Archives For Mindfulness

 

Being Rather Than Doing
 
A Brief Review of 
 

Mindfulness and
Christian Spirituality:
Making Space for God
.

Tim Stead

Paperback: WJK Books, 2017.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  
 
Reviewed by Leslie Starasta
 
 
 
Recently the topic of mindfulness is heralded on magazine covers, news sources, social media and may even be present in your local school classrooms.  All of this talk about mindfulness may leave a Christian wondering what is this and is this something that I can practice as a Christian? Tim Stead, Vicar of Holy Trinity in Headington Quarry, Oxford and a mindfulness instructor with the Oxford Mindfulness Center, answers these questions and others in his 2017 book Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality: Making Space for God.

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“Embracing All That’s Around Us

A Review of

The Rhythm of Family:
Discovering a Sense of Wonder
through the Seasons
.
Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule.
Paperback: Roost Books / Shambhala, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Jeni Newswanger Smith.


Amanda Blake Soule has been keeping a popular blog, Soulemama (soulemama.com,) for many years. She writes about family, childhood, nature, crafts, art and embracing a more earth-bound way of living. In recent years, her husband Stephen has written numerous guest posts, delighting readers with his deep love for his family as well as his thoughtful approach to parenting and partnership. Soule’s newest book, The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons, is co-authored by her husband and is a culmination of what the blog has grown to be—short essays, simple sewing projects, lovely seasonal photography, creative conservation, self-sufficiency and finding a family rhythm.

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“Regaining the delights of
a child-like wonder and curiosity

A review of
Seeing Tress:
Discovering the Extraordinary Secrets
of Everyday Trees.

By Nancy Ross Hugo.
Photography by Robert Llewellyn.

Review by Chris Smith.


Seeing Trees - Hugo / LlewellynDiscovering the Extraordinary Secrets
of Everyday Trees.

By Nancy Ross Hugo.
Photography by Robert Llewellyn.
Hardback: Timber Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

[ Before you read this review,
please take a minute to peruse an excerpt from this book… ]

In an essay I wrote for Catapult magazine awhile back, I argued for tree-climbing as a redemptive practice and that the tree-top world is one of the few untouched natural spaces in urban areas like our neighborhood in Indianapolis.  I wrote in that essay:

Tree-climbing is a redemptive practice because by it, we get to experience intimately and be challenged by the virtues of a tree.  In observing the manifold forms of life that make their homes in or on a tree, we begin to get a sense of a tree’s hospitality.  A tree offers shade from the beating summer sun, and in the winter, its hollow nooks offer cozy nesting places for squirrels and other rodents.  In climbing a tree, one will undoubtedly experience the generosity of a tree, its bountiful fruit or nuts, its leaves, which in dying each fall are resurrected as rich compost.

In the same vein, I have just discovered the extraordinary new book Seeing Trees: Discovering the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo and illustrated with delightfully particular photographs by Robert Llewellyn.

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A Review of
How To Train a Wild Elephant
and Other Adventures In Mindfulness:
Simple Daily Mindfulness Practices
for Living Life More Fully and Joyfully.

Jan Chozen Bays, MD.
Paperback: Shambhala Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by J. Brent Bill.

While “mindfulness” may be a fairly new word in the Christian lexicon, the concept itself is a deep and rich as our ancient faith.  Chozen Bays, in How To Train a Wild Elephant, defines mindfulness as “deliberately paying full attention to what is happening around you and within you.”  In Christian circles, mindfulness is similar to a principle articulated by theologian Belden Lane that he calls “paying attention in love.”  Lane explains “paying attention in love” as being a state where:

One begins to suspect that the contemplation of any ordinary thing, made extraordinary by attention and love, can become an occasion for glimpsing the profound.  Lewis Thomas finds hope for the human species in the accumulative intelligence of termites, the thrush in his backyard, and a protozoan named Myxotricha paradoxa. He simply attends with the eye of a biologist to what passes beneath our senses every day.  G. K. Chesterton once suggested that ‘‘it is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the bookcase, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship onto the solitary island’’ (Orthodoxy [Fontana. 1961]. p. 63).  Such an exercise can be no small aid in attaching true value to the most commonplace of things around us.

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