The debut memoir The Recovering Materialist: From a Nordic Hardcore Punk to a Hindu Monk is a fast-paced, multi-layered story of personal transformation that comes with a high price.
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Philo, CA—Nov. 4, 2023—How is it possible that we live in an era of unprecedented prosperity and human advancement, yet severe depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicidal ideation have skyrocketed? Drawing from two decades of spiritual dedication, Mäkinen argues in his The Recovering Materialist: From a Nordic Hardcore Punk to a Hindu Monk in California that humans need wisdom and purpose just as much as they require food and shelter. We are meaning-seeking creatures, and our spirits become malnourished without it.
This modern form of malnutrition was what lead Mäkinen on his quest for spiritual connection. After spending his youth in the Finnish hardcore punk scene, screaming out his discontent and desperately looking for a purpose, he met a Hindu monk in his best friend’s living room. The monk embodied everything Mäkinen wanted to be, and so he left his family, friends, fiancé, and band to follow this monastic to his ashram in Northern California.
However, Mäkinen’s ideals weren’t so easy to actualize. By living off-the-grid in the redwoods, taking care of gardens and cows, and fully dedicating himself to spiritual practice, all of Mäkinen’s dreams were supposed to be fulfilled, yet he was sick with grief. Instead of serenity and connection, he experienced soul-crushing withdrawals from his old life. A constant question haunted his mind: would it be better to go back and take baby steps, or stick to the monastic path and accept the agony borne of rapid internal growth?
The Recovering Materialist is a story of personal transformation, resilience, and the realization that the most important things in life are worth risking everything for.
“Apart from being an addictive read, [The Recovering Materialist] doubles as a source of inspiration for separating from the herd and asking key questions about your direction in life …
If you've ever questioned the path that was assigned to you by society, you should read this book.” —Readers’ Favorite (five-star review)
Imprint: Opium of the Masses
On sale: November 7, 2023
Born and raised in Finland, Tuomas Mäkinen resides at Audarya ashram in the tranquil redwoods of Mendocino County, California. He has devoted the past two decades of his life to spiritual pursuit—both inside and outside the ashram. When not writing, Tuomas draws comics, shovels cow dung, works for the Darshan Press publishing house, and does mantra meditation.
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Order the book in paperback and ebook format from the author’s website or Amazon.