Life Peace by Piece

The Art of Stillness

“We travel this world not only to move around in it, but to be moved…” – Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer has spent over 30 years observing culture, stillness, and movement in his travels around the globe. In his 15-minute talk on the Ted stage, he shares insight into “how both travelling the world and going nowhere” can equally enrich our lives.

Travel is known for nurturing fresh perspectives. Being still allows for cultivating deeper self-awareness; both evolve how we experience the world. Iyer reminds us how important it is not to travel just to “see the sights,” but to really stand still in them, taking them from plain sight to insight.

Personally, this talk took me back to my mid-twenties. I was pursuing a degree, nurturing a budding marriage, and my career required a lot of travel. There was plenty of movement! It was in that time that I stumbled upon stillness over a long international flight, staring out at the clouds. I met it again on a solitary walk through a bird sanctuary in Foz De Iguacu, fully present. I repeatedly met it working in countries where I didn’t understand a word, which gave me valuable time alone. It was during this time of travelling, setting foot in 30 countries inside the time of 3 years, that I found stillness and truly met myself.

You can find conversations with Pico Iyer at On Being, and watch his talk on the Ted stage.




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