September 30, 2009

Zen & The Importance of Living

I have been noticing somewhat of a trend over my past blog posts and, as I love to do in my design work, I began dissecting the trend to see where the roots of it came from. Patterns aren't created out of the blue, they are small pieces that work together to form a larger structure which then creates repetition. The pattern I have been noticing in my thoughts and posts is an Asian inspired theme. From fortune cookies to sushi to woodblock printing, I realized there must be something else driving me to these sources other than sheer coincidence.

When I stopped to think about it, I realized that Zen, a western way of thinking, has been very influential in my recent life and all these things I am attracted to, whether it be yoga, sushi or just serenity, come directly from these ideas. I recently read two books that helped clarify my thoughts and I would highly recommend them. The Way of Zen, while not as entertaining as other books, really helped me to see where Zen came from and it's underlying principles.

Even more influential though was The Importance of Living. By no means does this book try to convert you to a foreign religion, surprisingly, it really has nothing to do with religion at all. It helped me to visualize the world in a different way and really stressed the importance of the small things in life. Sometimes we need to take a step back and remind ourselves of the beautiful world around us and everything we should be grateful for.


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