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Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

I received the book Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal my Colitis, Calm my ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness, by Brian Leaf. He is the author of eleven well known books, and currently teaches everything that he learned in the holistic tutoring center in Massachusetts. The book takes you through his detailed adventure of how yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and holistic health became a part of his life, and helped cure all his physical and mental ailments. There are many funny, inspiring and enlightening experiences along the way that make this book enjoyable. It's a hilarious male version of Eat, Pray, Love that's quite entertaining.

Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

Throughout his journey, he found eight ways to be happy:

Here is a great excerpt from the book Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi that I found quite interesting on cultivating abundance with meditation:

Cultivating Abundance

We've all experienced it. In our most pathetic, clingy, desperate hour of need, the Universe delivers... absolutely nothing.

It seems a sick joke, but, in fact, whatever force or God runs the show seems not to respond to disempowered displays of self-pity. She seems, instead, to respond generously to empowered non-attachment (which reminds me quite a bit of dating in my twenties - I always seemed to do best when I was already feeling attractive and confident.)

So why? Why does God (and dating) reward confidence? Why is it that when I am freaking out, feeling that I will just die if I don't hear from my agent, that I hear only crickets? But that when I get to my cushion to meditate, and when I let go, releasing to faith, that I return to my inbox with a fresh book deal awaiting me?

Here's the answer. This place where we live is a gymnasium where our souls do soul push-ups, and since self-pity does nothing to build these spiritual muscles, it is discouraged. It is our path to find our true selves while here on Earth. To drop into our hearts and souls. To experience that we, ourselves, are each part of God. Claiming the opposite, that we are helpless and alone, is incorrect and ineffective.

When we are lost in clinging and self-pity, we're like toddlers tantruming for chewing gum. And God, like a loving parent, won't give in to something that isn't healthy or safe for us.

Nice idea, right? But how do you get confident and become grounded in the seat of your true self? The answer: meditation, of course. Meditation is the practice, over time, of switching from indentifying with our thoughts and transient emotional states, to identifying instead with our deeper selves. And when we are connected to our deeper selves, if even for only moments, we can see more clearly and choose the path that works out our Karma and brings us toward freedom.

When we get grounded, resting in the true seat of our selves, in our authentic nature, seeing clearly and choosing that path of vitality and freedom, energy flows unbidden, the world falls at our feet, and God unlocks the arc.


Brian Leaf, M.A. is the author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi. He draws upon twenty-one years of intensive study, practice, and teaching of yoga, meditation, and holistic health. Visit him online at Misadventures-of-a-Yogi.com.

Based on the new book Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi @2012 by Brian Leaf. Published with permission of New World Library newworldlibrary.com.

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