After a health scare leaves him reeling, Eric Weiner-an atheist by default-sets out on a worldwide search for an experience of the divine. Propelled by the confrontation with his own mortality and questions about the best way to raise his daughter, Weiner travels to Nepal, where he meditates with Tibetan lamas and a guy named Wayne; to Turkey, ...
After a health scare leaves him reeling, Eric Weiner-an atheist by default-sets out on a worldwide search for an experience of the divine. Propelled by the confrontation with his own mortality and questions about the best way to raise his daughter, Weiner travels to Nepal, where he meditates with Tibetan lamas and a guy named Wayne; to Turkey, where he whirls (poorly) with Sufi dervishes; to China where he attempts to unblock his chi; to Israel where he studies Kabbalah, sans Madonna; and to Las Vegas, where he has a close encounter with Raelians (followers of the world's largest UFO-based religion). Weiner's journey takes place at a time when more Americans than ever-nearly one in three-are choosing a new faith. At each stop along the way, Weiner tackles our most pressing spiritual questions: Where do we come from? What happens when we die? How should we live our lives? Why do socks abscond? With his trademark wit and warmth, Weiner leaves no stone unturned.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-11-14 Former NPR reporter Weiner (The Geography of Bliss) turns his journalistic and travel-writing skills to the terrain of the inner life in this ironic, informative, if somewhat flat, spirituality memoir. A more-or-less agnostic cultural Jew, Weiner decides in midlife to get serious about investigating God-is there a God, and if so what is God like? To answer these questions, the author travels around the world, apprenticing himself (briefly) to teachers and practitioners of eight different religious traditions, from Sufism to shamanism. He reads Rumi in Istanbul and takes a mikvah dip in Tzfat, Israel. Franciscans bring him along to an antiabortion protest, and Jamie, a witch in the Pacific northwest, helps him crash a coven and sends him stern e-mail telling him to address his chronic depression. Winsome, self-deprecating humor marks every page. But the spiritual takeaways Weiner offers feel a bit thin-as when, at the end of his time in Nepal, he concludes that the fleetingness of an experience (be that experience life or breakfast) makes the moment not "less sweet," but "more. Definitely more." (Dec. 5) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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