pico iyer

pico iyer bw

my home – whatever i carried around inside me

the beauty of being surrounded by the foreign –

it slaps you awake

less about where you came from and more about where you are going

home isn’t just the place you happen to be born – it’s the place you become yourself

movement is only as good as the sense of stillness you can bring to it to put it into perspective

9:40 – ..3 days in silence, and something in him cooled down, and cleared out – 

he found himself

the silence wasn’t an absence of noise, but a presence of energy

i did what is hardest for me to do usually – which is – 

nothing at all

that man is poor not who has little but who hankers after more – seneca

that man is poor

only by stopping movement that you can see where to go

only by stepping out of life and the world that you can see what you most deeply care about and

find a home

movement is a fantastic privilege, …, but movement ultimately only has a meaning if you have a home to go back to, and home, in the end, is of course not just a place where you sleep, it’s –

a place where you stand.


the art of stillness tedsalonny 2014:

develop the most attentive eyes – by sitting still…

by going nowhere – in order to sit still long enough to find out what moves you most to recall where your truest happiness lies, and to realize that something making a living and making  a life point in opposite directions

trip to korea – lasted 2 days… the learning from it – reflecting on it – has lasted 24 yrs

one of our greatest luxuries – the empty space

room to breathe

it’s the time i’ve spent going nowhere that’s going to sustain me.. allows you to bring stillness into the moment

something in us is crying out for the sense of intimacy and depth that we get from people like that who take the time and trouble to sit still

it’s only by stepping back and then further back and holding still that we can begin to see what the canvas means and to catch the larger picture. a few people do that for us by going nowhere.

imagine 7 billion + people doing that everyday.

in an age of acceleration.. nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. in an age of distraction nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. in an age of constant movement nothing is so urgent as sitting still.

if you want to come back home, alive, full of fresh hope, in love with the world… you might want to try considering going nowhere.


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Pico Iyer (born 1957) is a British-born essayist and novelist of Indian origin. He is the author of numerous books on crossing cultures including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul. An essayist for Time since 1986, he also publishes regularly in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and many other publications.



money ness


hospitality oikos cosmo




the missing piece


tedsummit 2016 – The beauty of what we’ll never know

the secret point of travel: to take a plunge.. to go inwardly/outwardly to places you’d never go otherwise.. to venture into uncertainty/ambiguity/fear..

at home.. it’s dangerously easy to assume we’re on top of things.. out in world.. you are reminded every moment that you’re not.. everywhere people wish to be settled.. emerson: only as far as we’re unsettled..is there any hope for us

at some point .. knowledge gives out.. and that is the moment your life is truly decided…ie: fall in love.. lose a friend.. lights go out.. then.. is when you find out who you are..

i don’t believe that ignorance is bliss

when a mathematician tells me.. -3x -3 makes nine.. that’s a kind of logic that feels like trust

the opp of knowledge isn’t always ignorance.. could be wonder/possibility.. i’ve found.. it’s the things i don’t know that life me up more.. brought me closer to everyone around me

the one thing daili lama said that gave people reassurance/confidence.. was.. i don’t know..

the daniel khannamen.. we are always much more confident of what we think we know than what we should be.. we have an unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance..

most of time..we’re in the dark.. and that’s where real intimacy lies..

adam and eve.. never die if eating from tree of life.. but as soon as ate from knowledge of good/evil..

when i was a kid.. i knew it all..  underneath.. something i couldn’t understand.. so moved me.. that i decided to go live in japan.. now that i’ve been there for 28 yrs.. i couldn’t tell you much at all about my adopted home.. which means it’s open to new discoveries…

knowledge is a priceless gift .. but the illusion of knowledge can be more dangerous than ignorance.. ie: thinking you know lover/enemy.. more treacherous than acknowledging you’ll never know them..

one thing i’ve learned.. transformation comes when i’m not in charge..

first law of travel/life: you’re only as strong as your readiness to surrender..

in the end.. being human much more important than being fully in the know..



Going nowhere, as Cohen described it, was the grand adventure that makes sense of everywhere else.