Mark Coleman • New World Library
Longtime meditation teacher and naturalist Mark Coleman—author of Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery, among others—is at pains to demonstrate in his new book that mindfulness is definitely, incontrovertibly not about finding an escape from the pain we find in the midst of everyday life.
The book, in fact, is filled with poignant stories of students who have come to him in immense pain. One woman, for example, arrived at a retreat having, over a two-year period, lost her sister in a car accident, her brother to a heart attack, and her father to cancer. Shortly thereafter, her only living aunt died, and weeks before the retreat, following several agonizing months, her mother passed away in a state of dementia.
Stories like this demonstrate that the “true promise of mindfulness” in the subtitle is that if we turn toward pain, rather than seek escape routes in temporary states of mind, we…