Yesterday, I came across this wonderful book in a theatre book shop. I’ve been reading it bit by bit since then – currently I’m in chapter 6 (Making Space For Your Emotions) – and I recommend it very much to anyone who is a) interested in mindful living, b) has a hard time checking in with themselves, c) feels easily overwhelmed by things/people, and d) loves art.
Christophe André begins each chapter with the contemplation of a painting, and writes from there. It works for me, more than any other purely text-based book on mindfulness has done so far. I’m the visual type, a painting will catch my attention and help me take in information not just on a cerebral level. And the contemplation of the various paintings are moments I can come back to and sit with when I struggle to access what’s going on for me at the time; art tends to do that for me.
The writing is excellent; it’s uncomplicated, has depth and understanding of the matter at hand, and teaches clearly. It speaks to me on a humane level, not in a ‘psychological analysis’ kind of way.
The book goes beyond the by know commonplace breathing exercises and “feel every part of your body” moments; it addresses what lies behind the need for mindfulness. It explains the basic thinking behind mindfulness, drawing from a helpful breadth of resources, and it describes how and why mindfulness practice has a positive effect on one’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing – without disconnecting from the reader.
I like it, as you might have noticed, and I hope to be working with it for a long time to come.