9296540865?profile=originalIf you like spiritual quests, you will enjoy the stories in Song of India: Tales of travel and transformation. The book is a collection of 10 tales about my attempt to recover from grief, understand the essence of yoga and rediscover the joy of living by traveling, studying yoga and volunteering in India.

 

“India always changes people, and I have been no exception,”author Ruth Prawer-Jhabvala wrote, and I agree. Before I left for India on the first trip, I had experienced a series of devastating losses and I didn’t know whether I would ever recover from the resulting depression. But I threw my faith into yoga, and while training to become a yoga teacher, I suddenly felt compelled to manifest a dream – and go to India.

 

When I flew to India for the first time, on December 5,2005, I had no idea what would happen to me during my six months there. I just knew I had to go. I needed to regain my enthusiasm for life and my belief in the magic and wonder of the universe. India did that for me. And it did much more besides. That’s what these stories are about.

 

The physics of thequest

 

Many people ask if I was influenced by the book Eat, Pray, Love. The year it was published I was already in India. So, while I can’t say that the book influenced me in any way, I do agree with author Elizabeth Gilbert that, “there exists in the universe something I call the physics of the quest – a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum.”

 

If you are courageous enough to leave behind everything you know and set out on a truth-seeking journey, and if you go with the right attitude – the attitude that sees everything that happens as a clue, and everyone as a teacher – and if you are willing to really face yourself … you will experience transformation.

 

Joseph Campbell advised the same thing when he said, “Follow your bliss.” I did it, and it worked: it changed my life.

 

The beauty of India

 

Since my first six-month trip to India in 2005/06, I have been back three more times. I wrote a blog right from the start and discovered I love travel writing, especially about India. My love for the beauty of India inspired me to create a travel blog, BreatheDreamGo.com, to write travel articles for magazines, newspapers and websites, to create BreatheDreamGo Tours to India and to publish a book, Song of India:Tales of travel and transformation.

 

The stories in this collection are inspired by the scorched earth of the Rajasthan desert; the hypnotic currents of the Ganga river; the spectacular Himalayan sunrise in Darjeeling; the masses of people at the world’s largest spiritual gathering; and the intense, smoke-filled darkness of a night facing death on the river in Varanasi.

 

They are geographically diverse, but thematically linked by my transformative journeys across the subcontinent and my love for the culture,the country and the people of India.

 

Song of India: Talesof travel and transformation is published by BreatheDreamGo. It is available online through Amazon and by ordering from Breathedreamgo.com. 60 pages, $10.00.

 

Mariellen Ward is a Toronto-based freelance writer with a BA in Journalism, a certificate in yoga teacher training and a passion for sharing the beauty of India’s culture and wisdom. She has traveled for more than a year altogether inIndia, writes for magazines, newspapers and many online travel sites, and publishes an India travel blog, Breathedreamgo.com . Mariellen also leads small group tours to some of her favourite places in India. Song of India: Tales of Travel and Transformation is her first book.