Wild Awake: Alone, Offline and Aware in Nature (Paperback)


(2 customer reviews)

“I had not met or interacted with a human being for weeks. I had just spent the night alone on a cloud-shrouded mountain. And now a fox and I looked intently at each other.…”

What is it like to be completely alone, attempting to face your experience with only nature for company? Buddhist teacher and author, Vajragupta, has been doing just that every year for twenty-five years. Here he recounts how these ‘solitary retreats’ have changed him, how he fell in love with the places he stayed in and the creatures there.

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SKU (ISBN): 9781911407188 Categories: , , ,


This is a seriously beautiful book (beautiful places and beautiful writing) – and I believe a wise one too. It will encourage (in the properest sense – ‘give courage to’) those who have longed for but have not dared to try out solitude – with its practical good sense, lack of self-indulgence and purity of heart – and also deepen the practice of those of us (Buddhist or otherwise – and I am otherwise) who already know the deep joys and freedoms, but also the harsh realities, of solitude in nature, in wildness. It is grounded in authentic knowledge and experience. Get out there – but take Wild Awake with you. – Sara Maitland, author of Gossip from the Forest

To spend time alone in nature is essential for us to begin to understand what we truly are. This book evokes the quality of those times - the way in which the heart begins to ground itself into the spirit of a place, remembering its own wildness. – Maitridevi, Chair of Taraloka Retreat Centre

A fascinatingly anecdotal introduction to the practice of solitary retreat, encouraging us to go often and alone into the wild. – Kamalashila, author of Buddhist Meditation – Tranquillity, Imagination and Insight

Vajragupta gives us a wonderful evocation of how to use solitude as a way of deepening our resonance with the natural world. But, even more than that, he shows us how this vivid aliveness to the world leads to ‘a quietening of the self’ which, paradoxically, leaves us ‘saturated with life’. – Subhadramati, author of Not About Being Good

2 reviews for Wild Awake: Alone, Offline and Aware in Nature (Paperback)

  1. becca

    “…from time to time we need to ‘rewild’ ourselves,” says Vajragupta, and he shares his encounters with wild creatures and wild landscapes in an enchanting way, making us feel we’ve entered a secret world with him.

    Wild Awake will make you want to follow Vajragupta’s example of using solitary retreats in nature to become more “fully awake,” more like the Buddha, a name which means “one who is awake.”

    What are the benefits of being more fully awake? Perhaps you’ll find it easier to meditate, to get in touch with your soul, to make the right choices for your life. In solitary retreat, as Vajragupta describes, you are better able, in the silence, to hear your truth and know the solutions.

    “Places, perhaps especially wild places, can talk to us; they can be full of suggestion and meaning. Inner and outer worlds can mirror each other, and this changes our awareness.”

    It’s easy to understand how being out in nature stimulates and nourishes your soul, as Vajragupta describes his 25 years of taking solitary retreats. For those who have questions about how to get the most out of such retreats, he provides an A to Z guide with practical advice and suggestions for designing your own.

    Read Wild Awake for inspiration, then get out there as often as possible!

  2. michael.phillips4

    Very well written and thought provoking book.

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Talks and Links

Read Searching for the Sublime, a review in the Western Buddhist Review.

Read a review by the Middle Way Society

Step into solitude with this article on the Spiritual Media Blog