by Elena Greco
LEARNING TO EAT ALONG THE WAY
by Margaret Bendet
August 26, 2015
I recently wrote a review of a group of biographies I had read, and what came to mind while I was reading Bendet’s beautifully written book was how it contrasted with the others I had read. There was no morose introspection, recounting of superfluous detail or self-aggrandizement. Instead, her book takes us on an honest, unpretentious journey through her very interesting life that makes the reader feel as if they’re right there with her. Maha’s book (I confess I once knew her by her spiritual name, Mahananda, and find it difficult to think of her by any other name) was moving to me. At times it reminded me of, and allowed me to re-experience a bit of, the spiritual experiences I had around a certain swami years ago and viscerally brought back that expansive yet introspective feeling I had then (which I confess I do miss from time to time). I also appreciate that she shone a light on the subject of anorexia, which is an important one.
Her ability and willingness to drop what wasn’t fulfilling to her in her life and plunge ahead into the unknown wherever her instinct led her reminds us that nothing is guaranteed; that sometimes the safe, uncontemplated way is the deadening, life-restricting way; and that taking the unknown path is at the very least the enlivening, life-affirming way.
I’m thrilled to see that Bendet has moved beyond her ashram life splendidly, emerging with a sleek, luminous spirit that seems to have found happiness in the moment amidst her new secular life, one that brings inspiration to others. A moving, entertaining and inspirational read!