STILLNESS: Daily Gifts of Solitude

Richard Mahler, Author . Red Wheel $21.95 (166p) ISBN 978-1-59003-042-4

Mahler, who has written about his travels, the environment and spirituality (Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer, co-authored with Connie Goldman), here advocates eloquently and convincingly for the virtues of solitude. Four years ago, dealing with professional uncertainty and a deteriorating relationship with the woman in his life, the author voluntarily took a job as a winter caretaker on a remote ranch in New Mexico's Tusas Mountains, in order to experience an extended period of silence and contemplation. Part memoir, part guide, Mahler's account of what he learned is laced with reflective excerpts from the journal he kept during this period as well as with the words of others who have drawn strength from solitude. Although he acknowledges missing communication with other humans, Mahler found the inner journey he took during this time gave him heightened self-acceptance and an ability to live in the present moment. Since most people in the Western world exist in a hectic environment filled with noise, crowds and distractions, the author argues that seeking out regular periods of quiet, through meditation, yoga or spending time alone outdoors will reduce stress and may lead to a simpler existence, one with perhaps less income and consumer goods but also with a slower, more personally satisfying pace of life. Mahler also offers his well-thought-out concerns regarding the erosion of pristine wilderness areas caused by development and noise pollution. National advertising. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/03/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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