The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down Book Summary - The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down Book explained in key points
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The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down summary

Haemin Sunim

How to Be Calm in a Busy World

4.6 (536 ratings)
16 mins
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    The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
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    When your mind rests, the world rests.

    Have you ever become so engrossed in a project that everything else ceases to exist? The rest of the world hasn’t gone away, of course. But our perspective has focused with such clarity that the project in front of us feels like the entire universe. This, for Buddhists, is just one example of how much our mind controls the world around us. 

    Our reality consists only of what our mind chooses to focus on at that moment. It isn’t the situation we find ourselves in that’s making us happy or unhappy, anxious, or relaxed. It’s our perspective on the situation that’s creating those feelings. 

    The key message here is: When your mind rests, the world rests.

    More often than not, it’s our perception of things that happened in the past or things that may happen in the future that drives negative thoughts and emotions. But we can’t control or change the past or the future. So why worry about them? Why allow our perception of them to make us unhappy? 

    The only thing we can control is what’s happening right now. So release those thoughts of the past and future, and allow our waves of emotion to flow freely. They’ll heal themselves and disappear in due course.

    Focusing on the present means practicing awareness. If you’re feeling stressed, be aware of that stress. If you’re feeling angry, be aware of your anger. It doesn’t do any good to bury it. Awareness brings clarity and purity back into our lives. Negative emotions are temporary. They dissipate quickly once we shine the light of awareness on them.

    An excellent way to manage your stress level is to simply make a list of everything in your life that’s causing you anxiety. Write down everything you need to get done, from minor, everyday chores like washing the dishes to bigger goals like changing your career. Writing them down removes them from your mind and contains all of your worries on a single sheet of paper. Once you’ve written them down, go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, you can begin to tackle them one by one.

    Self-awareness must come from within. Reframing our perception of the world to focus on the here and now is the first step on the journey toward enlightenment.

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    What is The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down about?

    The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down (2012) explains how our fast-paced world can easily become overwhelming. Even minor setbacks can seem catastrophic, making the bigger problems all the more devastating. By practicing mindfulness and compassion with ourselves and others, we allow ourselves the space necessary to slow down, breathe, and discover genuine, lasting happiness. 

    Who should read The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down?

    • Anyone feeling overwhelmed by work, family, relationships, or life in general 
    • Busy professionals who need to be reminded to take time off
    • Everyone seeking balance in these hectic, tumultuous times

    About the Author

    Haemin Sunim is one of the most influential Zen Buddhist teachers and writers in the world. He has over one million followers on Twitter and Facebook. His books, including Love for Imperfect Things, have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold over four million copies worldwide.

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