Book Review – Mindfulness Plain & Simple: A Practical Guide To Inner Peace (Oli Doyle)

If you type ‘definition of mindfulness’ into Google you get this –

mindfulness

This idea of focusing on being in the present moment, of actively practising and seeing what impact mindfulness and meditation could potentially have on me, is something I’ve been slowly working towards. As I’ve gone about my journey of confronting the mental issues that have plagued me for so long, of opening myself up to positive change in all forms, I’ve found that it has created a sort of snowball effect, the quest for positive change quickly moving from positive thought to manifesting itself in real events, each event having a sort of multiplying effect of positivity. There have been moments of resistance, but each time I have continued and moved through it.

Underpinning all of this in the last week and a half has been my practising of mindfulness, using the exercises and insights gained from this book. The simplest way to describe the impact reading it has had on me is to say that I’ve had a monumental increase in my mental clarity. One of the most powerful lessons I’ve taken from it is how our thoughts are just opinions, stories, the vast majority of which are unhelpful and negative. They either keep us locked in the past or project images of the future that so often do nothing but fill us with anxiety or fear or other debilitating emotions derived from a false reality (and let’s be honest, what actually transpires is actually never as bad as what our over active minds conjure up)

So the book essentially tells us to live in the now, the present moment, which is the only true reality. It gives you a framework to go beyond your normal thinking processes (see the above screenshot again for a definition of what this entails).

I think one of the biggest things I’ve taken from starting to utilise mindfulness is how, whilst it may sound like quite a passive activity, it actually manifests itself incredibly actively, from the way you interact with others in a calmer, more measured way, to the steady control you have over your mind, right through to complementing your personal goals and aims as you become more naturally focused on each task you do, rather than having the continuous running commentary or hum of the mind.

In truth there is so much more I could discuss about mindfulness and the start of the impact it is having on me, as there have been a multitude of thoughts and theories that have been sparked about the nature of happiness, our relationship with people, the world, the universe, what makes us tick, and even ideas about the nature of my bipolar.

I will though save those discussions for the future and leave this post simply by saying that if you are interested or intrigued by the notion of mindfulness and what it could do for you, I would highly recommend this book as a starting point.

As for me, I am continuing my own journey along this particular path and am currently reading The Power of Now and The Secret.

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4 comments

  1. thanks for the review! I need to pick this book up, inner peace seems to be a strife for me lately as I seek to catch up on all the years lost.

      • Thank you! It’s nice to know from your experience that one can loose their way for years but find it and have everything in tact.

  2. The first time I tried mindfulness several years ago was in a group, the therapist was helping us to leave our current mindspace and journey to a safer, more serene place. After many people had already reached their chosen destinations using their chosen mode of travel (magic carpet?) I was stuck walking sloooowly down the hall of the building, unable to give my mind the 5 minute vacation it deserved. I still get hung up on being productive than just being. Thank you, friend, for sharing your impressions of this positive coping skill.

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