Monday, July 18, 2011

Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skeptic's Search for Health & Healing by Tim Parks

Product DetailsThe title, from a favorite poem, caught my eye, and a favorable review led me to grab this book when I saw it at the library. Mr. Parks, an Englishman who lives in Italy with his family and who as a career as a successful novelist (he's made it the Booker-Mann short list), developed severe problems with his plumbing, the the central culprit appearing to be his prostrate. N.B. Hear me knocking on wood, but the similar symptoms did not prompt my choice of this book. So far, so good. But as breast cancer seems a real threat to most woman, so the prostrate for men. Thus, some personal concern--but I digress. His prostrate, however, wasn't cancerous. It was . . . well, doctors weren't quite sure what was wrong. Urologists, in any event, recommended a roto-rooter of the nether regions. He didn't cotton to this idea. He searched, and then he came upon a book. Not to spoil the ending, but he ends up performing exercises and attending a mindfulness meditation retreat. All the while it seems, he protests, but it works.

I won't say more, but if you're interested in a very tell-told story of health and its elusiveness, of how our bodies and minds interact (or ignore each other), and how we can, if we open ourselves to experiences that the mind, a priori, wants to reject, we can experience some really amazing changes. A very good book and thought-provoking.

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