Quiet Mind, A
A practical guide to finding peace in the present moment that will change your life, heal your wounds and bring you a quiet mind.
A practical guide to finding peace in the present moment that will change your life, heal your wounds and bring you a quiet mind.
This book approaches issues of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being in a unique way within the Christian Tradition. It does so in an accessible and practical manner with techniques and exercises for the reader which have all been tried and tested by the author. Eva McIntyre weaves together personal story, psychology, theology and theatre skills to equip the reader to be able to reach that most desired yet elusive goal; peace of mind. The approach is that of encouragement and reassurance and youre not expected to get it right all at once. Nor is this a one size fits all programme. On the contrary; it provides the tools and permission for each person to find his or her own way to a quiet mind.
A Quiet Mind tackles the dark corners of Christian tradition where it has been used to reinforce negative self image and lack of personal spiritual freedom. It encourages the reader to believe in her or his spiritual instinct and to use the techniques it contains to free the spirit from the constraints of dogma and self doubt.
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This is a good little book, especially for those not blessed with a reasonably good self-image. As Eva McIntyre says, "Often it's the negative images we recall, probably because of the way they shape us, and are critical in building up our coping and survival techniques." Rightly, she says that we can choose whether our general approach to life is miserable or happy and it is worth the trouble to do so. McIntyre's second point is what she terms "stilling the monkey mind" so that it does not rush from one point to another, needing to chatter all the time. She works through problems of emotion, fear and ill-health, then brings us to exercises of posture and breathing. Pain can be a problem, though I believe some people find it can also be a stimulus to our reaching out to God. Here she has some good suggestions leading to freeing up the spirit, and on the use of dreams. But whatever the problem, the key is to focus on whatever we are doing - activity or meditation - so that nothing else can absorb or distract us. Our emotions need to be dealt with, by understanding and control, if we are to be in good relationships with others. And we often learn from our own experience how best to deal with them. McIntyre deals too, consecutively, with what she calls "the demon fear", with the needs of our body and breathing, and with the essentials of good posture. The spirit is freed only when physical and emotional needs are met, or at least put on a satisfactory hold. She reminds us that the bible contains many examples of God's communicating with humans through these means, though now such messages are not highly regarded because we have, perhaps, too much scepticism of religious psychosis or of attention-seekers. The book continues with chapters on 'Dreams, Visions and Voices' and then 'Finding Thin Places' (places we find helpful) as she concludes with discovering our closeness to God's love for ourselves and others. ~ Elizabeth CSF, Franciscan Magazine Vol.27 no.1 - January 2015
This delightful little book performs two functions. Firstly for those who seek a tool box with which to find a Quiet Mind this book does what it says on the cover. Secondly, if the Church will listen, Eva is pointing the way to a simple, relevant and spiritual Christianity which could be a major contribution to its salvation. >To read it is to relax. To use it is to find a Quiet Mind. ~ Amazon customer, Amazon uk
Great little book very challenging and thought provoking will make you think a lot about how you can quite your mind so as to hear from God. ~ Paul Balkwill, Amazon
Book arrived quickly and in good condition. I am grateful for the help it offers> Having attended a presentation given by the author I have found it a very useful follow-on from that. ~ Leon, Amazon
This is a small but useful book for people who might be said to suffer from “every-day mental health problems” – particularly those people of faith who tend to demand too much of themselves, then beat themselves up when they can’t live up to their own expectations. Its integrated approach is a reminder that our thoughts, emotions and “spirituality” all affect each other, and reside in a physical body which also needs care and attention. ~ Susanne McCarthy, Amazon
The honest truth is I have never read anyone who has wrote with such sincerity and refreshing honesty as Eva, and I am so incredibly grateful for the bravery she took in revealing what drives her personally - she actually reveals how she thinks and feels and how she effectively applies it to her own life and difficulties. Her words of distilled wisdom have helped me tremendously at occasional times of significant weakness or disappointment. I will read this book numerous times. ~ Shania Jeanes, Amazon
Eva has been very brave in writing what so many people, both in and out of church life, ponder to themselves but are too fearful to speak out. It really is a big comfort to those seeking, or bewildered, or downright depressed and 'turned off' by what they think Christianity and its churches are all about. It is a short concise book, but with a huge volume of sense and ideas, and is easy to understand and use. Its poems are evocative and proufoundly deep, yet simple. Thank goodness for a volume which will take the angst from you about praying, and give you the strength to love yourself as you are and as you can be, and then help you, or those you meet, to love others free of shackles. I do so hope priests and teachers will read this along with everyone who longs for a better, more loving, and peaceful world. Its fresh approach should be talked about, it is for sharing. It won't take you long and will be well worth the effort, and offer you new insights. It is a book much needed. ~ Helen Kennaway, Amazon
