Having been an avid reader of Self Enquiry books and sort-out Masters around the
world for many years I was pleasantly surprised to be touched and inspired by Michael’s
book on Self Enquiry into the timeless question “Who am I?”.
His paintings in the book are a treat in themselves. I shall recommend this little
gem to my clients and students.
Reverend Leonora van Gils
Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor,
International Healer and Allergy specialist.
Moat Hall, Darsham, Suffolk, IP17 3PP.
10 July 2010.
On Being You: A Simple Guide to Self Enquiry
Michael has written articles for local and national newspapers and magazines and
published a book in 2001 celebrating the life of his wife Kaisa and her pioneering
complementary health care programme for cancer. He has broadcast on local radio and
facilitates workshops on visual art and Meditation.
This book is delightfully presented in all aspects. I found the "look and feel" of
the book immediately set a relaxed tone. The size and clean layout are easy on the
eye, offering the opportunity to focus upon the content without undue distraction.
The text is interspersed with relevant quotations and a selection of images taken
from his own extensive portfolio of original artworks created during his lifetime
as a painter. Each quotation and each image offers the reader an opportunity to pause
and reflect, before continuing.
Sri Ramana Maharshi first offered Self Enquiry as silent Satsang. It soon became
apparent to him that many of his students were not "getting the message" as they
were unable or unprepared to sit with silence. Faced with this fact verbal communication
was started, much of which was written down by his students and later became the
basis of texts.
From there, the author explains, there has become an almost exponential increase
in the verbiage, particularly in the west, as Self Enquiry becomes more popular,
and as Hindi texts are translated with different ways used to compensate for the
lack of equivalent western words.
It is the proliferation of differing words and the accompanying complexity or confusion
that Michael seeks to redress.
As readers, invited to work at our own pace, we are led through each section with
simple and uncluttered explanations. I found that when approached in a relaxed and
open way, I absorbed the material with more and more ease.
Following his desire to keep matters as simple as possible Michael’s book follows
a path covering:
On being not you
Conscience, action and behaviour
Unlearning the learned
Be in your body
Look to the Source
On what remains
Epilogue: I am I
This route offers a measured journey through each of the areas being addressed. At
only 80 pages, which include the images and quotations, some recommended reading,
and three pages at the end left empty for writing any personal notes, it is clear
that Michael has accomplished what he set out to offer – A simple guide to Self Enquiry
devoid of surplus verbiage.