He’s been called an Indiana Jones of the spirit. In his first book, In Search of Simplicity, released in the Far North in 2009, local author John Haines chronicled his exciting, serendipitous journey around the world in search of the meaning of life. Inspired especially by the simple living villagers of the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea and by the Hunzas in their Shangri La-like mountain stronghold at the top of the world in Northern Pakistan, Canadian-born John Haines followed a series of inexplicable messages to begin to live the ‘Good Life’ in the high deserts of Northern New Mexico, to a place he’d never been before. What he didn’t know at the time was that New Mexico was only one of many stops along a circuitous path that eventually brought him and his family to a somewhat more settled existence in the Far North.

Unlike his first book, which could be called a spiritual travel adventure story, John Haines’ eagerly anticipated sequel is more of a spiritual gardening adventure than a travel saga. Beyond the Search chronicles the author’s profound experiences and experiments with Truth, simplicity, self-sufficiency and the Spirit of Nature in New Mexico, Arizona, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands. Although it is the sequel to In Search of Simplicity it is a complete volume in its own right.

Beyond the Search describes in an enjoyable, easy-to-read style John and his growing family’s sometimes faltering attempts to live the dream; to live simply, nobly and in harmony with nature and each other; to live an unfettered life, unplugged from the grid and disconnected from all forms of media, while remaining connected to the messages coming from nature and within.

It is a story of challenges and adventures—from rattlesnakes and a devastating hailstorm to an international gold mining company intent on developing an open pit mine literally on the other side of the fence—proving in this instance that an escape from the rat race is not always easy.

Beyond the Search is a triumph of the spirit. It is an inspiration to anyone wishing to live a little more simply, a little healthier and more connected with nature and each other. As one New Zealand reviewer recently wrote, ‘Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.’ (Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101) Like all life stories this one is not all a bed of roses. Haines shares with us how he overcame a battle with depression and the near loss of his marriage through perseverance and the will to make things work: naturally, of course!

In Beyond the Search Haines challenges some of today’s popular assumptions, suggesting we’re not merely victims of the weather, but co-conspirators in its creation. And if you’re having trouble with possums, read this book. I say no more.

John Haines lives today with his family in Coopers Beach. When he’s not writing he can be found on Doubtless Bay Family Radio or assisting patrons at the Kaitaia Public Library. His books are available in your local bookshop or by contacting the author directly at (09) 4060149. John is an inspiring speaker and is available for talks in the area. For more on John and his books visit www.insearchofsimplicity.com or www.johnhainesbooks.com.

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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A Lily called Garden Symphony

So long as I listened to the whisperings of the garden there was little room for neglect and boundless opportunity for respect. 

Here’s a brief extract from my upcoming book, Beyond the Search. It may be brief, but it accurately reflects the way in which I work in the garden. This methodology gives me peace. I hope it inspires you, for these insights apply to much more than gardening. They are metaphors for the journey of life.

Enjoy, John

Have you ever noticed the way a good symphonic song builds? First, there may be just a few members of the orchestra, perhaps a trumpet and some strings. Next, the wind section and some percussion add to the sound. Eventually, effortlessly, the song builds until all the musicians are actively engaged and so is the listener with a wholeness of sound.

I was raised to begin a task, stick with it and see it doggedly through to completion. My initial methodology in the garden was to prepare the soil and then plant everything in one intense period of activity.

This didn’t last long. In the mystical realms of the garden, I was guided by nature to work in a totally different way; to go with a flow that knew no schedule I could make sense of. I’d be asked one day to plant a few seedlings of, say, cauliflower on one side of the garden and maybe a few leeks on the other. I soon discovered it wasn’t about my conditioned way of completing one job and then moving onto the next. It was more about listening to the building orchestra. I found I would work for a few hours in one part of the garden and then flow easefully to a completely different area. I felt part of the dance; one with the music. If God was the painter, I was the brush, the garden the artwork. The painting took shape in a way that defied logic. It was as if the gods of the garden ensured no part of it could be left untouched for long. There was a subtle justness and beauty to the painting so long as I went with the flow. So long as I listened to the whisperings of the garden there was little room for neglect and boundless opportunity for respect.

I still work this way. It is second nature to me today. I’ll set the spade down in the middle of a job to taste a leaf or a berry, to drink in the sweet fragrance of a flower. Remarkably, I’m always invigorated and refreshed by the meanderings from the task at hand. I feel as though I’m part of an illustrious symphony only I’m not in charge. I’m simply the baton in the hands of the conductor, an extension of a thought and an intention. My job is to listen and fine tune and allow the natural harmony to grow.

If we are not gentle with life, the garden within us dies.

In some ways it is like when I was a young manager of people with far more practical experience than I. My job was to allow them to express their best. My job was to facilitate and encourage rather than to direct.

So it is in the garden. What a privileged position to be in.

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email