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From its opening moments of disorientation and confusion inside the halls of the Mumbai 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 the story of 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 that 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 this 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 relate my struggles with addiction, judgment, and fear allow the reader to identify with those same elements in themselves.
Choose Your Metaphor is not a merely speculative philosophical work, laden with jargon and obscurities. Nor is it a mere “look where I’ve been” travelogue. It is an authentic account of a profoundly passionate spiritual journey that is not afraid to describe mistakes, including what happens when spirituality is used in the service of ego. My rigorous academic training allows me to pay sensitive attention to the cultural and intellectual settings I depict, as I take readers halfway around the world and deep into life’s mysteries.