This book is a TED book, i.e. a book paired with a TED talk so that ideas mentioned in the talk are explored in a little more detail. At the same time, TED books are intended to be short so that one can comfortably read it one sitting. This book is about 75 pages. The author gives various anecdotes from his life and encourages the reader to find “Nowhere” in one’s daily/weekly schedule so as to practice “Stillness”.
It’s only by taking myself away from clutter and distraction that I can begin to hear something out of earshot and recall that listening is much more invigorating than giving voice to all the thoughts and prejudices that anyway keep me company twenty-four hours a day. And it’s only by going nowhere — by sitting still or letting my mind relax — that I find that the thoughts that come to me unbidden are far fresher and more imaginative than the ones I consciously seek out. Setting an auto-response on my e-mail, turning off the TV when I’m on the treadmill, trying to find a quiet place in the midst of a crowded day or city – all quickly open up an unsuspected space
When friends ask me for suggestions about where to go on vacation, I‘ll sometimes ask if they want to try Nowhere, especially if they don’t want to have to deal with visas and injections and long lines at the airport. One of the beauties of Nowhere is that you never know where you’ll end up when you head in its direction, and though the horizon is unlimited, you may have very little sense of what you’ll see along the way. The deeper blessing is that it can get you as wide-awake, exhilarated, and pumping-hearted as when you are in love.
— Pico Iyer