleaning, sweeping and then cleaning some more. But today, more than 21 years later, I still live in the vicinity of Kyoto, in a two-room apartment that makes my old monastic cell look almost luxurious by comparison. I have no bicycle, no car, no television I can understand, no media — and the days seem to stretch into eternities, and I can’t think of a single thing I lack.
|The Joy of Less|
by noteworthy at 7:29 am EDT, Jun 9, 2009
It seems that happiness, like peace or passion, comes most freely when it isn’t pursued.
I have no bicycle, no car, no television I can understand, no media — and the days seem to stretch into eternities, and I can’t think of a single thing I lack.
I remember how, in the corporate world, I always knew there was some higher position I could attain, which meant that, like Zeno’s arrow, I was guaranteed never to arrive and always to remain dissatisfied.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers freedom to security, who feels more comfortable in a small room than a large one and who finds that happiness comes from matching your wants to your needs, then running to stand still isn’t where your joy lies.
Even as a kid, I enjoyed focusing. I took a lot of pleasure in concentrating on things. You can’t be happy all the time, but you can pretty much focus all the time. That’s about as good as it gets.
Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
Alain de Botton:
It isn’t that love and work are invariably incapable of delivering fulfillment—only that they almost never do for too long.
We are not stressed because we have no time, but rather, we have no time because we are stressed.
Happiness exists just around the corner, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get there.
There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.
I would rather raise a few eyebrows, curse the occasional payphone, and miss out on some parties than to spoil my necessary concentration and even boredom with phone calls I know I couldn't resist fielding or placing.
As cures for boredom have proliferated, people do not seem to feel less bored; they simply flee it with more energy.
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