3 out of 4 stars
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“This book is about being quiet, so something that has always existed will become obvious.” -Nukunu
Nukunu’s spiritual awakening happened while he was sipping his morning coffee. He had searched the globe for truth and meaning, and this was, for whatever reason, the auspicious moment that brought it all together. Beloved of My Heart: Nukunu’s Personal Journey, chronicles over 60 years of the author’s profound quest for fulfillment.
Born in Denmark in 1947, Nukunu was raised by an invisible mother and an abusive, tyrannical father. The abuse left him with tremendous anger, which became the catalyst for the therapeutic work that would eventually free him from the past and become his life's work.
Nukunu came of age in the 60s with The Beatles, Vietnam, hashish, and the self-realization revolution. People were experimenting with “finding themselves” through Gestalt and encounter therapies, sexual experimentation, and spiritual practices. For nearly three decades, Nukunu immersed himself in the teachings of numerous gurus and spiritual teachers, including Osho, Papaji and Hans Raj Maharajji. The detailed accounts of his experiences are vulnerable and reveal the depth of his commitment to spiritual fulfillment.
Concurrently, Nukunu was obtaining a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in psychology, the preparation for his next 30 years working as a therapist and teacher. Since his awakening in 1995, Nukunu has devoted his life to teaching others the way to freedom through non-dual therapy.
The author does a nice job of leading the reader through the mostly intangible nature of his personal and spiritual evolution. Conveyed in first-person, Nukunu’s voice is engaging and vulnerable. I was drawn in by his sometimes radical and controversial journey, traversing several continents, exploring personal, spiritual, and sexual boundaries.
Nukunu effectively uses imagery to characterize concepts such as the quest for enlightenment. Pursuing enlightenment, he says, is like trying to reach the horizon; moving toward it does not bring it any closer. He describes waking life as a dream. Each of us is a dream character, and the dreamer—the true Self—is all that’s real.
The book would have benefitted from professional editing. It contains quite a few errors, including chronic missing or misplaced commas as well as conjugation and article problems.
I liked the book very much, despite the errors. The editing problems prevent me from awarding a perfect rating, so I offer Beloved of My Heart 3 out of 4 stars for the impressive volume of experiences, vulnerability, and fiction-like appeal.
I recommend the book to anyone curious about non-dual thought, Transpersonal Psychology, or mystical spiritual teachings. Readers familiar with world spiritual teachings will recognize many of the people, places, and practices. If you have more traditional beliefs and are curious about spiritual awakening, you won’t often see a more informative or compelling overview. As nonfiction adventures go, this is a gem. You may come away with more questions than answers, but that's the nature of spiritual seeking - and if you're like me, you’ll enjoy pondering whether life is, in fact, but a dream.
Beloved of my heart
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