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Dean’s talk No. 9 : Talking about “Slow Life”

The philosophy of slow life is not new. It is based on the concept of Zen which focusing on “simplicity, happiness, and minimalism”. Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty. It is strongly influenced by Taoism that has a long journey from China, to Vietnam, to Korea, and to Japan where it became known as a Japanese Zen. This philosophy gives insight into ones true nature, or the emptiness of inherent existence.

However, Zen was not introduced as a separate school in Japan until the 12th century during the Kamakura period (1185–1333). The philosophy emerged after Nōnin established the Daruma-school. Because it fits with Samurai’s way of life: confronting death without fear, and acting in a spontaneous and intuitive way. Zen has long established in Japan.

Japanese Zen has a strong belief that ones can opens the way to a liberated way of living. To bring Zen habits into our life, individuals need to create simplicity in the daily chaos. In order to find a sustainable happiness, two major doctrines become the major goal of life: emptiness and Buddha principle.

Recently, the concept of “slow life” has been mentioned worldwide. This global movement arises from the greatest concern of the world’s going too fast and its impacts. Nonetheless, not many people seem to understand its philosophy, concept, and approach. In fact, it has nothing to do with spending luxurious life sipping tea or coffee in an expensive coffee corner or having feudal food in a world class restaurant. Moreover, it is not about “a doing nothing approach”.

What is Slow Life?

Slow life is a choice of lifestyle. It is a set of values for the modern generation. It is new level of consciousness and appreciation to things around us. To appreciate and enjoying time living in the present with friends and family, slow life concerns authenticity, exclusivity and luxury in a modern and personal way. It focuses on quality over quantity.


As mentioned above, philosophy of “slow life” begins at the level of mind, spirit, and belief. To enjoy “slow life”, a more holistic sense of well-being is needed. Individuals have to learn to appreciate what’s easily neglected. Moreover, living in the good environment, eating and using organic goods concerning voluntary simplicity and minimalism needs to be highlighted. In short, a less-is-more approach is a major tool for those who want to have quality living.



Meredith, Beth and Storm, Eric. “Slow Living – Learning to Savor and Fully Engage with Life”. 2009. Retrieved 2011-3-20.

Jump up ^ Drebitko, Jason “Slow Living – Sourcebook for an Authentic Lifestyle”. 2010. Retrieved 2015-10-30.


All the best,

Assoc.Prof.Patcharin Sirasoonthorn, Ph.D
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences
Naresuan University


Thai Edition