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See, Love, Be: Mindfulness and the spiritual life, by Tim Stead

09 August 2019

David Runcorn looks at an eight-week course in spiritual development 

TIM STEAD is an accredited mindfulness practitioner. His aim in this book is “to explore how mindfulness practice might help to develop the spiritual life”. He discusses words such as “spirituality”, but is happy not to define it too closely for people. His website speaks of “seeking faith that can be expressed in a more open-hearted, open-minded and less dogmatic way”. He is a Christian priest whose spiritual journey has clearly been creative, exploratory, and varied. He has practised Buddhism in different contexts and trained in mindfulness practice at the Oxford Mindfulness Research Centre.

It is easy to imagine people of varied experience finding themselves at home in this book, and that is the author’s intention. Some come to this topic from an experience of religion which has been narrow and prescriptive. Many others simply have an elusive sense of “something more” — but need a way to be present to what is within them. Stead is a sensitive and gentle teacher. His writing style is accessible and inspires trust. He draws on his own experience of how mindfulness helped him manage anxiety and depression.

Stories and poems weave around theory and method. This book will be a very helpful guide on a journey that he pares down to three essentials: see, love, be. Each of these words is explored carefully, with a conversational style and practical suggestions. The book comes with a CD of audio meditations, which are also available to download. The commendation on the back summarises the wisdom on offer here. “You can read this book in a day: but take it to heart and it will last a lifetime.”

The Revd David Runcorn is Associate Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Warden of Readers in Gloucester diocese.

See, Love, Be: Mindfulness and the spiritual life: A practical eight-week guide with audio meditations
Tim Stead
SPCK £9.99
Church Times Bookshop £9

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