I recently connected with a woman on LinkedIn, Martha Jette. She is a former newspaper editor and five-time published author. Out of the blue she asked if she could review my book in exchange for reviewing one of hers. She indicated she would post the review of my book on her blog and promptly sent me one one her books, Glimpses 2. I couldn’t turn down a possibility like this so I had BookSurge send a copy of In Search of Simplicity to her address in Ontario.
A few weeks later Martha got back me to say she’d finished the book and I could see her review on her blog. It was then I discovered she provides reviews for a fee of $25 to authors who wish to have her services. I felt privileged to have received the benefit of her experienced perspective for free.
And you can imagine my delight when I read the review she penned and posted. I’ve pasted it below. This is just one of many surprisingly pleasant experiences I’ve had on this journey of self-publishing. For more on Martha and to see the reviews she’s written visit http://mjbookreviews.blogspot.com/
I just finished reading In Search of Simplicity by John P. Haines and feel like I’ve been given a great gift. That gift is a rare glimpse into the most remote reaches of our planet where people live the simple life – happy, long-lived lives with little more than their families and the clothes on their backs. It’s an almost forgotten existence that those of us in supposedly more progressive countries find hard to even imagine.
John began his mystical journey and search for truth after being sent on a two-year contract with Bell Canada International to Saudi Arabia. Already a manager with Bell, John always figured he’d pursue a corporate career. However, this was not to be. He found himself with new friends swimming amongst the beautiful coral reefs and abundance of life beneath the Red Sea, and his eyes were opened to a new and to him – as yet undiscovered world.
The itch to travel got hold of him and soon he found himself in such remote locations as Yogyakarta, Java, Papua New Guinea, Guilin in southern China, the Hunzas in northern Pakistan, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi, Nepal, Kathmandu, McLeod Ganj, Tibet, Dharmsala, India, Malawi, Africa and a sprinkling of tropical islands such as Kiriwina and Telofomin. He also traveled to such countries as The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Iran and Germany. Along the way, John learned about meditation, yoga, Buddhism, Chinese medicine, breathing exercises, the value of herbs and natural foods. As well he read books about renowned spiritual teachers, various philosophies and more. He also intermingled with the natives and learned their natural way of living long and contented lives. He learned that material wealth doesn’t come anywhere near as close to bringing happiness, as spiritual peace and good health.
“ I loved this wandering life where every day was an unknown adventure,” he said.
But traveling often on foot to less than sanitary places lead to some serious problems along the way. He suffered almost constant diarriah, severe headaches, fevers, a bout of appendicitis and even rabies. Even so, John came away from his traveling experiences a much more enlightened and happy man. He also fell in love. He met a beautiful Dutch woman named Lucia in McLeod Ganj who eventually became his wife.
I loved reading along as John traveled from one destination to another and I learned as he learned too. A couple of things really stood out to me. The first was an experience he had in Tibet. While meditating, he traveled out of body and understood the true essence of time, space and his place as a divine presence in the Now. He discovered his true Self. Anyone adept at meditation can achieve this and it’s truly a wonderfully enlightening experience.
As John traveled, many synchronicities occurred that put him at the right place at the right time, brought the exact information he needed or friends he’d met thousands of miles away suddenly appeared in some remote village. I also felt synchronicities while reading this book. John has been around the world but was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario. So was I! We shared an almost identical meditation experience and to my surprise, on Page 362 he recounted the time he heard the angels sing.
“The voices were, quite literally, out of this world,” he wrote. “I have never in my life, before or since, heard anything at all close to as beautiful as this. The sound was so profound and so melodious that it seemed to stir some deep musical memory in me.”
When I first told my daughters of a similar experience a number of years ago, they looked at me like I was from Mars. Now, with John’s written words, they know I’m not crazy! I have heard this heavenly choir on three separate occasions – all while I was praying in a meditative state.
The greatest lesson John learned through his myriad of experiences was that having just enough – was enough. Today, he, Lucia and their children live a simple, self-sufficient yet full life together in New Zealand.
I would highly recommend this book not only for it’s colorful descriptions of remote places and peoples, but also for the many insights that will have you re-evaluating your own life and how you live it. To get a copy of In Search of Simplicity go Here.
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