A compelling read, especially for those who see life through “a glass half empty” outlook. This should be a compulsory read for Church officials and Church Ministers alike. Would any of you dare to introduce any of the measures Eva McIntyre puts forward? A light-hearted read with a serious undertone. ~ Yetta Littlehales, Minsterley, The NEWSpaper’ (Issue 64/Winter 2013)
There are only seventy one pages in this short work, but those seventy one pages nonetheless convey within them a deep understanding of the practice of meditation and contemplation; there is an interesting short section dealing with the monkey mind, i.e. thoughts that won't turn off when trying to meditate, explaining the difference between these two sorts of action within the Christian tradition. A Quiet Mind in so few words moves us into the practice and understanding of acceptance, of journeying into our thoughts and fears and emotions, into our bodies and movements and actions so as to move beyond these things and into the realisation that we are accepted and loved by God. This is the art of meditation and contemplation and this work truly encapsulates and embodies that. Wonderful, refreshing and utterly Christian even as it seems to spill over with its 'Zen' simplicity. It brings in the wonder that is to be found in biblically rooted spirituality and in Celtic spirituality too. A good book for anyone looking to deepen their practice of meditation and contemplation. ~ Melanie Carroll , The GoodBookStall
A Quiet Mind is a powerful and moving read. Eva McIntyre's starting point is her own experience of 'those critical and punishing thoughts in my head' and how the Church for many has reinforced this sense of shame and self-hate by turning the freeing teaching of Jesus into an 'emotional straitjacket'. It is the rootedness in personal experience that gives this book its power. Another of its strengths is the number of preactical exercises in meditation, building self-esteem and body awareness, which encourage the reader to assimilate what is offered. A Quiet Mind is at the meeting point of spirituality and therapy, beginning with mindfulness and naming emotions. McIntyre then moves on to anxiety, 'the demon fear', reminding us that at heart we are pack animals with the need to belong and conform, so the fear of rejection is a fundamental human experience exacerbated by aspects of modern life. Some of the consequences of this are outlined. The place of the body in spirituality, self awareness and prayer is reflected on, including an interesting link to the Eucharist and hospitality. as someone who has suffered with back problems, McIntyre encourages her readers to experiment in finding comfortable postures for prayer and meditation, rather than simply going with sitting - 'the new kneeling'. Some chapters in this short book (72 pages) leftr me wishing for more, particularly the chapter on 'Pain and Contemplation' and the one on dreams. Chronic pain and spirituality, as far as I am aware, is an area on which little has been written; the subject is raised here and some practical suggestions, arising out of first-hand experience, are made. The book finishes with some personal reflections on 'thin places' - special places of spiritual awareness or peace - and a retelling of the gospel story of the woman who anointed Jese with perfume. Recent Celtic spirituality, such as the work of John O'Donohue and Iona, are strong influences on the book. I liked the holistic approach of A Quiet Mind and its combination of personal experience, reflection and practical suggestion. I have a couple of quibbles; the fashionable distinction between religion (bad) and spirituality (good) is too simplistic and I would want to add that childhood experiences, parenting and schooling also have their part to play in the development of the inner critic, as well as the Church! However, I would warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in a holistic approach to spirituality or concerned with the interface of spirituality and therapy and to those involved with spiritual directon/accompanying. It would also be a perfect book to give to someone who has had bad experiences of Church or relgion but has not completely given up on the whole idea. McIntyre writes from a Christian perspective, but the book's holistic and open stance could make it of interest to those on other paths. ~ Andrew de Smet, Thresholds
I have read many great books on theology and spirituality over the years - as indeed has Eva! However, I have also read some short books and put them quickly back on the shelf!
I am amazed that Eva has been able to pack so much of an obvious lifelong journey of knowledge and experience into so few pages. The book is a treasure trove of illuminate and so much so I hope it earns the respect it deserves as an enriching spiritual read. But I would also go so far as to say that even the non-believer would also gain form reading this most approachable book.
In essence a well written book - not by any means alienating to the non theologian. You can do a quick read of it.. I did ! but you then need to go back and reread it properly and give it the time (that you?) it deserves in undertaking the various exercises. I myself have read the big books and done the spiritual journey and all the various exercises... but welcome having it all under one roof! For many this book will be a best purchase - as it does not sit on that shelf once read! Well done Eva in writing such a wonderfully accessible book. In particular I did like the colour imagery - I cant say I dream in colour!
