It was a publishing phenomenon, a New York Times bestseller for over four years, with ten million copies in print. I hardly know anyone who hasn't read Elizabeth Gilbert's marvelous book; Julia Roberts even starred in the film adaptation. As an author myself, it seemed everyone in the industry was asking, "Who's going to write the next Eat Pray Love?"
La Jolla yoga teacher Michele Hebert perhaps has the answer. Her breakthrough book, The Tenth Door: An Adventure Through the Jungles of Enlightenment, is another Eat Pray Love, but with more spiritual substance. It's perfect for readers who enjoyed Gilbert's delightful travelogue, but are ready for a follow-up with greater depth
Hebert, a student of legendary yoga master Walt Baptiste, carries us from San Francisco to El Salvador on a real life spiritual adventure. Whether waiting on tables in a vegetarian restaurant in California or meditating in a pyramid in Central America, she keeps us at her side as she describes her many amazing experiences. All too often spiritual books are dry or preachy. This one you can't put down; its fun and engaging style keeps us eagerly turning the pages. Yet while we're being entertained, we're also learning something important about ourselves, and about what it takes to live as authentically spiritual beings.
I believe this book is going to make a lot of people enthusiastic about their spiritual practice again-the ones who've given up on their hatha yoga exercises or meditation because it didn't seem to deliver results fast enough. Here we see for ourselves what serious commitment to regular practice can produce. Hebert makes rigorous spiritual practice not only challenging but incredibly exciting. That's no minor accomplishment!
One of the many pleasures of The Tenth Door is rediscovering the yoga guru Walt Baptiste. He was a major figure in the history of yoga in the U.S., especially on the West Coast, but I had him filed under "body building and hatha postures" in my mental cabinet. I hadn't realized how profound his mastery of yoga science actually was, or what a tough and inspiring teacher he could be. Hebert has resurrected this great Raja Yoga master, bringing him back to life for future generations of readers, making him live and breathe in our awareness, and giving us the sense that he's still here teaching us too.
FYI, Michele Hebert is one of the finest yoga teachers in the Western world today. She's often in India, and has been initiated by both the Dalai Lama and the highly honored contemporary Indian sage, Swami Veda Bharati. She teaches meditation at the University of California, leads spiritual retreats, and is an expert in fitness and nutrition. I'm just grateful that she also found time to write this book!
The Tenth Door is loaded with insight and is spiritually galvanizing. It's one of the best books on living spirituality I've read in years. But what exactly is the tenth door? It's the portal we step through to fearlessness and freedom. If that's an adventure you'd like to undertake, this book will launch you on your way.
Linda Johnsen, M.S., is the award winning author of 'Daughters of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India,' and seven other books on yoga and spirituality, including 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism.'