Bookbed recommends: ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down’ by Haemin Sunim

by Rhoshniyan Sudario

The world always seems to be so busy, whether it’s online or in the real world. Nowadays, we rarely see someone slow down. In this book written by Haemin Sunim, a Zen Buddhist monk born in South Korea, it is said that how we see the world is based on our state of mind.

“When your mind is joyful and compassionate, the world is, too. When your mind is filled with negative thoughts, the world appears negative, too. When you are overwhelmed and busy, remember that you are not powerless. When your mind rests, the world also rests.”

This is the first gift I bought for myself so it has a special place in my heart. Out of all the books I’ve read, this is the best one not only because I bought it but because every time I pick it up, it manages to calm me down and helps me experience life again. The simplicity of the book and the beautiful illustrations inside make it even more captivating and interesting. 

Ever since I was very young, I have always found myself as an overthinker. My mind seems to be always occupied with things happening, whether it’s about what I’m going to do at school the next week, the things I said before to other people, or some things that happened to me in the past. Instead, I thought it would be better to be busy than to do all this overthinking. 

But when the pandemic hit, so many thoughts came to mind since I’ve just been at home. Reading this book allowed me to slowly get rid of those thoughts, slow down, and focus on what really matters in life. I realized there were many things I didn’t notice before while I was busy being busy. When I focused on the present instead of worrying about the future or dwelling in the past, I saw the beauty of the things around me as they are. Everything became more colorful and full of life. It reminded me of how precious I am and that I need to value myself more. I also tend to get my best ideas—whether it’s for my business, school, or essays—when I take the time to appreciate the things around me and when I’m mindful of the things happening in the present. 

This book taught me so much about life and it also made me realize what it truly means to live. It’s filled with pieces of advice and words of wisdom about mindfulness, relationships, passion, love, and life. Now that I’ve finished the book, I thought about how I couldn’t just put it back on the shelf and leave it there to be covered with dust. It’s a book I want to read over and over again because once is not enough to remind me every day to slow down. I’m not perfect and there are also plenty of  things happening in my life so I read at least one random page a day to remind me that my mind needs to be quiet, and to remind myself that the world is beautiful as is.

As much as I want to tell you more things, I don’t want to spoil everything about the book. Instead, I hope you pick this up and just have fun reading this book. You can write notes, form your own realization, or do anything that would help you have a great experience with the book. Whatever you do is okay. I’m leaving you now with my favorite quote from the book:

“You are beautiful not because you are better than others but because there is only you who can smile like that. May you fall in love with your unique self.” ☁️

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