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For a video introduction to the book, please watch:
“The only way you’ll ever survive is to open yourself and let life take you where you don’t even know you need to be taken.”
From its opening moments of disorientation and confusion inside the halls of Mumbai’s airport, Choose Your Metaphor: Walking the One Path That Goes by Many Names is a vivid, autobiographical account of a ten thousand mile journey through five countries, the teachings of a half-dozen religious sages, love at first sight, and the human mind’s darkest reaches. Recounting my transformation from hardened secular humanist to fervent spiritual seeker, the book interweaves descriptions of interior and exterior landscapes, and invites the reader along for an adventure of the heart.
Ten days of silent meditation in Nepal opened me to the possibility that my lifelong distrust of religion was misplaced. Shortly afterward, I began devouring a buffet of competing metaphors and rituals in a frantic search for Truth. After pursuing Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist paths, however, I realized my self-centered attempt to escape from suffering had only compounded my anxiety. It was only when I finally accepted the wisdom of failure, sorrow, and insecurity that I realized his journey around the world and through its faiths had taught me how to feel at home on the ground beneath my feet.
Choose Your Metaphor is not a typical work of comparative spirituality. By recounting a travel narrative in the first person, it conveys something not generally found in strictly academic accounts of religion. It is one thing to read “all beings are Buddha nature,” but what does that really mean? How is the feeling of “not understanding” actually experienced? Although the specifics of my path are unique, the frankness and honesty with which I relates my struggles with addiction, judgment, and fear allow the reader to identify with those same elements in themselves.
At a moment when cultural interest in travel, spirituality, and spiritual travel is increasing, Choose Your Metaphor provides a fresh, intelligent perspective that readers will connect with. It is not a merely speculative philosophical work, laden with jargon and obscurities, nor is it a mere “look where I’ve been” travelogue. Choose Your Metaphor is an authentic account of a profoundly passionate spiritual journey that doesn’t shy away from describing mistakes, including what happens when spirituality is used in the service of ego. Paying sensitive attention to the cultural and intellectual settings I depict, I take readers halfway around the world and deep into life’s mysteries.