From Suffering to Peace: The True Promise of Mindfulness by Mark Coleman
Author Mark Coleman has been teaching mindfulness for over 20 years in settings such as Buddhist temples, Fortune 500 companies, prisons, and hospitals, calling it a transformative practice.
Like yoga and meditation, the concept of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, originating from the Buddha in North India over 2,600 years ago. And, like yoga and meditation,
it is now commonly seen in every walk of life, promising changes that can positively impact our well-being.
I’m working my way slowly through Coleman’s book. First, I arrogantly thought before I read it, “I’m already pretty mindful.” Turns out I know nothing about mindfulness. I’ve underlined so
many paragraphs that it’s starting to look like a toddler got hold of my book. I thought mindfulness was about being aware of my surroundings and being present, but it’s not just about paying attention. “It’s the ability to know what is happening without our normal reactions, commentary, and judgment. It’s the capacity to meet experience without trying to fix, change, or control it.” Sounds like I have some work to do.
The second reason for moving slowly through the book is because I keep going back to sections to continue specific practices. The walking meditation in the beginning of the book is a practice that I can’t hold onto for very long without my mind drifting. I turn to the practice on “Attuning to Pain with Kind Attention” when I have a migraine so I learn not to resist the suffering, thereby making it worse.
The gentle and loving work Coleman asks us to do for ourselves is not difficult; like most things that are good for us, it just takes some time to understand and adopt new ways to think
and act in order to change our less-than-optimal ways of being.
I can see the incredible benefit to bringing my awareness to my physical experience via the practices in Coleman’s book, and how that frees my mind from suffering to be at peace. Not just
reading, but experiencing this interesting and powerful information can be life-changing.