‘Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path to Self-Discovery’ by Mark Coleman

 New World Library, 2006 

pbk, 224pp 

ISBN: 978-1-930722-55-2

Reviewed by Jane Stott

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This book describes itself as offering a path of self discovery in Nature. There is an introduction by Jack Kornfield, who commends the author for providing a way to: be joyful, see anew, be amazed. It has about forty sections, mostly of three or four pages, with a short teaching session, followed by guidance for a meditation.

Nearly all the meditations require you to go outside and connect with the natural world, but when that is not possible, Coleman included options for looking through an open window, or even looking at the sky from a prison exercise yard.

Topics include developing non- conceptual awareness, practicing   equanimity amid adversity and understanding desire.

The short teaching sessions are largely based in the Buddhist tradition, but would be very accessible to non-Buddhists as the language is clear and without jargon. Coleman uses lots of different sources, from other traditions to support his teachings with well chosen quotes from, for example, sources as diverse as Einstein, Rumi, Goethe and Shakespeare.

I think the book would be valuable to anyone who wants to link their meditation practice to a greater awareness of—and indeed communication with—the rest of the natural world.

I would thoroughly recommend this as a book to dip into and use, not a book simply to read, and I will use some of the meditations in my own teaching. A quote which particularly appealed, perhaps because I am writing this on a sunny day, was from John Lubbock. Rest is not idleness and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day… watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means a waste of time.

2018-05-31T15:32:13+00:00