This book features an extraordinary quest for peace of mind. In this unforgettable memoir, a young man finds himself disillusioned by the conventional expectations of his parents, teachers, and culture. Desperate to articulate his deepest hopes and dreams, he discards his university education and abandons home, family, and possessions to journey through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in search of a meaningful life. Narrowly escaping death by sickness and drugs, he encounters the Tibetan refugees in exile and, entranced, finally stops running. He takes the ancient teachings to heart but, eight years later, finds that his path is neither straight nor narrow . . . and that there''s no turning back.
''''Writings about spiritual journeys have the potential to read like deadly dull navel-gazing. This book is not like that. Schettini is a keen observer of what''s around him and what''s going on inside him. He has obviously spent decades mulling over the material and has a nice, self-aware style.'''' --Michael Hill, Associated Press
''''. . . A lively read. Schettini excels at evoking the particularity of environment, whether natural landscape of bustling city . . . His remarkable facility with language as an evocative tool brings us into the action and places us vividly in the situations Schettini describes. It moves us along, as readers, as much as does the narrative itself. We are present, engaged. That the author is able to bring the same clarity to describe his inner states and his relationships with those around him makes his story as profound as it is compelling to read . . . All in all, a truly satisfying read.'''' --Peter Clothier, The Huffington Post
''''This memoir is well-written and easy to read. It is filled with a great deal of honesty, which is the best way to portray emotion in its purest form. It is inspirational . . . and it''s simply a good story. He describes (these) people and places, so often almost demonized on the recent news, in a vivid fashion that puts you right there with him . . . on par with other memoirs of the area, such as Greg Mortensen''s Three Cups of Tea'''' --Andrea Coventry, Helium.com
''''A lively read with a deep meaning . . . told with ruthless honesty and understated humor in an engaging combination. I recommend it enthusiastically.'''' --Robert Thurman, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Columbia University, author of Inner Revolution and Why the Dalai Lama Matters
''''What a story! By turns epic and heroic, tender and touching, The Novice imparts a hugely important lesson to our times. It is a gift to every Western seeker of the ''spiritual'' East. With the seductive verve of a novelist, Schettini tells a subversive and liberating tale.'''' --Glenn Wallis, PhD, author of Basic Teachings of the Buddha, The Dhammapada, and Mediating the Power of Buddhas
''''A wonderful achievement, gripping and calmly insightful by turn, honest to the point of being a sustained howl of pain at times, with some brilliantly succinct portraits of the author''s teachers and friends.'''' --Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism without Beliefs
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