Following the outcome of the presidential election last week, I both cried and laughed while reading this bite-sized book of wisdom. Haemin Sunim, a Buddhist monk, gently combines philosophy with spiritual insight in his treatment of political differences and anger.
The book centers on ways to recognize lovely moments that happen every day, such as a child’s smile. It's comprised of eight short chapters that cover rest, relationships, spirituality, and more—making it easy for even the busiest reader to pick up. Sunim’s words are profound but familiar, simple but artful, and each chapter feels more like a conversation with a thoughtful, loving friend than reading another book on mindfulness.
Sunim, a native of South Korea who was educated in Boston and Northern California, makes poignant observations of Americans while also sharing personal reflections of his own life, even explaining why he became a monk. The book comes with detailed, whimsical illustrations of nature by Youngcheol Lee which serve as interludes between meditations—colorful reminders to pause and absorb the words.
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World has already sold over three million copies in South Korea, and the book goes on sale in the U.S. on Feb. 7 via Penguin. In the words of the debut author, may this book “inspire you to connect with the kinder and wiser side of yourself.”