The Curve of the World:
Into the Spiritual Heart of Yoga
by Andy Douglas Bottom Dog Press

"Once again, the daily grind was subverted through the charm of our commitment to practice. Once again the world became suffused with meaning."

What began as an idea to spend a year abroad becomes years of devotion and sacrifice for spiritual meaning and connection. Andy Douglas travels to Thailand and beyond as a young man trying to figure out who he is and what his place is in the world. Like the story of Siddhartha, the path unfolds before him unexpected and yet exactly as it should.

In Bangkok, the seed for more immediately plants itself in Douglas' heart and mind. "As I returned to the kitchen to wipe clean the chopping block, I realized that this was the idea I longed to understand: We make the world sacred by our intentions." It is this sense of intent that many people yearn for and few find, but Douglas is willing to move into the unknown perhaps alienating himself even more to find the sacred. Along the way, he sheds his skepticism and meets his guru, takes a position with PROUT in Tokyo and eventually becoming an Ananda Marga monk working in Korea.

Beautifully rendered, Douglas is particularly adept at placing the reader in his exotic locales through lush descriptions and heartfelt prose. His care with his subject matter creates a sensitive but rational portrait of the cultural and political climate of the Ananda Marga movement. He manages the personal, his relationships both spiritual and emotional, with sentiment yet tempered by objectivity. When he arrives back in the States, he finds reintroduction awkward and painful. Yet with time, he is able to connect his spiritual life abroad with his material life back home. The result is one man's struggle and ultimately his triumph to find the serenity and balance so many are after. Like so many things, it is not a final completion, but the realization that the path goes on if only one is willing to keep walking.

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