Giving your city a break

MINDFULNESS & THE ART OF URBAN LIVING: DISCOVERING THE GOOD LIFE IN THE CITY

BY ADAM FORD

This is a wonderful short book that I read in just a couple of hours. Like many of us city dwellers, I regularly find myself falling out of love with my surroundings. The traffic, noise, pollution, neighbours, anti-social behaviour – the list goes on, if we let it. Adam Ford’s book tackles breaking this cycle of negative thoughts about the city we live in and embracing our urban lives instead.

“Mindfulness,” he says, “is a way of living, a way of knowing oneself and the world. It involves taking stock regularly of the way things are, living consciously, becoming more aware and realistic about life.”

He encourages us to apply this approach to the way we live our lives in cities throughout the world by making time to think about ourselves in the here and now and to notice more, to look for the peace and for the beauty when moving around our neighbourhoods. Ford explores creative uses of small spaces in cities with inspiring ideas for urban gardens, allotments and even bee-keeping. He asks the reader to look around again at the wealth of parks, gardens, galleries, buildings and vistas that we may have taken for granted or been too busy rushing past to have ever really observed properly.

Walking is central to discovering the good life in the city. On foot we can look up at the sky, spot wildlife, take new and interesting routes – and arrive on time without the fear of traffic making us late.

If your city is getting your down, I recommend this book to you, a gentle prompt for us to experience our environment in a new, enlightened manner.

SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING: 8/10

 Notes on the author – Adam Ford

  • Adam lived and worked in London for 30 years
  • Formerly a vicar in a Yorkshire town. He has an MA in Indian religions and regularly lectured on Buddhism, Hinduism and astronomy
  • He has now retired to Sussex
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