Life is busy. Sometimes there seems to be no way to escape that reality. Not only do we have persistent demands on our time, but there is also the constant bombardment of information that we have access to on a daily basis. Our brains are often so overloaded that we literally have no time to think. In order to make sense of all the input we receive it is important to allow time to process and consolidate. By slowing down we can discover the benefits of making time for contemplation.
Having more time in life for contemplation can have a wide range of benefits. For me, exploring ideas and philosophies is one of my favourite pastimes. I like having a personal philosophy which continually evolves the more I learn. I’ve always been fascinated by the thoughts of others, and the wisdom they have to offer. Now that I am not so frantically busy all the time I have time to ponder some of the more important questions in life, such as:
- Who am I?
- What is the meaning of life?
- What is happiness?
- Is anything actually real?
- What would a life well lived really look like?
When we approach life with an open mind, always willing to learn from those who have gone before us, we can develop the capacity for wisdom and have a richer experience of life. By prioritising time to think, contemplate and consider, we are in a position to better understand both ourselves and our place in the world. There are many different philosophies and ideas that can help inspire and inform both a life less busy, and a life well lived.
Dedicating time to learning about and exploring different cultures can be a richly rewarding process. Eastern Philosophy and culture is once place I find the inspiration to follow a more simple and meaningful path in life. Whether it is in the teachings of Taoism and Zen Buddhism, or embracing the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, there are gems of wisdom that motivate me to become a better person and live a simpler, more meaningful life.
The picture above is of two pandas that I photographed while travelling in China back in 1999. Their black and white markings remind me of my favourite symbol the Yin Yang and the concept that all things are cyclic. I particularly love the way the larger panda is sitting in this photo…just chilling out and contemplating life. The pandas remind me that things are constantly changing and that the best way to manage life is to just relax and go with the flow.