Author(s): Pico Iyer
Part of the TED series: The Art of Stillness In this age of constant movement and connectedness, when so many of us are all over the place, perhaps staying in one place - and locating everything we need for peace and happiness there - is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before. Through his extensive interviews with creative geniuses of our day, as well as historical records and his own life experience, acclaimed author Pico Iyer paints a picture of why so many have found such richness in stillness and how - from Marcel Proust to Blaise Pascal to Phillipe Starck - they've gathered such rare and exhilarating fruits there. He explores the counter-intuitive truth: the more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. In both The Art of Stillnessand his captivating TEDTALK Where is Home?, Iyer reflects that this is perhaps the reason why more and more people - even those with no religious commitment - seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or tai chi. These aren't New Age fads so much as ways to connect with what could be called the wisdom of an earlier age. There is even a growing trend toward observing an "Internet sabbath" every week, turning off online connections from Friday night to Monday morning, so as to try to revive those ancient customs known as family meals and conversation.
Pico Iyer is a British born essayist and novelist with an entirely singular sensibility. His various books are linked by his interest in cultural crossroads and the values that transcend boundaries. He has established himself as major presence in culture life of Japan, where he is based, and in the United States, (where he lives during part of the year) Britain (where he was educated), and India where his family traces its roots. An Oxford graduate, he taught at Harvard and is one of few writers whose work, like his interests, transcend cultures.