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The Wilderness Within
Meditation on Modern Life
by Nicholas Buxton
Publisher:Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
People in the west crave rewarding spiritual experiences and the plethora of courses and methodologies on offer from across the faith and secular spectrum is quite extraordinary. Yet often a Christian contribution to this marketplace is missing; as Christians we often appear to shy away from engaging alongside the populist spiritual world as if by doing so we might be tainted or somehow undermine our ‘offering’.
In this succinct volume, Nicholas Buxton seeks to introduce the beginner to the ancient tradition of Christian meditation. Written in an easy to digest style, Buxton combines pithy reflections on contemporary issues with imaginative biblical reflection whilst drawing on the experience of the ancient mystics. Buxton’s conclusion is that meditation offers us a means by which to more fully engage with the world, rather than a route out of it towards some imaginary spiritual nirvana. Meditation does not place being above doing, but helps us make sense of doing whilst being and being whilst doing. It is a spiritual journey that he declares “is the only journey ever worth making”.
The strength of ‘The Wilderness Within’ lies in its grounding in the author’s own spiritual journey much of which has taken place to a degree in the public eye. Now a parish priest, Buxton first entered the public arena as a participant in the BBCTV series The Monastery that was aired in 2005. Readers will appreciate that this volume arises out of experience, not academic reflection alone, and is all the more valuable for that.
Reviewer: David Ford (28/03/15)