Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review - Arousing the Goddess

By Tim Ward
Published by Somerville House Publishing
ISBN-10: 1-895897-64-5
ISBN-13: 978-1895897647
256 Pages

After reading and reviewing two very similar books about traveling and searching for enlightenment in the far East, Arousing the Goddess offered a refreshing change.

While this book by Tim Ward does include vivid descriptions of his travels in the 1980’s along the Dharma Trail throughout India, Thailand, China and Tibet, he focuses more on an unexpected sexual relationship with Sabina, who came to the area to record and photograph rare statues of Buddhist touching the earth beneath him, and asking it to bear witness for him. The Earth Goddess is depicted rising in his defense the moment before he achieved enlightenment.

Throughout this true adventure tale, Ward is torn between following an austere monastic existence or following his heart (and hormones). As a Canadian travel writer, he takes us along on his journey from the grimy, overpopulated streets of Calcutta where beggars and invalids roam, to wandering through the museums and ruins of Patna, taking in a Buddhist conference in New Delhi, search out temples and monasteries, and finally relaxing in Puri with Sabina – a blonde-haired Austrian who stirs in him not only sexual desire, but also intense tantric energy that overwhelms his being and leaves him wanting more.

It seems odd to think of the sexual act as a mystical experience and it’s likely that very few people have actually achieved it. The tantric energy that can be unleashed during sex is believed to stem from a single “Source of all being.” Ward learns that by idolizing his lover as a goddess and carrying out a few simple rituals, this height of physical pleasure can be achieved without orgasm. He also discovers that doing so can be painful because mishandled, the energy can turn out of control.

Nevertheless, once experienced, Ward is captivated and chooses to follow Sabina – to the ends of the earth, if he must – to capture this ecstasy just one more time. But Sabina is intent on completing her research above all else and Ward is left like a puppy dog chasing its master in what becomes an amusing situation that the author parlays with both wit and an ounce of fun. This is a book to be savored and enjoyed.
To get your copy of Arousing the Goddess go

Other books by this author:

What the Buddha Never Taught (Somerville House Books – June 1998)
Arousing the Goddess: Sex and Love in the Buddhist Ruins of India (Monkfish Book Publishing – October 2003)

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