Just when the medical profession had given up on me and I on it, just when I seemed to be walled up in a life sentence of chronic pain, someone proposed a bizarre way out: sit still, they said, and breathe...
TEACH US TO SIT STILL is the visceral, thought-provoking and improbably entertaining story of Tim Parks' quest to overcome ill health. Bedevilled by a crippling condition which nobody could explain or relieve, he confronts hard truths about the relationship between the mind and the body, the hectic modern world and his life as a writer. Following a fruitless journey through the conventional medical system he finds solace in an improbable prescription of breathing exercises that eventually leads him to take up meditation. This was the very last place Parks expected or wanted to find answers; anything New Age simply wasn't his scene.
Meantime, he is drawn to consider the effects of illness on the work of other writers, the role of religions in shaping our sense of self, and the influence of sport and art in our attitudes to health and well-being. Most of us will fall ill at some point; few will describe that journey with the same verve, insight and radiant intelligence as Tim Parks. Captivating and inspiring, TEACH US TO SIT STILL is an intensely personal - and brutally honest - story for our times. SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME TRUST BOOK PRIZE FOR MEDICINE IN LITERATURE.
Tim Parks, was so open about his beliefs and experiences. The fact that he could look past his self taught skepticisms and the beauty he allowed into his life, when questioning his reality, he undergoes a new perspective on his life and even his lifestyle choice. He wasn't afraid to talk about his prostate problems and does go into some amount of detail to the fact. I could however look past that, as in the later chapters it gets less medical reference and more, Tim Parks.
It was interesting to hear a skeptics criticisms and lack of belief in many alternative practices. I loved the transformation he underwent as he delved into his body and learned how to love himself, and not in that wavy new age style but essentially grounded.
It helped me see the beauty in everyone and how the childhood holds so much angst and emotional weight to us. It also helped me to be even more open to the notion that pain is not my own and that it is an experience that we can learn so much from.
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I kept listening to this book expecting some wisdom or revelation. It didn't happen. I've only kept listening because I was driving but no way would I recommend this book to anyone.