Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
As an author, I occasionally get requests for free books from folks who like my writings but can’t afford the luxury of buying them. Usually they ask for used or damaged copies – but of course I don’t have any of those. It’s not like bookstores mail their rejects back to me personally; that’s not how it works.
And authors don’t get free copies of their own books. (Even when the author also owns the publishing house, as is the case with my second book, The Enlightenment Project. My cost for that book, before shipping, is something like $4.80 apiece.)
With shipping factored in, it’s more like $9.00. Really, it would almost be easier for me to buy the book on Amazon and have it sent to the recipient instead.
So if I’m filled with love for humanity on the day the request comes in, I might decide to ship a book. Or I might not. I play it by ear.
• • •
So a few weeks back, I received a letter from a woman in India. A very sweet letter, asking for used or damaged copies of The Enlightenment Project. She said she and her community are hungry to learn about enlightenment, and eager to grow in wisdom. But they can’t afford to buy books.
I didn’t know what to make of the letter at first. All the people I know in India speak English better than I do; this letter was clearly from someone for whom English is a second language.
And so I wondered: Is this really a woman in India who wants to learn more about nonduality? Or is it some kid in a Nigerian internet café, who is testing out a peculiar new scam aimed at authors?
Not that the Nigerian angle made any sense, of course – let’s face it, it would take an awful lot of work to make a buck off a self-published spiritual author no one’s heard of. But this is where my mind went at first.
(Hey, it’s an enlightenment project. Clearly I still have a ways to go, in that department.)
I felt no immediate inspiration to ship books to the other side of the world, but didn’t want to reject the request either… just in case it was legitimate. So I handed over the question to Spirit: What would you have me do here?
At first I received no answer. But a few nights later, I was idly flipping channels and stumbled onto a charming documentary on HBO called The Sound of Mumbai, about a group of impoverished kids who perform a one-night-only concert of The Sound of Music at a world-famous Mumbai concert hall.
It was funny and sweet, and ultimately heartbreaking, as (spoiler alert!) nothing changes in the lives of those kids after the one glorious performance is over.
Afterward, as I was lying in bed, I felt a deep kinship with those kids. They were very real to me, they had all come very much alive. And their hopes and dreams mattered every bit as much to me as those of my nearby friends and neighbors.
And a sort of a whoosh of wordless realization struck me: This was my answer from Spirit. My sweet, gentle answer, set to Rogers & Hammerstein lyrics.
So I’ll be sending books to India. Possibly a whole bunch of books, because I’ve been inspired to ask for help from my FaceBook friends in this endeavor, and the generous response has been very heartwarming.
And special thanks in all of this, to my dearest Little Brother, Ananta Garg, for offering to cover import duties and handle distribution from the other end, once the books have been shipped.
I’m truly blessed. And, oddly enough, feeling like the richest lady in all the world. Funny how that works.
If you happen to feel inspired to join me in helping to start a very informal lending library someplace in Gujarat State, here’s what I’m looking for:
2 copies (new or used) of each of the following books:
The Disappearance of the Universe ~ by Gary Renard
Your Immortal Reality ~ by Gary Renard
The Power of Now ~ by Eckhart Tolle
A Course in Miracles
The End of Your World ~ by Adyashanti
Falling Into Grace ~ by Adyashanti
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire ~ by Deepak Chopra
Take Me to Truth ~ by Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira
The Universe is a Dream ~ by Alex Marchand
And any other clear, easy to read favorite books you may have, on the general topic of Oneness.
Contact me here and let me know if you’re inspired to send books. You can mail them to me (I’ll provide a PO box address for that) and I’ll send them on to India.
Thanks in advance, and much love to you!
The richest lady in the whole damn world