The Wandering Mind

Audiobook Details

Author:

Jamie Kreiner

Narrated By:

Jamie Kreiner

Length:

5 hrs and 31 mins

File Type:

.m4b

Release Date:

03-28-23

File Size:

299.31 MB

Audiobook Summary

The digital era is beset by distraction, and it feels like things are only getting worse. At times like these, the distant past beckons as a golden age of attention. We dream of recapturing the quiet of a world with less noise. We imagine retreating into solitude and singlemindedness, almost like latter-day monks.

But although we think of early monks as master concentrators, a life of mindfulness did not, in fact, come to them easily. As historian Jamie Kreiner demonstrates in The Wandering Mind, their attempts to stretch the mind out to God—to continuously contemplate the divine order and its ethical requirements—were all-consuming, and their battles against distraction were never-ending. Delving into the experiences of early Christian monks, Kreiner shows that these men and women were obsessed with distraction in ways that seem remarkably modern.

Drawing on a trove of sources that the monks left behind, Kreiner reconstructs the techniques they devised in their lifelong quest to master their minds. She captures the fleeting moments of pure attentiveness that some monks managed to grasp, and the many times when monks struggled and failed and went back to the drawing board. Blending history and psychology, The Wandering Mind is a witty, illuminating account of human fallibility and ingenuity that bridges a distant era and our own.

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