Tag Archive: busy-ness

June 11, 2015

Beyond “Active Laziness”

“One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call ‘crazy-busy.'”

Brene Brown


Image from Alan O’Rourke

My friend Adam Pattantyus recently reminded me of the concept of “active laziness”, attributed specifically to the writings of Sogyal Rinpoche. This reminder came at a very opportune moment. It is no secret that there is, at least in a number of circles in which we at IISC operate, a burgeoning culture of busy-ness. Many people seem increasingly pressed for time, and move between the temporal equivalent of sound bites throughout their days. The ensuing “frenzy” and exhaustion, while perhaps seen as necessary (or by some as a status symbol), is also being called out for its dysfunctional nature, including how it detracts from efforts to create positive and lasting social change. This is what Rinpoche calls “active laziness,” the compulsive cramming of our lives with activity that leaves no time to confront “real issues.” Read More

June 10, 2010



There’s something about the word and notion of “sufficiency” that I love.  Years ago, while living in France, I learned to enjoy the way the words “ça suffit” roll off the tongue.  The term and idea resurfaced for me recently when I learned about the Third Annual Global Sufficiency Summit that was held here in Cambridge, MA in April.  It has come up again while reading the newest book by Wayne Muller, whose writings were a helpful guide to me during my time in graduate school.  Muller’s A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough focuses squarely on the question of how we go about determining what is sufficient in different areas of our lives.   He suggests that our failure to consider or know how to address this question has contributed to putting us in individual and collective dire straits.

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