Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson

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Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson

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Buy Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Spirituality and Religion
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Rachel Holmes
Reviewed by Rachel Holmes
Summary: A book for beginners to mindfulness in which Thompson encourages us to become aware of the simple things nature has to offer in our everyday lives. Good concepts and ideas, but this book fails to expand on them to any great extent. If you're wanting an introduction to mindfulness, look no further. If you're already clued up on mindfulness practices, look elsewhere.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 144 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Ivy Press
ISBN: 978-1782401025

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This book appealed to me for a couple of reasons; I have recently completed a workshop on mindfulness and have been attempting to put some of the ideas into practice throughout my daily life, and I love nature and spending time outdoors cycling. Therefore, this seemed the perfect choice to learn more about combining the two and exploring fresh perspectives in my everyday life. I began reading this hardcover with high expectations, particularly as the book was beautifully laid out with unique artwork and philosophical quotes included. However, although there were some insightful ideas and inspiring thoughts presented amongst the five chapters, overall I was a little disappointed in what the book had to offer.

As someone who already has a little experience of using mindfulness, I found Thompson's work to be quite basic and repetitive. I failed to be captured by any new ideas or perspectives and felt that, although the explanations of her experiences in nature were often very descriptive, Thompson covered the same ground throughout the book, simply telling the reader what she likes about nature and how we should all be aware of our surroundings, day to day. Whilst I whole-heartedly agree with her, I felt she could have expanded her ideas further. However, a reader new to the practice of mindfulness would perhaps appreciate the basic tone and simplicity, and gain a great deal from the practical sections scattered throughout the book.

I was particularly interested in Thompson's travels to the Chilean Lake District and looked forward to reading about her experience there, thinking this would form a major part of the book as it is where her love of the natural world began. However, she only mentioned the trip briefly a couple of times and failed to get across to the reader how the experience changed her life, which left me a little disappointed. I would have liked to learn more about where Thompson's passion for nature originated and her expedition to Chile that was so profound for her.

There seemed to be three main themes throughout the book; nature, consciousness and the need to protect our planet. I did enjoy the chapter Losing Touch with Our Home, which outlined the theme of consciousness and the idea of self or I. Here, Thompson presented some inspiring thoughts surrounding our experience in the present moment and how it is ever-changing. The chapter on Protecting the Life we Love, inspires the reader to appreciate nature and love all the life that surrounds us, suggesting that this will encourage us to take action to protect our planet. For me, this was one of the most profound concepts in the book and it makes the reader aware of the fundamental issue regarding the environment; that we have to love the planet and all of nature first before we attempt to save it.

Overall, I think Mindfulness and the Natural World is a great book for a reader new to the practice of mindfulness. Thompson encourages awareness of nature and the experiences we take for granted, and has a way of explaining concepts with ease and simplicity. There are some useful mindfulness practices throughout which are highlighted and easy to find, though I personally found them all to be very similar and generic. Sadly, I did find this book rather repetitive and struggled to find a new perspective on mindfulness.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more about mindfulness you might like to have a look at Mindfulness for Black Dogs and Blue Days: Finding a Path Through Depression by Richard Gilpin.

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Buy Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mindfulness and the Natural World by Claire Thompson at Amazon.com.

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