Dhyan Jyoti’s review of the soon to be published book by Karima. “It’s one of those books that you slowly explore, experience, engage with… till it becomes a part of you.”
Karima’s book Becoming Whole is a journey, a gift, a mirror. A journey because it is not a book that you can simply read through and put away. It’s one of those books that you slowly explore, experience, engage with… till it becomes a part of you.
It’s a gift because Karima has somehow skilfully managed to condense her entire 42-year journey as a holistic therapist and meditation teacher into this rich, insightful book. (Being a writer and teacher myself, I find this an extraordinary feat!) It’s a mirror because each page invites you to lovingly look within and meet your shadows: the unwelcome visitors, the unacceptable parts of you that, in essence, hold the key to inner transformation.
I came upon Karima’s book at a time in my life when I was being confronted with many of the themes she has explored in the book. I’ve always been an emotional person, which means that I am particularly susceptible to being carried away by strong waves of emotions, be it anger, jealousy, guilt or fear. I have felt these emotions strongly throughout my life, however, the conditioning inside has also somehow prevented me from fully experiencing them as they are touted ‘wrong’ or even ‘dangerous’. It’s as if I know how to recognize some of them and allow them, only until they reach a point after which I shut myself down. I am sure that I am not alone with this feeling.
Having been a teacher and a student in both the East and the West, I can safely say that themes like exploring the emotional territory, trusting the wisdom of the body, listening to the inner child are almost foreign to the mainstream education system. We are capable but ill-equipped to deal with our own inner realities, especially when it comes to navigating emotions. This is where Karima’s book comes as a (much needed) breath of fresh air. It gently takes the reader through the journey from tuning out of the mind, tuning into the body and the heart, navigating emotions intelligently and finally relaxing into the being. Somewhere along the way, you really stop fighting your own self, and start to see that each emotion is a messenger, a seed with a potential to bring you back to your true nature. I can only imagine how powerful this insight can be for any human being and in turn, what an incredible resource this book can be for teachers, parents and other adults working with young children as well.
Becoming Whole firmly stands on the foundation of the belief that each person has an inner core filled with riches like peace, beauty, wisdom, awareness. Each person also possesses the strength needed to navigate the inner waters. With a little direction and guidance, we can simply start from where we are, and use what we have in our inner worlds to open the treasure chest deep inside. We can fine-tune our own relationships with our bodies, hearts and minds through experience.
I want to highlight some things that I particularly enjoyed about this book. Becoming Whole is not simply a guide but also an account of the journey of a fellow sannyasin. It is peppered with many incidents from the author’s own life, all of which I immensely enjoyed reading. Karima has weathered many storms and has shared her insights with clarity and sincerity. Her voice is affirming and wise. The repertoire of meditation techniques, exercises, and anecdotes from clients helps the reader to try out a variety of methods and choose what fits them best. She also shares ‘tips for her 21-year-old self’ – things that she would have loved to know as a 21-year-old. Having been a 21-year-old not very long ago, I know for sure that reading this book at that time would have benefitted me in more ways than one. Karima has beautifully brought Osho’s words, “this very body, the buddha; this very earth, the lotus paradise” to life in this book. I am grateful to her for sharing her work with the world. I am absolutely certain that this book will enrich the readers’ lives and encourage them to delve into their own inner world with courage, joy and compassion.
Let me leave you with a link to a sweet taster from the book; it’s one of my favourite passages and tools that I discovered!