Book Review | Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape

Frans Stiene English 3 Comments

Hunger Mountain by David Hinton follows the journey of a man walking up a mountain reflecting upon the universe from a chinese poetic viewpoint.

This writing is poetry in motion. I wanted to wake each morning and walk with David, sharing his re-discovery of no-mind, something which he discusses so wonderfully within these pages. Not only does David use poetry but he also explains in detail the spiritual and poetic meaning of Chinese characters bringing us into a clearer understanding of Chinese philosophy and poetry. 

Below are some gems from within these pages. When I read these words I can feel David walking up the mountain contemplating the wisdom of the ancient Chinese sages and poets.

“What remains then is consciousness emptied of all contents, known in Ch’an terminology as “no-mind” or “empty-mind.” To dwell in that elemental emptiness, that generative realm of Absence, is to dwell at the heart of China’s Taoist/Ch’an cosmology, inhabiting the primal Cosmos in the most complete and immediate way.”

“It ends with a mind so empty it can shimmer with dew, and that is a remarkable place, an emptiness where we come face-to-face with the most elemental of miracles: Presence in all its silent radiance.”

“The term nature, for instance, refers to everything that is not human, and so by definition assumes a Cosmos divided into two ontologically distinct dimensions: human and nonhuman.”

“The West’s dualistic thinking devalued “nature” because its linguistic silence allows for no meaning, no inner reality or spirit, and this devaluation has facilitated catastrophic environmental destruction, for it reduces earth to nothing more than a collection of resources for our use, or the stage upon which we play out our human drama during a brief exile from our true spirit-home.”

“I’m wandering through myself in the form of a mountain that eludes me perfectly.”

I believe that David’s writing can help us travel deeper into our own true nature so that we can begin to live more in harmony with the universe.

I can only recommend that you, too, share a walk with David up the mountain to discover your inner cosmos.

Read an excerpt from Hunger Mountain

Comments 3

  1. Thanks, Frans, for sharing another wonderful book with us! “Presence in all its silent radiance” is a beautiful gem. I’ll have to order this! Gassho, Elly

  2. Thanks for sharing the book excerpts , in nature mountains is most I love , there vasteness , strength and kind of mistery that is attached to them some thing which is hidden from a naked eye but still so visible is in my opinion a perfect womb in nature something that one can go deeper and rediscover .

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