The Art of Mindful Walking explores the activity of walking as an exercise for both body and mind. Buddhist teacher Adam Ford presents practical sections on purposeful walking, ranging from long walks in the New Territory to the simple walk to work, and reflects upon his personal experience of spirituality and understanding the world around us. This book will be essential reading for those looking to add another dimension to their observation of and interaction with the natural world.
Published: Apr, 2011
The Art of Mindful Walking is a small book of brief tastes to seduce the armchair traveller beyond his accustomed comfort zone. Yet perhaps the book's smallness is its virtue. The size of a modest paperback, although hardbound, it would make a friendly companion on a solitary hike or a tedious plane journey, something to dip into, fresh yet familiar, pleasurable as water. - Christopher Ryan, Self Knowledge Global Responsibility Journal
I really enjoyed this book. The Art of Mindful Walking introduces walking as a meditative process that benefits the mind and the body-an opportunity for calm reflection, a natural way to both regain perspective and cultivate fresh observations on life. Adam Ford is a retired Anglican priest who combines a refreshingly practical and level headed Christian faith with an appreciation of the spiritual value of other traditions-in particular Buddhism with its emphasis on being mindfully present in each moment, but also Aboriginal, Jewish and Islamic teachings that are respectfully integrated into the text. There is also a lovely section on writing Haikus that reminded me of Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums, and inspired me, for a few days at least, to put pen to paper as a way of cherishing a particular moment in time and place.
The style of writing is down to earth and accessible. Adam intersperses his own experiences of walking in areas such as the Australian outback, the Grand canyon, the streets of London, and his local Sussex downs, with really nice quotes from artists, philosophers, and other travel writers. He also develops a narrative thread of honest, critical, and profound reflection on his own religious faith and how he applies this in his daily life. We are guided through a terrain that includes self-guilt, loneliness and forgiveness and the authorial voice is non-dogmatic, open to doubt, and full of refreshingly practical and sensible interpretations of familiar scripture. In one section where Adam criticises the way that Jesus's crucifixion has been 'sold' as God's solution for what he calls the edifice of guilt constructed by the Christian church, he writes, simply but clearly, that Jesus was 'murdered by the Romans for political reasons'. Instead he guides us towards Jesus's emphasis on 'loving God and our Neighbour as our self' as the way to resolve self blame and guilt.
In conclusion this is a lovely, little, wise book that is enhanced by some beautiful illustrations by Clifford Harper. I started it somewhat sceptically but finished it with a real feeling of appreciation for the gentle wisdom of the author. The art of mindfully walking is a practice we should all cultivate as a much needed and welcome antidote to the frantic, multi-tasking, chaos of modern life.
- 144 pages
- h 200mm x w 130mm
- 31,000 words
- Printed ISBN:978-1-907332-58-6
- Epub ISBN:978-1-908005-13-7
- MOBI ISBN: 978-1-78240-063-9
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