Used properly this can be a very liberating book, freeing us from self-doubt and the restrictions of cold dogmatism. It is a book to encourage us to use our own feelings and not be bound by what we feel we ought to say - that is to help us be our self.~ David Adams, Church Times
I identified immediately with Evas description of the punishing thoughts in my head. So many of us are driven inexorabley by the urge to do more, faster, faster! The authors gentle wisdom stills these whips in our head and brings us mindfully to a sense of meaning and purpose, but with calm and peace. I will read it again and again, as an aid to reflective presence and activity with calm. Thank you, Eva.~ Professor Peter Gilbert, Editor of The Spirituality and Mental Health Handbook
draws out the way in which some Christian teaching has interacted with societal pressures to drive down the self esteem of certain people (particularly women) leading to a crippling sense of unworthiness and shame. She wants to reclaim the basic goodness of the body and the creation from a dualist focus on the spirit as the only important aspect of us. She emphasizes the need to love our-selves if we are to love others, as Jesus taught.
draws on her own experience in fighting low self esteem and negative patterns of thought and behaviour, suggesting cognitive behaviour therapy techniques, (without explicitly naming them as such), physical actions, prayer and creative writing. resources from the Church of England, and the Church in Wales, the author frequently uses examples from the Celtic of Christianity. The importance of meditation and contemplation is highlighted, particularly in ‘thin places’ where there is less of a barrier between the mundane and the spiritual world.
Above all we are given an honest account of the authors emotional and spiritual pain and the way she has learned to cope with this; this emotional honesty can only help to bring healing to others who feel the same
The final chapter contains an engaging modern retelling of a gospel story. A wealthy woman wants to say thank you to the life coach who has really helped her develop self esteem. She brings perfume and pours it over the teacher’s feet at a meal. The others present are hostile, but he thanks her, reaffirms her gift and sends her on her way “…Now you go and live your life, love yourself and be free.”
This short but deep book will help those who are Christians or open to using Christian resources, who need to learn to accept themselves, bodies and personalities as they are; the first step to recovery, transformation and healing for so many of our patients.
Revd. Dr Alison J Gray,
~ Dr Alison Gray, Consultant Psychiatrist, Royal College of Psychiatrists' website
Its not just theory, its lived experience - also it wasnt written in a hurry - it took over 5 years. Who doesnt need at times to stop, breathe, focus? Who doesnt have demon fears to face in life? Who doesnt need some hope and suggested ways through when stuck or facing some kind of problem or uncertainty? To learn to be centred in this moment rather than going back to the past or looking into an unknown future,this is what the book helps us to do. Above all we are encouraged to reconnect with our bodies, to value them the body is the home of your soul on earth. It also helps to make Christ/faith more real physically: God is the ground beneath my feet, the air I breathe, the sky above me...in physical creativity I mirror Gods creativity. In repetitive physical labour I echo the hearbeat of the creator and know that I am alive.
In the end its not so much us needing to find new methods or techniques - the peace is already within us and simply needs to be allowed to be. This book helps this to happen in very practical ways. It is, of course, as Eva reminds us, a journey beginning always in the present moment, but encompassing eternity. I end with her words: May you find peace in moments that spill out into your life; love that heals your wounds, friends for the journey and a quiet mind.~ Canon Paul Hunt, Spirituality Advisor Diocese of Worcester
One of the most abiding memories of my time as a parish priest is a conversation with an elderly woman who had been attending the church all her life. She could not accept that God loved her. She recoiled from the idea that she was a beautiful child of God, made in his image. Her mind was filled with disparaging thoughts about herself. Although not the only cause, decades of negative teaching and self-abasing prayers had contributed to a deep sense of self-loathing. I have met a lot of people, damaged to a lesser or greater extent by the view of what it is to be a human being that has for so long been taught by the Church . The many conversations I have had with people who have left the Church confirm that this is a major problem. Very often such people have subsequently plunged into the innumerable alternative spiritualities that abound in the western world and found, to their delight, a wonderfully positive view of what it is to be a human being. It is this question that Eva McIntyre addresses in "A Quiet Mind". Through reflecting on her personal journey, she offers thoughts, words and gentle exercises that she has found helpful. This is a powerful book, because it is the fruit of lived experience. It is a necessary book because many people struggle with their minds in isolation, believing ( as Eva did) that no one else feels the same. It is an important book because, with the authority of priesthood, Eva gives implicit permisssion for others to recount their stories and thereby be healed in the telling. ~ Simon Small, Author of 'From the Bottom of the Pond'
If we’re honest, most of us recognize that we regularly tell ourselves negative things about ourselves. While we each have versions of this negative “self-talk,” in some way we each say things to ourselves like, “You’re not good enough. You don’t fit in. You’re not good looking. You just can’t do anything right.”
