The Virtue of Slowing Down

© October 2015, by Prashant Shah, spiritual-living.in

Quote from a song by Simon & Garfunkel: “Slow down, you move too fast; you’ve got to make the moment last; just sitting around and kicking the corner stone; looking for fun and feeling groovy.”

In the modern world people try to get things done fast and play busy. Hence, we show the great virtue of moving slowly and not hurrying through life.

Tortise

 

When we are at peace with ourselves, we rarely choose to be in a hurry. Hence, hurrying up is an egoistic movement that pushes us to get things done, as though that is all that matters right now. But when we keep on hurrying, our life becomes superficial. Although we can be satisfied with the results we have for a while, the joy does not last. Soon we become dissatisfied or bored and begin to rush into doing something else. Let us try to understand why this happens.

When we rush, we act like an automaton or a machine. Then we are consumed by doing things that can increase the ‘quantity’, but not the ‘quality’ of our life. Further, it makes us respond to the ego’s wants and not to the deeper wants of our true, inner being. Then, we don’t seek the joy from living, but we seek it from getting more money or more power. It can give us some temporary satisfaction, but we have to keep on chasing things to sustain it.

When we slow down our pace of life and combine it with a devotional attitude, we can access a spiritual presence that is itself joyful and filled with wisdom. On the other hand, when we combine hurrying up with personal ambition, we view our life through the lens of fear, scarcity and competition. Then we cannot trust life and allow it to look after us. Instead, we have to cope with our fears and insecurities by constantly pushing ourselves to do something. It gets us caught up in the ego’s world, where we can never be at rest or just be. It makes us we lose our touch with a spiritual presence which seems to tell us all is going to be well.

If we are truly thoughtful, we can understand that our life is much more than just getting things done; that there has to be something deeper and more mysterious behind all this outer activity that makes sense of the drama of our life. We can intuitively begin to understand that there is a spiritual presence behind the happenings of life; and that it is guiding us to move us naturally and spontaneously in various ways.

However, as long as we keep on hurrying through our activities, we march to the drumbeat of our ego. Then we don’t notice what else is there besides the ego’s voice in our head; and we don’t notice the spiritual presence at the core of our being that is continuously seeking to guide us.

Further, we don’t take the time to do the little things that this spiritual presence suggests — like just hanging around peacefully; being patient with other people; playing with animals or children, being present to the situation that you are in; or simply sending off a kind email to a friend. The ego doesn’t initiate such acts because it does not perceive any value in them. Such acts are motivated by our spiritual being, and not by our ego.

The strange thing is that when we slow down, we actually find the time to do such little things. We do them because it makes us feel good about doing them. We feel that doing such things is worthwhile. However, if we keep up a fast pace of life, we only amplify the ego’s voice that says: “Hurry up; you still have a lot more to do; you’ll never get it done in time; you didn’t do that well; you cannot have the time for doing such little things…

The voice of the ego not only disconnects us from the ‘quiet voice of our higher consciousness’, but it also keeps us stressed-out and not feeling too good about ourselves. So, when we find that we have gotten into such a state, all we have to do to regain our perspective is to simply slow down. It will make us look at life through different eyes and feel it with a different heart. Then, instead of being lost in the ego’s ideas about what our life should look like, we can accept life as it is and as it comes. It will make our life more joyful, meaningful and valuable to us and to others.

If you enjoyed this blog post, we’d like to know. Thanks.

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Published by

Prashant Shah

He was educated in science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) and University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC, USA). During his student days he learnt Mysticism from Shri Nyaya Sharma, a Master of Shiva Tantra Yoga. He offers Spiritual Guidance through Darshana Centre, a School of Yoga-Mysticism at Baroda, India. He learnt Homoeopathy from Post Graduate Homoeopathic Association, Bombay, has healing hands and uses Pranic Healing. He learnt entrepreneurial skills through EKS, an Advanced Management Diploma Program offered by ‘Mewes Systems’ of Frankfurt, Germany. He uses EKS and Vedic Astrology to do Counselling. He conducts ‘spiritual awareness workshops’ regularly in USA and from time to time in India. He is an Author of many self-help and spiritual books and a Speaker on related subjects. He writes and speaks clearly, in simple language, and from personal experience. He has written the books: The Crisis of Modern Humanity (1976); Essence of Hindu Astrology (1987); and his more recent publications are The Art of Awakening the Soul (2011), Healing without Drugs (2014), Solving the Problems of Life (2015), The Biochemic Prescriber (2016), and How to Restore your Health Naturally (2017). These are available from the Amazon and Kindle online bookstores.

13 thoughts on “The Virtue of Slowing Down”

  1. wonderful post. doing things slowly does reduce anxiety. but doing things slowly on a regular(daily) basis is what i find it difficult. I’ll keep trying.

    thanks for the article.

  2. Given the increasing pace of modern life with its constant demands on one’s attention, this insightful article is very timely. By doing things deliberately more slowly, one feels a greater sense of ‘awareness in the present moment’. It reduces tension by moving the thought process from being time-bound to doing what one feels is appropriate for that moment. My psychology is moving from thinking of so many things I have to do in a given amount of time, to what are the fewer satisfying things I can do in the same time. I am creating more inner space for myself.

  3. I have always greatly benefited from the articles and am a regular/repeat reader of them.They carry a presence that has come from behind the mind and hence feel that going through them and bringing them into practice subtly leads to spiritual progress. Coming to this article on slowing down things; I loved the way it conveys the message in a simple and striking way.

  4. Nice article and very timely as it resonates with me right now. Slowing down, being present, and appreciating the joy of living. Allowing space and time for the inner voice to come through beyond material pursuit – feeling with a different heart, as you describe. Is it possible to live in a balance of these principles and achieve worldly pursuits at the same time?

    1. Yes, it is possible. But it takes some doing (practice). Further, there is a change in the inner reason for doing your tasks. And that amounts to spiritual progress.
      It’s good if the article has got you thinking.
      Prashant

  5. Slowing down automatically makes life enjoyable. Rushing may save time or help achieve more material gains but all this leaves the person exhausted & worn out. Therefore except in rare emergency situations, hurrying is not only harmful but it will also deny the person even basic pleasure of life. Slowing down permits time to time better introspection, reduces errors of judgment, make work enjoyable and also helps spiritual maturation. Doing what is most specific, properly, timely and slowly would surely give us bountiful joy of living.

  6. Respected sir
    I read your book solving the problem.it was wonderful.Also I read the articles given at the end of this book.I very much liked five stages of development & the virtue of slowing down.They were ultimate,inspired me a lot.
    Thank you so much.

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