In search of enlightenment

Posted on: Monday, March 11, 2013

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“The object of spirituality is to become infinite and I didn’t; flow into infinity; I was stumbling and it wasn’t so easy,” says author Michael Fischman when asked about the title of his book, Stumbling Into Infinity ’. Michael was in the city from his home in California to launch the same at The Oxford Bookstore here. The book is an autobiographical account of the author’s spiritual journey and his encounters with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and The Art of Living foundation. Michael is also the former president of the U.S. chapter of the Art of Living foundation.

While the story is an intimate memoir of Michael’s journey, the wisdom and teachings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are interwoven into the storyline.

So when did Michael begin his search for infinity? “I was very religious to begin with,” explains the author who had an orthodox Jewish upbringing. “When I was around three, my grandfather died and it really affected me. I realised then that if my grandfather can die, I could die and wanted to know what happens after that moment. What happens to my thoughts, and what happens to my memory? It moved me to later find out what the meaning of life and purpose is.”

His tryst with the Art of Living foundation began one afternoon at a health food store.

“I was in store in southern California and bumped into a friend who told me about this seminar that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conducting there and it just registered. Something about it really struck a chord and I said ‘this is what I want to do in life’. I waited three months for the seminar marking days on my calendar. As soon as I met Guruji, things began to happen. I took the course, learnt the Sudarshan Kriya and my life began to change,” says Michael.

Guruji’s place in Michael’s life is evident in the way he speaks about him, “I have never met someone so loving and so compassionate and that’s what kept me going. I can’t think of anyone – family or friends that I formed such a strong bond with. I never had a friend who liked me so much.” He considers his involvement with the foundation an adventure; “I didn’t think ‘oh I’m committing to a spiritual path’ or ‘Do I have to follow this Guru around?’ It was a natural unfolding,”

The book is not a picture perfect expression of a person on a spiritual journey. According to Michael, it really shows how an enlightened guru works with an individual to refine his personality and help him grow spiritually. “I was not the easiest student. I had lots of doubts and questions. People have lots of notions about what a guru is or what enlightenment is. This book will break all the myths about these things,” he points out.

Michael hopes that Stumbling Into Infinity will, in a small way, do what Autobiography of a Yogi did for many people. “Last week I was at the Kumbh Mela and I met people from Spain and Sweden. I asked them what brought them there and they replied saying they had read the Autobiography of a Yogi and were searching for their guru,” he narrates.

“My book is a little more down-to-earth and more conversational; but I hope it helps those who read it start out on a spiritual path.

Launch Writer Michael Fischman hopes that his book will break myths about spirituality

Source: The Hindu

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