Notes on The Next Attention


Book Review

Every morning for three years now I have been reading just one of these short talks aloud to a friend, or friends, or listening to one of them read aloud to me. Every morning I fall in love. These pages have become my teacher.

Sometimes gently humorous, they breathe an atmosphere of blessing, of forgiveness. They speak of a mystery, a sacred energy or intelligence that may descend from above when a space—a silence, a listening—is prepared to receive it. This energy does not judge. It heals.

It would be a mistake, and a grievous loss to oneself, to read this book straight through with half an ear, at high speed. If you give each page your best attention—better still, share it with friends—it can lead you to another way of living.

I first saw Fran Shaw in our dormitory room in the chalet she describes, that looks out on the Alps. She sat cross-legged on her bed (where she could be found after every one of Michel's short talks), writing as fast as she could. Without taking any notes, she had worked out a way of capturing every word. These pages are accurate, I can testify, because I too came upstairs right away and tried to capture what had been said. This first day Fran came over gently and helped me. I recognized immediately that hers were the exact words I had just heard.

      --Martha Heyneman, author of The Breathing Cathedral

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