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