My Yiddishe Swami
Keri Guten Cohen
Story Development Editor
Edsel dealership, then had an auto
repair shop. His parents imparted
Jewish traditions and values that
admit I was intrigued by the press
included a fine sense of gratitude. So
release. Author Radhanath Swami
far, nothing that extraordinary.
was coming to Metro Detroit
But, at age 19, this son who pos-
as part of a tour for his book, The
sessed a certain sensitivity and con-
Journey Home: Autobiography of an
cern for all around him, wanted to
American Swami (Mandala).
take a semester off from college to
travel with a friend. He
OK, I do take
had his parents' bless-
yoga once a week
ing for a three-month
from an extremely
journey. Little did they
know this trek to find
a closer connection
to God would last for
our spirits as
several years and land
much as our bod-
him in India, where
ies. And yes, I have
he now lives as one of
been known to
that country's great
listen to a certain
Wayne Dyer CD
The Journey Home
over and over
is truly a page-turner.
again in my car,
I was sucked in, find-
ing myself staying up
vibes about love
until 2 a.m. some
nights because I was
so intrigued with all
Slavin encountered and all he discov-
about the American swami were his
ered about himself. He was relentless
humble beginnings in a middle-class
in his pursuit, driven from within.
Jewish family in Chicago's suburb of
Highland Park. It was the 1950s, and
All that passion, singlemind-
edness and faith led him across
Richard Slavin played sandlot base-
Europe, through Turkey, across Iran,
ball; his hero was Nellie Fox of the
Afghanistan and into India.
Chicago White Sox.
Now traveling alone and living the
His father, Jerry, first owned an
June 23 29, 2011
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21-27 Sivan 5771 I Vol. CXXXIX, No. 19
Radhanath Swami will speak and sign books
life of an Indian sadhu, or monk, pen-
niless and barefoot, he writes of his
adventures and shares what's going on
in his head and heart. He explains it all
in a way that resonates with readers and
takes us with him as he evolves deeper
and deeper into thought and spirit.
Along the way, he meets amaz-
ing teachers and is awed by natural
beauty. He especially feels the pull of
India's mighty rivers. He has danger-
ous and mystical encounters with
humans and animals. Everything
prompts a deeper look inside. He
perseveres with a resolve few might
exhibit, following his inner voice in
search of meaning. In turn, his con-
templation pushes you to do some
Now a swami, or priest in the Hindu
tradition, he practices Bhatki Yoga
(devotional yoga) and passionately
pursues a lifelong mission of reducing
suffering in the world; this includes
his charity, Midday Meals, which pro-
vides more than 260,000 daily lunches
to indigent children in India. 1
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