The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World (Hardcover)

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World By Haemin Sunim, Chi-Young Kim (Translated by), Haemin Sunim (Translated by), Youngcheol Lee (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Haemin Sunim, Chi-Young Kim (Translated by), Haemin Sunim (Translated by), Youngcheol Lee (Illustrator)
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Forbes' "Greatest Self-Help Books of All Time"

The multimillion-copy bestselling book of spiritual wisdom about the importance of slowing down in our fast-paced world, by the Buddhist author of Love for Imperfect Things

“Wise advice on how to reflect and slow down.” —Elle

Is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?

The world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to. This bestselling mindfulness guide by Haemin Sunim (which means “spontaneous wisdom”), a renowned Buddhist meditation teacher born in Korea and educated in the United States, illuminates a path to inner peace and balance amid the overwhelming demands of everyday life.

By offering guideposts to well-being and happiness in eight areas—including relationships, love, and spirituality—Haemin Sunim emphasizes the importance of forging a deeper connection with others and being compassionate and forgiving toward ourselves. The more than twenty full-color illustrations that accompany his teachings serve as calming visual interludes, encouraging us to notice that when you slow down, the world slows down with you.

About the Author

Haemin Sunim is one of the most influential Zen Buddhist teachers and writers in the world. Born in South Korea, he came to the United States to study film, only to find himself pulled into the spiritual life. Educated at UC Berkeley, Harvard, and Princeton, he received formal monastic training in Korea and taught Buddhism at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has more than a million followers on Twitter (@haeminsunim) and Facebook and is one of Spirituality & Health’s Top 10 Spiritual Leaders of the Next 20 Years and one of Greatist’s 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness. His books—The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down, which has been published in more than thirty languages, and Love for Imperfect Things—have sold more than four million copies and are popular as guides not only to meditation but also to overcoming the challenges of everyday life. When not traveling to share his teachings, Haemin Sunim lives in Seoul, where he founded the School of Broken Hearts, a nonprofit that offers group counseling and meditation for people experiencing challenges in life.

Chi-Young Kim (co-translator) is the translator of the New York Times bestselling Korean novel Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin, for which she received the Man Asian Literary Prize, and the Korean contemporary classic The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Youngcheol Lee (illustrations) is a Korean artist. His paintings have been shown in more than 150 exhibitions and are admired for their idyllic quality. You can see more of his artwork at

Praise For…

“Wonderful . . . They read almost like haikus.” —Lakshmi Singh, NPR’s All Things Considered

“Ancient Buddhist philosophy for the modern age . . . Profound but relatable wisdom on coping with the daily grind—and on keeping sight of what really matters. Leave this book on your nightstand to clear your head before bed.” —Real Simple

“Wise advice on how to reflect and slow down.” —Elle, “10 Books Kim Kardashian’s Book Club Should Read”

“Its short teachings are the perfect length for fitting into a fast-paced life. . . . It’s just the thing for a quick hit of dharma right after you wake up or before you go to sleep.” —Tricycle, “Top 9 Buddhist Books of the Year

“ ‘What I’m trying to do,’ says Sunim, ‘Marie [Kondo] is doing through a material and hands-on approach.’ When people ‘stop and pause,’ says Sunim, they ‘realize the state of their minds.’ . . . They can appreciate the joy that they are experiencing in the moment.” —KonMari Newsletter

“Ingeniously simple tips from a zen monk that’ll boost your mood, career—and relationships.” —Daily Mail
“What could have simply been a collection of homilies instead read like haiku . . . sparingly but beautifully illustrated.”  —The Telegraph

“[A] lovely, illustrated Buddhist guide to staying present. Reminiscent of The Prophet and worthy of a place on my nightstand, this book offers a calm in life’s storm.” —Allison K. Hill, Los Angeles Daily News

“I both cried and laughed while reading this bite-sized book of wisdom. . . . 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.” —Emma Koonse, Publishers Weekly “Staff Pick”

“His reminders to simply pause and breathe are welcome to anyone caught up in the hecticness of daily life.” —Metro

“Offers practical advice on everything from handling setbacks to relationships. Best for reclaiming your zen.” —Stylist

