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Making It More Than Your Typical Holiday – Dr. Aziz on The Times of India, Speaking Tree

Over the years when I have had the chance to take a holiday from the very demanding schedule of my professional work I have used that time in many different ways. I have, for instance, visited with friends I would not often see, traveled, spent time researching and writing, and even worked on projects around my home. Most commonly, however, a holiday has involved time with family in the isolation of heavily wooded lake districts.

... Continued

Of course the return to a regular work schedule is always a shock, as one learns in those first days back how much energy one's work requires. It is also at this point two questions about one's holiday invariably surface, either by way of self-reflection or as a result of the curiosity of others. Those two questions are: 'How was your holiday?' 'Would you do the same thing again?' Clearly important questions, yet virtually unanswerable, I would suggest, by anyone who has not taken up the more fundamental question, 'What is it that makes a holiday a genuine holiday?'

I can now say that I have at least found my answer. My answer has nothing to do with how far I travel while on holiday. It has nothing to do with the places I choose to visit. My answer has nothing to do with how others view where I go and what I do when I get there. It does, however, have everything to do with how I move through those places.

My answer, I should explain, has nothing to do with the pursuit of ultimately unproductive illusions of escape, for when I return from my holiday the transformational peace I came to know while away remains with me, integrating seamlessly with my life. It now lives within me. It is now no longer a question of what I need to do, but rather, a question of what I don't need to do. What is it that makes a holiday a genuine holiday? Having given this question some very careful thought over the years, I can now say my answer is crystal clear: A holiday is a genuine holiday to the extent consciousness shifts. No consciousness shift; no holiday.

under "Publications" on Wed, Oct 24 at 00:04


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