If you follow me on this blog, you will probably enjoy these three links I’m loving at the moment:
1. A stressful work week and a tense neck led me to planning a retreat at the Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York, for a peaceful weekend of extreme simple living. Google let me know I wasn’t alone when it suggested I read this New York Times article about a trend of stressed out New Yorkers who go on minimalist retreats at monasteries and ashrams in upstate to escape the plight of constant noise and inescapable busy-ness that comes with living in NYC. A growing number of non-Buddhist people from the city are seeking refuge in these places to live more minimally, to (re)discover zen and its benefits. Visitors partake in communal activities mostly in silence; only talk when necessary; spend hours doing simple chores: cooking and cleaning mindfully, and practice yoga and meditation. Visitors are not allowed to use electronics and are encouraged to dress in neutral colors. All meals are made communally and use only organic vegetables often grown locally. A few years back, I stayed at an Ashram for one week while I was in India and experienced something similar although probably a bit more extreme. It was a worthwhile experience. I am so happy to discover that this is available nearby to me now.
2. I also stumbled across this great post by Leo Babauta at ZenHabits on how Zen Buddhist philosophies can be helpful to your life, even if you don’t consider yourself Buddhist and recognize that you will never be one. It’s a worthwhile read, I promise.
3. And if you are like me, you will love seeing Agnes Martin’s grid-like patterns on a special line of cos shirts for men and women. I found this via A Journal, a blog I highly recommend for the best in contemporary art and design. I saw drawings by Agnes Martin at the Dia Beacon Museum recently and fell in love with her elegant use of lines and natural simplistic materials. Although I don’t consider Cos to be an ethical brand via their relationship with H&M, I find solace in the fact that some of the profits go to the Agnes Martin Foundation. I’m seriously considering buying this linen shirt for the fall season and to use it as a light jacket in the Spring months. It would probably look great even with wrinkles, which normally deters me from buying linens.