“Loving, practical, and kind, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is a beautiful reminder of the rewards of living wisely.” —Jack Kornfield, bestselling author of A Path with Heart and The Wise Heart

“This book is wonderful—straight from the heart of a wise, kind teacher. Written simply and with gentle humor, it will help you find lasting happiness in a changing world.” —Rick Hanson, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of Buddha’s Brain and Hardwiring Happiness

“Filled with gems of wisdom, this book will lift up your heart and enliven your spirit.” —Tara Brach, bestselling author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“Not only a useful and practical book, it’s a beautiful one as well. Everyone who wants to thrive more in their life should have it on their nightstand.” —Arianna Huffington

“I believe this elegant book will help heal a river of grief that runs through our entire nation, just below the surface, everywhere I go. People ache for time with those they love, with friends and family, with nature. My hope is that everyone who opens this book will immediately find some passage, some way into a secret garden of slow time, where things of great beauty and truth grow, and blossom, in effortless abundance. It is a glorious refuge—a timely, welcome escape from the pervasive trance of ordinary, relentlessly productive time.” —Wayne Muller, bestselling author of Sabbath and A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down proves what the Wise have always taught: As goes our attention, so comes our experience. The more we attend to living in the present moment, the richer becomes our experience of it . . . and of our own higher possibilities.” —Guy Finley, bestselling author of The Secret of Letting Go

“Full of insightful and practical advice—and wonderfully portable, like a daily guidebook. I read it with great interest.” —Bhante Gunaratana, author of Mindfulness in Plain English

“A book for our time—filled with universal truths, beautifully expressed and lovingly illustrated. Every short paragraph is self-contained—each its own seed sending roots into the deepest and most timeless wisdom. This is a book to keep close at hand.” —Mark Williams, co-author of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World

“Haemin Sunim has offered us a remarkable gift, a compendium of practical wisdom. It is accessible brilliance.” —Allan Lokos, founder and guiding teacher, Community Meditation Center, NYC; author of Through the Flames, Patience, and Pocket Peace

“Haemin Sunim’s book has a place in my backpack now. When I read it at the coffee shop, my coffee break becomes a meditation break. At bedtime, it brings me peace. And in the morning it inspires me.” —Joseph Emet, author of Finding the Blue Sky and Buddha’s Book of Meditation

“What a blessing this book is; I am so glad it’s in the world. Absolute wisdom.” —Nancy Colier, author of The Power of Off

“Full of wisdom and love, this is a book to keep as a dear companion. Hold it close. With its simple yet deeply profound messages, it will become a wise friend to turn to again and again. Haemin Sunim bridges East and West in his own life story and his writing. Truly this is a gem.” —Vidyamala Burch, founder and codirector of Breathworks and coauthor of You Are Not Your Pain

“A remarkable guide to how to live a life of unpretentious authenticity and compassionate engagement. In Haemin Sunim’s brief essays and aphorisms, the insights of Buddhism have fully become the stuff of life itself.” —Robert Buswell, Director of Buddhist Studies, UCLA

“Perfect for readers looking for a respite from busy lives and tumultuous times . . . Sunim evokes a calm assuredness in his philosophy, reminiscent of Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran.” —Publishers Weekly

“An antidote to the polarization that has gripped our waking lives: It’s quiet, meditative, radical in its simplicity, and organized into relatable bite-size chapters that will have you breathing easier and appreciating the small things in life. Few books have the power to pull us out of our indignant turrets and cynical worldviews like this one.” —Signature

“Visually and literarily breathtaking . . . Akin to Aesop’s fables, full of simple truths . . . The aphoristic rather than affirmative content sets this book apart from others in the self-help category. . . . The verses look to the eye as lovely as they ring to the ear. The white space surrounding these verses emphasizes their simultaneous simplicity and profundity. . . . Sometimes the images are Chagall-esque in their metaphysical approach. Sometimes they’re Impressionistic. Always, they gorgeously represent the content on the pages. . . . Whether you are a fan of self-help, into Zen practice, a Buddhist, or none of those things, this book shows it’s all there for the taking: mindfulness, self-awareness, and a little daily peace.” —Korean Literature Now
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143130772
ISBN-10: 0143130773
Publisher: Penguin Life
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English