The Ashram

front cover image for the ashram showing painting of spiritual community in the topanga canyon hillsThe idea for my sec­ond nov­el came from the piv­otal episode in the life of the Bud­dha, when the young Prince Sid­dhartha secret­ly ven­tured out from his iso­lat­ed palace and saw the four sights that con­vinced him to renounce the world and set off in search of enlight­en­ment: an aged per­son, a sick per­son, a dead per­son, and final­ly a Hin­du holy man. But the hero in my sto­ry doesn’t sim­ply set off in search of enlight­en­ment. He becomes so moved by the suf­fer­ing he sees that he decides to do some­thing about it. I’ve always felt that real spir­i­tu­al­i­ty can­not be self­ish or self-cen­tered. The quest for enlight­en­ment is the noblest of human aspi­ra­tions but if it doesn’t simul­ta­ne­ous­ly involve a com­mit­ment to do what we can to relieve the suf­fer­ing of oth­ers and to fight against the injus­tice that is the cause of so much of that suf­fer­ing, then I think our quest is ulti­mate­ly doomed — at least until we get it right. That’s what The Ashram is ulti­mate­ly about: the awak­en­ing of our human heart as we walk the road to spir­i­tu­al realization.

Book Descrip­tion

Set in the pic­turesque hills of Topan­ga Canyon, with­in hail­ing dis­tance of the glit­ter and hype of mod­ern-day Los Ange­les, The Ashram gives us a fic­tion­al look at South­ern Cal­i­for­ni­a’s col­or­ful eso­teric com­mu­ni­ty, where the forces of West­ern com­mer­cial­ism and the mys­ti­cal tra­di­tions of the East meld to form the begin­nings of a new spir­i­tu­al cul­ture. Against this back­drop, we fol­low the jour­ney of a young yogi in his search for enlight­en­ment, from his child­hood ini­ti­a­tion by a mys­te­ri­ous sage to his roman­tic encoun­ters with the woman who is des­tined to open his heart to the suf­fer­ing in the world around him, a stark real­i­ty that he must come to terms with before he can com­plete his inner jour­ney. In the process, the read­er is ush­ered into the pri­mal land­scapes of the human spir­it, where the final reck­on­ing of who we are is deter­mined by how we respond to the chal­lenges that life places in our path.

Click  link to view sam­ple chapters:

The Ashram Sam­ple Chapters

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