An important principle in cognitive therapies is that changing these negative ways of thinking is the foundation of mental health. That’s often done by the use of affirmations or deliberate positive self-talk. It’s good psychology.
Going beyond the realm of good psychology, Eva McIntyre, in her new book, A Quiet Mind: Uniting Body, Mind and Emotions in Christian Spirituality, approaches the challenges posed by negative self talk. The negative things we say to ourselves limit us from living out our true dignity and worth. Using a variety of resources from the Christian spiritual tradition, McIntyre addresses not only the negative messages we give ourselves but looks deeper at how fear and anxiety prevent us from being the people we were created to be. While the topics McIntyre addresses are not new, she masterfully utilizes resources in the Christian tradition to address topics of fear, anxiety, and worry. Practical exercises enable the reader to learn to incorporate this spiritually grounded approach to healthy living.
Recognizing the integration of the whole person, McIntyre is not content to limit her comments to abstract thoughts and spiritual practice. Later chapters of A Quiet Mind explore how negativity is stored in the body and needs to be addressed in the psychical dimension of self as well as in the mind. In this, McIntyre roots the process of quieting the mind in a uniquely Christian, incarnational manner.
While McIntyre draws on the spiritual wisdom of the Christian tradition, she also critiques the many ways Christianity has been used to instill guilt and shame in people. McIntyre is not shy in confronting the harm done to people who were taught to only believe in their own sinfulness and to view their bodies and minds as corrupt. Drawing particularly on Celtic Christianity, McIntyre offers a fresh understanding of the self-worth of the individual.
McIntryre’s brief 71-page book is accessible and easy to read. This simple text will be of great benefit for individuals interested in practical help in the integration of mind, body, and spirit. Her expertise as a storyteller, actor and Anglican priest come together to offer a fresh perspective on issues that are challenging for most people, no matter their religious perspective. While Buddhist psychology provides a forum to apply mindfulness meditation to bring wholeness of mind and spirit, McIntyre’s Christian perspective provides an avenue to whole person integration by nurturing a quiet mind.
Having read a preview copy of McIntyre’s book, The Quiet Mind, I am delighted to be able to recommend it to my friends as an excellent resource that integrates sound psychology and Christian spirituality to support healthy living.~ Dr Lou Kavar, Spiritual Director/Coach, Psychologist, Minister
In A Quiet Mind, Eva McIntyre clearly demonstrates a commitment to humanity. I get the sense from reading A Quiet Mind that she slowly came to a realization that her comination of experience and research made a highly useful toolkit that was reliably and consistently providing her with valuable assistance and that i was wealth that she really wanted to share.
She shares the usefulness of experiences and/or research in varied religions, spirituality, yoga/meditation, theatre, and importantly ahsred human experience. At a certain point in the book I said to myself, 'Wow, she really, really, really listens to people. That is what makes this so valuable and that is also what shows how much she has already given to so many even before writing a book."
For any person (or even institution) who is interested in gaining greater self-sufficiency for him or herself on a daily basis, this book offers valuable insight into ways to think about and respond to the vagaries of life. I will even say that I consider it to be a reference book, in that I am sure that I will read it more than once looking for one or more tools.~ Pamala Smith, Library Support Generalist Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont.
This delightful little book performs two functions. Firstly for those who seek a tool box with which to find a Quiet Mind this book does what it says on the cover.
Secondly, if the Church will listen, Eva is pointing the way to a simple, relevant and spiritual Christianity which could be a major contribution to its salvation.
To read it is to relax. To use it is to find a Quiet Mind.
~ Churchgay youout - on facebook.
'Love the book!'~ Helen Gray
This is a powerful book, because it is the fruit of lived experience. It is a necessary book because many people struggle with their minds in isolation, believing ( as Eva did) that no one else feels the same. It is an important book because, with the authority of priesthood, Eva gives implicit permission for others to recount their stories and thereby be healed in the telling.~ Simon Small, Author of 'From the Bottom of the Pond'
Eva McIntyre uses her own journeying and the ways she has found helpful to encourage and support others who seek to live full, human, gifted and joyful lives. Her powers of evoking memory, place and emotion make this a powerful and life-giving book. I will certainly use it with people I journey with."~ Revd Dr Chris Jenkins, Priest, Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director & Chair of the Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care and Counselling
Eva McIntyre is a very able and committed priest who longs to share the abundance of life that she has found through Godâ€™s love in Jesus with others. In this book she shares her wisdom and her experience â€“ painful as well as joyful â€“ in a reflective, profound and often moving fashion. I commend it warmly to anyone who wants to find the wholeness that God yearns to give to everyone. ~ The Right Revd Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester.