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The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World

Andy Merrifield

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Mind, Body, Spirit: thought & practice, Travel writing

This book is the story of Andy Merrifield's slow and thoughtful pilgramage across the Auvergne with only a donkey for company, after he turns his back on New York and city life.

'An amazing book... Erudite, acutely observed and spontaneous.' - John Berger

'This is Zen and the Art of Donkey Walking. I cannot imagine a more charming, informative or restful book.' - Jim Crace

'Pleasantly eccentric and elegantly written, suffused with the patient calm of the admired beast.' - New York Observer

'A fond meditation on the calming virtues of donkeyhood and daydreaming... a wistful travelogue.' - The Sunday Times

When Andy Merrifield made his first trip to America aged ten, he vowed that one day he would leave his native Liverpool and live in New York. He eventually got there, but his dream quickly turned sour.

In 2003, weary of city life, he moved to central France and embarked upon a journey of the soul, walking amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of the Auvergne.

This book is the story of that slow pilgrimage, on which his only companion is Gribouille, a tender and intelligent donkey with soft, thick fur on his brow and calm, dark eyes. The purposeful pace of his journey allows Merrifield gradually to confront himself, as well as the larger mysteries of existence - while marvelling at his tranquil surroundings and revelling in the oddities of French rural life.

The Wisdom of Donkeys reminds us that observing, being mindful, and being present in the moment are essential to a fulfilled life. It teaches us that enlightenment is all around us if we only take the time to seek it.

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