In Awaken, author Jin Nua writes about a personal experience with enlightenment and offers suggestions for readers hoping to be similarly awakened.
Jin credits a series of “close encounters with nature” as being the catalyst for his awakening, but isn’t clear on exactly how they caused it. Among the “real and tangible benefits” available to those who undergo a similar transformation, he writes, is the ability “to dive down into the hearts of atoms as well as soar across galaxies.” That kind of observation is typical of this slim volume, which presents ideas that are far from tangible. Readers may find themselves longing for more specific details; although the prose here is uncluttered, it leans toward the hyperbolic. Even the more straightforward revelations, such as “Nature will become a limitless source of awe and inspiration,” are ultimately puzzling: What if readers are already awed by nature? What benefit does this level of inspiration confer?
To his credit, the author does offer concrete recommendations to anyone hoping for a more awakened life (spend more time in nature; walk as much as possible; dive into classical art, music and literature). He also includes a lovely chapter, just one page long, comparing a journal or diary to a forest floor where ideas are seeded so they can grow. It’s a gorgeous metaphor about something readers can experience firsthand and is one of the book’s standout moments.
Awaken is more spirit than material, and some may feel that the author hasn’t delivered enough substance to enable them to grasp his ideas. Still, fans of new age writing may find comfort and inspiration in this account of a life transformed by nature and art.
Also available as an ebook.