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Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery Paperback – November 1, 2006
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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
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This is what Coleman intends readers to do, the author writes, "These nature-based practices support you and discovering a sense of freedom that is always available to you at any moment." The chapters are smartly set up as meditations, or exercises. This format makes it easy to select a reading, contemplate the ideas and suggested practice, and then engage with the idea and practice out in nature. In a chapter called Glimpsing The Sky Through A Window With Bars, Coleman quotes Rumi:
Become the sky
Take an axe to the prison wall
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
In practice after practice, Coleman brings an invitation to become the sky and break down your walls, to escape from suffering and walk out into a world of color. Indeed, the living earth and the more-than-human-realm are doorways to healing, to the numinous and magical. Through these doorways, one begins to remember a great wholeness and interconnectivity with the natural world. Such transformation is deeply needed at this time of ecological crisis. What our Earth Home needs is a large collective of humans who take seriously the work of waking up to who we are as intelligent beings born of nature.
Awake In The Wild is a valuable resource for those of us who are doing just that. It is with gratitude and enthusiasm that I recommend this book to anyone on the path of self-discovery and those who want to reconnect with our living planet in a meaningful way. What are you waiting for? Nature is waiting for you...
Most recent customer reviews
Simple, human, relative and enjoyable.