By: Robert Kull
Book Overview: Years after losing his lower right leg in a motorcycle crash, Robert Kull traveled to a remote island in Patagonia’s coastal wilderness with equipment and supplies to live alone for a year. He sought to explore the effects of deep solitude on the body and mind and to find the spiritual answers he’d been seeking all his life. With only a cat and his thoughts as companions, he wrestled with inner storms while the wild forces of nature raged around him. The physical challenges were immense, but the struggles of mind and spirit pushed him even further.
“The majesty of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas made his heart beat faster and, for one long moment, took his breath away. He felt a oneness with his surroundings, a kind of kinship that two old friends might enjoy after many years spent listening to each other’s innermost thoughts and laughing at each other’s jokes. The fresh mountain air cleared his mind and energized his spirit. Having travelled the world many times over, [he] had thought he had seen it all. But he had never seen beauty like this. The wonders of which he drank at that magical time were an exquisite tribute to the symphony of nature. At once he felt joyous, exhilarated and carefree. It was here, high above the humanity below, that [he] slowly ventured out of the cocoon of the ordinary and began to explore the realm of the extraordinary.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. Because everyone is.” ~ David McCullough
“Almost every day we are asked to extend the range of our acquaintance with life. It is one of several ways to live intensely, and it is also a way to prepare for death. For death is the ultimate stranger. This is not necessarily a morbid thought, because only by allowing death to play a role in daily life do we really live. Opening to another society or another individual – they are two levels of culture – we die a little death in relation to what has become familiar. But those little deaths create openings to new life.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
“When we are living only a portion of what a human being is capable of, our lives are incomplete. I don’t mean that we each have to do everything possible in life, but that the more possibilities we can imagine, the richer our lives will be. Defending ourselves against the stranger is a way of keeping out our own potentiality. The diminishment of our acquaintances is a diminishment of ourselves. The most challenging stranger is life itself, or the soul, the face and source of vitality. Life is always presenting new possibilities ,and we may fear that bountifulness. It may seem safer to be content with what we have and what we are, and so we cling to the status quo. But in these matters there is no convenient plateau. When we refuse a new offering of life, we develop emotional calluses. The habit of acting from fear sets in quickly and becomes steadily more rigid. Refusing life, we become attendants of death.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
By: Pico Iyer
Book Overview: Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still.
“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating that going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still. You can go on vacation to Hawaii or New Orleans three months from now, and you’ll have a tremendous time, I’m sure. But if you want to come back feeling new – alive and full of fresh hope and in love with the world – I think the place to visit may be Nowhere.” ~ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness