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Monday, January 7, 2013

Inner Pilgrimage - Ten Days to a Mindful Me by Raji Lukkoor Book Excerpt

“Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me”
Are you standing at a crossroads?  Do you feel disconnected to your surroundings? 
Why do you brood?  What do you dread? 
How do you sketch the vision map of your life?
Diving into the secrets of the ever-elusive mind, Raji Lukkoor takes us on a memorable journey of self-discovery in this poignant memoir, through the vehicle of vipassana meditation.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1:

Day Zero: Inhale, Exhale

It’s noonish. Hungry for a deeper meaning in my life, I load my bags into the trunk, get in my car, and start driving to the middle of nowhere. Along the way, I pick up Jill from the local train station and then Joe from the area airport—both total strangers. A phone call last night requested me to give them a ride as we are all travelling to the same destination. We drive away, cutting through towns, rolling hills, extensive meadows, and widespread farmland. Jill and I hit it off at once and within minutes know more about each other than we could ever have imagined. Joe is rather forlorn and wears a muted expression. All I’m able to extract from him is that he is a college dropout searching for soul, information that both impresses and appalls Jill and me. My motherly instinct kicks in, and I start advising the young man to complete college.

Four hours later and what seems farther than one hundred and fifty miles, the three of us arrive at the middle of nowhere, which is going to be our home for the next ten days. We are here for a residential vipassana retreat.

At a quaint retreat center, amid groves of oak, pine, cedar, and manzanita trees in the picturesque Sierra Nevada foothills of California, the technique of vipassana meditation is taught and practiced. Siddhartha Gotama, the Buddha himself, rediscovered this meditation technique and presented it to the world nearly twenty-five centuries ago. Vipassana in the ancient Indian language Pali means “to see things as they are.”

The objective of the vipassana practice is to develop mastery over the mind by observing the breath as it naturally flows in and out of the nostrils, and thereafter observing sensations throughout the body—both pleasant and unpleasant—with the awareness that those sensations emerge from within, in infinite cycles of ebb and flow, and that equanimity is key to sanitizing the mind of sankhara or pre-conditioned, mental patterns.

More information at
Visit Raji’s blog at
Find Raji on both Facebook and Twitter 

Read our book review HERE

Meet the Author
Hi I’m Raji Lukkoor, and I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.  A travel enthusiast, I was born and raised in Goa, India, but now call California, USA, my home, where I live with my husband and two sons.

I have loved to write since I was in the seventh grade, and although I went on to study and work in the field of environmental engineering, the art of communication always fascinated me and has consistently brightened my verbal, aural, written, and interpersonal competence. 

Travel- both physical and vicarious (although online volunteering)-across the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia over the years has given me perspective, motivation, a sense of achievement, the ability to connect to others, and deep regard for the world's cultures.  In summer 2008, when an opportunity for travel presented itself, I couldn't resist.  It was the trip of a lifetime - at a  vipassana meditation course. This compelling experience held up a mirror to the reality of my existence, furthering my spiritual evolution and helping resurrect the authentic me. Thus was born my first publication, “Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me.”

Sharon x

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  1. Thank you for posting this Sharon! This is exactly the kind of path I am on right now and I am definitely looking for this subject matter. I know the book will be good when I want the excerpt to continue!

    1. It was a fantastic book to ready Cindy, truly inspirational, something I have always wanted to do. I'm sure you would enjoy it too xx

  2. I'm really interested in memoirs lately. And this book sounds so inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing, I look forward to checking it out.

  3. Sounds very interesting!! And one of my New Year's resolution is to get back to reading!!! THANKS!!!

  4. This book is right up my mom's alley (so to speak) and since I am visiting her next week I will bring it as a gift! Thank you so much - she will LOVE THIS!!!!!

  5. Love the memoir aspect and would love to be able to travel as she has! I think we all need to learn to be mindful and to be present more!


Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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