Living in or near New York City offers us so many opportunities for meeting interesting people, participating in amazing events, seeing marvelous sights, and working for a huge variety of employers. And with the economy putting more demands on our incomes, employers squeezing more hours out of fewer employees, and the pressure of being more acutely aware of what your friends are neighbors are doing thanks to social media, we may feel like "free time" is an illusion that we might experience again in our uncertain retirement.
In the digital age, the balance of our relationships has shifted significantly. Studies estimate that where we used to average about 1 or 2 close friends, a dozen friends, and perhaps as many as 100 acquaintances, we now must divide our attention between 0 to 1 close friends, 3 or 4 friends, and 600 acquaintances.
If you are like me since starting work full-time again, on any night after work you do not have any standing commitments, you are too exhausted from 8-, 9-hour, or longer workdays to do anything but veg out. That leaves weekends, of which a minimum of 25% is taken with chores, more if you have a family or even just a partner.
What can a 2,000-year-old tradition from all the way over in China say about our modern dilemmas about time?
Much, actually. In this discussion, you will learn how to carve out more time to do nothing. Spontaneity like that can seem boring or wasteful without the proper perspective. It is the space of nothing-to-do, that we reach what Taoists call _wu_wei._ The art of doing without doing anything. We will talk about how expectations get in the way of practicing wu wei, and how to deal with conflicts that might otherwise upset your balance. For those facing too much leisure time, this philosophical principle is also very helpful.
If the weather is not rainy, we will likely meet in a park somewhere in Manhattan. If it rains, we will find a cafe or atrium.