For some reason I picked this book up thinking that it would be a travel memoir and yoga memoir. It is indeed a travel book, but it is not just a book about traveling and doing yoga as I had anticipated. The best way to place this book in your mind shelves is as a spiritual travel memoir. Macdonald takes the reader on a trip through India, that is not always pleasant but it is real. In the land of chaos she travels in search of ways to better understand the people and the country around her. What she finds is understanding of herself and ways in which to try and be one with her own head and heart.
When I first started reading this book my immediate reaction was… “Wow! I never want to visit India!” I do not think I could survive a day in many of the cities she details. The crowds, the open groping of women in the streets and the extreme hardships of people all seemed so emotionally overwhelming and I was just reading a book! But once Macdonald began her spiritual travels I started to see a side to India that was very welcoming and appealing. There is such freedom not only in what people choose to call their religion or spiritual quests throughout India but there is also such a wonderful adaptation game going on as well. According to Macdonald religion is not a stagnant thing in India, it ebbs and flows with the culture, environment and time. It is a beautiful way to look at the spiritual side of people. While I am sure I will not being going to India anytime soon, and at one point during the reading I thought I would never venture that way, Macdonald has lit a spark of interest in me with her book. It is well written and honest and a good read for anyone seeking a travel adventure, spiritual quest, or even a looking into the culture anthropology of India. The only thing I think could have been improved was more time spent on some sections of her travel (the Buddhist Temple visit and more on her Yoga studies), but that is just my personal preference.
“I must find peace in the only place possible in India. Within.” (Kindle Location 1064)
“I feel like I’m trapped in a TV episode of Survivor Spiritualists. The last one left gets enlightenment.” (Kindle Location 1125).
“For one brief moment I realized that I am just vibrating matter- arising and falling away like all the other particles in the universe.” (Kindle Location 1235)