Post-millennium, I moved permanently from America to India. Here, in the shadow of the sacred hill Arunachala, two decades from the day I conceived the idea and following seven major rewrites, I finished my first novel in the Moksha Trilogy: Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India.
I then had an outstanding Manhattan literary agent, but the slow grind of conventional publishing frustrated me. Fortunately, the self-publishing industry had just taken off like a space missile; since I had no desire to actively promote my books, I decided to self-publish.
Neither I nor my co-conspirators knew the nuts and bolts of self-publishing; but one is versatile and he uploaded Whip. Now I had to promote it! Since I did not want to hire a promotion agency, my friend designed a blog for me—and so was born the metaphysical and mundane musings of a maverick female scribe.
Over the years, our audience has grown into the thousands, international magazines have published my posts, and my friend’s consistent technical support has allowed me to focus on writing, which I consider my dharma or spiritual calling.
Why link the metaphysical with the mundane? Ah, herein hangs a tale. During my confused early years, I came upon an ancient Eastern teaching known as the Two Great Truths of Absolute and Relative Reality. Through this amazing lens, life finally began to make sense to me. I learned that, for as long as we are governed by duality, we must nurture our fragile egoic selves, even as we deepen our investigation into what the sages inform us is our true nature (sat-chit-ananda in Sanskrit), which translates as pure existence, awareness and bliss—and so we deal righteously with the mundane, even as we explore our vast metaphysical being.
Much water has since flowed under the bridge: Krishna’s Counsel, a contemporary novel set both in south India and Manhattan, followed Whip of the Wild God, and then I completed the third novel in the series which I’d begun long ago in the foothills of the Himalayas: Copper Moon Over Pataliputra, set in the fabulous Mauryan Empire.
With more time on my hands, I began to write a regular morning post for my social media contacts. Several friends asked me to collate these posts into a book, so I put together all my posts beginning from April 2013, wove multiple segments into a single post, arranged them thematically, and inserted brief lead-ins wherever necessary to explain the inspiration for the post.
Posts range from the biographical to the metaphysical, from creative writing to Eastern philosophy, to social and spiritual commentary, poetry and stories of great gurus including ancient luminous beings such as the Rajasthani Princess turned saint Mirabai, and the sage Dattatreya. Some of my favorites are: The Ego Is Not Your Amigo, Two Great Truths of Absolute and Relative Reality, Mahamudra Meditation: Samsara’s Seven Flavors, Serpent Ring & The Magic of Acceptance, Everything Is Beautiful, Advaita Is Not Two, Wall Street Addict in Harlem, Demon of Eclipses & Illusions, Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide, Drugs, Guns & Satsangh and The Dirty Little Secret.
I began my quest for moksha by studying the foundations of hatha yoga philosophy. I then explored the ascetic purity of Zen Buddhism, before diving into rich and colorful Tibetan Buddhism. (I lived for several years in Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalayas, home of the exiled Tibetans). Disillusioned by the rituals and hierarchical systems of some Tibetan Buddhist groups, I moved on to Santh Math (the Path of the Mystics), before circling back to the luminous teachings of Advaita, specifically to the Direct Path of Self-Investigation as taught by the great sage Ramana Maharshi.
My other main teacher today is Nisargadatta Maharaj, known as the Hammer for his unflinching manner of conveying mystical truths. I’ve studied many spiritual traditions, but make no claims to being a scholar: I write from my heart and express personal sentiments and opinions, which are always flexible and open to refinement.
I owe a great debt to all my teachers, visible and invisible, positive and negative, and to all the scribes, ancient and modern, who have shared their own journeys into the light.
To the three American friends who came to my rescue by helping me to put this book into a form that could be published: Kailasam Berke, Steven Sullivan and Jon McAllister, great thanks! And to the Indian friend who prefers to remain anonymous and did all the work of uploading so quietly and efficiently, my eternal gratitude!
I hope you enjoy these pieces of writing as much as I enjoyed spinning them out!
Namasthe from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, whose sacred vow is to help us on the awesome journey from darkness to light!
Here are the direct links to the book (or you can click on the single link that gives you all my work):
AMAZON KINDLE (E-BOOK)