Auspicious Good Fortune
One woman’s inspirational journey from Western disillusionment to Eastern spiritual fulfilment
Has your life ever flashed before you? Sumangali Morhall chased everything Western society taught her to pursue: material wealth, academic success, and even the perfect relationship, only to discover something deeply significant was still missing. A sudden near-death experience opened her eyes, and her life began anew. Left with nothing and nobody to rely on, her inner strength blossomed and her spiritual search began in earnest. Her journey led her to study meditation with Indian spiritual Master, Sri Chinmoy: a direction she could never have imagined. Sumangali reveals the arcane practice of learning from a contemporary Guru in lively detail, shedding light on misconceptions while remaining candid about her own initial doubts. Heartwarming, courageous, and beautifully crafted, this spiritual memoir follows a Western woman learning the ways of the East, and putting them into practice in her modern world: an ordinary person leading an extraordinary life.
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Sumangali Morhall’s Auspicious Good Fortune details one woman’s spiritual awakening in beautiful, lyrical prose that sometimes reads like poetry. The rhythm and cadence of her voice is easy to fall into, easy to find peace in. This piece of writing is not merely a memoir or a spiritual journey or even an ode to a lost Guru and way of life that so few of us are able to find. Sumangali’s writing offers a unique window into the pacing and thinking of a person who has found a balance between her “interior world and the outer world” – giving her reader a visceral experience of that balance. The story she tells flows fluidly from the specifics of her physical reality to her own conscious interactions within herself. Sumangali’s adept use of language allows for such fluidity – allows for the reader to follow her implicitly as new connections are made. In one of my favorite sections of the text, Sumangali describes a moment in which, while painting her walls a bright mango, a delivery man asks her what she is doing: “It’s a living room,” I returned, “it wants to look alive.” This fluid moment, this insight into a new way of seeing our reality, is what captured me the most throughout her story. Everything about her new world became a balance of an interior truth and an outer reality. It is this very simple representation of thought that makes her writing to be very compelling. This is going to go right next to the copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Sun My Heart on my bookshelf, easily placed so that anytime I need a quick pick-me-up, or some comfort in my purse, I can easily grab for one. Both My Heart and Good Fortune are similar in that way – they are comfort food books. Yes, both are considered “spiritual” texts, but above all both do so on an intimate, personal level. Morhall’s spiritual journey is inspiring and hopeful and honest … but above all, her prose is intoxicating and raw. While reading, I felt many times as though I was receiving a bright, warm hug. ~ San Francisco Book Review, http://citybookreview.com/2012/12/auspicious-good-fortune/
Feel free to judge this book by its cover. Lush and inviting, the writing is beautiful, refined and immaculate as the gerbera gracing its front. Described as “One woman’s inspirational journey from Western disillusionment to Eastern spiritual fulfillment,” it is really much more: a journey into the sensibility of the human heart, longing for the ineffable. Morhall’s story is told with disarming simplicity. Here is the voice of a poet, speaking in prose – reaching always for the truth and beauty in things; and at a loss before ugliness, meanness and injustice. There is never a sense of embellishment or exaggeration – only authentic, keenly felt experience, related with a resonant and discerning sympathy. Auspicious Good Fortune is not a rose-coloured promo piece for her teacher Sri Chinmoy and the spiritual path he established. Morhall writes equally of her struggles, misgivings and discomfort as of her happiness and fulfilment. Auspicious Good Fortune affirms the goodness and beauty of life. Beautiful in itself, it brings forward the beautiful in us. Such words – leaving us glad to be alive – are auspicious words indeed. ~ The Melbourne Review
This story of a Western woman becoming disillusioned with her Western lifestyle and, through a number of twists and turns, finding fulfilment as a spiritual disciple of modern Guru, Sri Chinmoy, is both heart-warming and informative. The book is beautifully written and well-crafted. The pace of the story, whether through the chapters where the author is chasing everything that Western society offers or those set during her years studying meditation with her Indian spiritual master, is gripping. It gives a rare insight into the fascinating, conflicted life of a very modern spiritual seeker. Morhall makes no secret of her initial scepticism about the likely outcome of her spiritual search, yet after reading her candid account of life as a disciple, there can be no doubt that she loves her chosen lifestyle. This is a personal memoir that spans childhood, career and relationships and the sudden near-death experience that transformed her life, yet it is the insight into how she struggles to adapt to the ways of the East, and to put them into practice in her modern world, that is especially captivating. It is an extraordinary tale and highly recommended. ~ Kindred Spirit Magazine
Step into a world that is or could be or may have been or even is yours and look at the infinite wisdom offered throughout the pages of the life that is Sumangali Morhall. Gently and beautifully written this is a peek into the journey many take over the course of a lifetime trying to discover happiness, a purpose to life or even their chosen pathway through life. Morhall tells her story from the perspective of a child growing into adulthood, all the while challenging the boundaries; some of her own making and others, that of society. Empowering and enjoyable this is more than at look into someone else’s life- it is a course in how to come to terms with the reality of life while all the while having the courage to overcome challenges and never, ever giving up on your journey of discovery, as you never know what is waiting for you just around the corner. Read more on http://www.bluewolf-reviews.com/books/spiritual-a-personal-development ~ Jan Mawdesley, Blue Wolf Reviews, http://www.bluewolf-reviews.com/books/spiritual-a-personal-development