Mark Coleman has done us all a great service. This book is a joy to read -- Joseph Goldstein
Read Awake in the Wild slowly, not in a passive way, but as instructions to your heart. -- Jack Kornfeld
These practical instructions plumb our innate natural resources, highlight the bigger picture, illumine the infinite expanse of our hearts -- Surya Das
This book takes us on a journey to an authentic and joyous freedom. -- Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith;Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
From the Publisher
Some books remind me of lying on my back in the grass on a starry summer night. Awake in the Wild is this kind of tonic. With a freshness of voice, Mark Coleman invites us back to the big picture, the vast, mysterious neighborhood of being alive, breathing on this flowering earth. Cosmologist Brian Swimme reminds us, "Four billion years ago it was a flaming of rock and now it can sing opera."
When we lose the big perspective, we are half awake in our life, lost in a thousand errands, and our small self, not truly free. "Like the sudden glimpse of the full moon," Awake in the Wild opens the walls. Its simple mindfulness derives from the lineage of awakening in nature that I encountered in the ancient forest monasteries of Thailand. There the Buddhist words for truth and nature are synonyms. Living in a hut amidst teak trees and cobras, jungle vines and wild deer, my teachers Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Buddhadasa taught that wisdom and compassion would grow through the mirror of the forest itself.
It is the same, wherever we live. Mark Coleman says, "Simply take in a tree with all your senses." What a delicious instruction, as if we've been on a diet for too long. Let yourself become intimate with a local spruce or redwood, larch or oak, take in the weathered, textured bark, the shimmer of the leaves. Meander in the wilds of your neighborhood, then go further, deliberately, out into the wilderness. Open your senses, go barefoot, embrace the wind and hills like a lover. How better to quiet the mind and open the heart?
Read Awake in the Wild slowly, not in a passive way, but as instructions to your heart. Try the practices. Improvise, see anew, play, be joyful, be amazed. And from these good words may you realize your interconnection with all things and be free.
Blessings, Jack Kornfield Spirit Rock Meditation Center 2006