Sharing the Quest - Reviews
He who takes his path too seriously is unlikely to arrive anywhere. Beware of grim-faced Gurus......' Muz Murray
Muz synthesises the multitude of texts out there to help us find our way through what can be a complex job wading through so many insistent perspectives. ' Eventually I found it was only the Hindu and Buddhist texts which really explored in depth every aspect of the spiritual path and showed the way—all the way—to the Source.......
From time immemorial, the sages of India have been known to have delved deepest of all into the psycho- spiritual nature of human existence, and have left a practical legacy unequalled in any other culture for achieving Oneness with the Absolute.'
These are extracts from this original and lucid text, but I think they sum up the essence of his approach: humourous and intelligent and wise. He is actually the guru of his generation and is lighting the path for the next like a true elder. This book is essential if you are a seeker.
A delightfully unstuffy book that abounds in humour. As I began to read, I started to experience an increasing feeling of excitement, to realise that he has made so many discoveries of major importance. Muz Murray has pursued the way of the mystic with tremendous rigour and determination. Every page of this book bears witness to the reality of his experience. Its essence undoubtedly lies in its sense of authenticity. He quotes St.Matthew: ‘And he taught as one having authority, and not as one of the scribes.’ And it is precisely that quality that makes Sharing the Quest such an exciting and absorbing experience.
This book will be for many ‘a friend indeed in a time of need.’ It is a book for life enhancement, a practical manual for growth, a fireside companion and a renewable balm for the heart on each reading. It’s magic and lasting impression is due to the fact that (to paraphrase a popular British beer advert) it ‘touches those parts of the soul most other books don’t reach’ (or even speak about). I only intended to have a brief read before bed, but it kept me riveted until two in the morning!
Quest is truly a Sharing which evidently comes straight from the heart and a deep understanding of the spiritual life. Considering the breadth and depth of the subject matter, the writing is extremely clear and accessible, and not a paragraph is wasted on boring speculation. It is written in lively and flowing prose, touching, poetic and humorous in turn. The simple profundity of the explanations should firmly establish the author as one of the new genuine spiritual teachers now emerging in the West.
Muz Murray is an internationally known English Mystic, mantra-yogi and artist (remembered by many as the founder of Gandalf’s Garden, a popular spiritual centre and magazine which flourished in London during the ‘Flower-Power’ Era) who has spent over twenty globe-trotting years investigating spiritual traditions around the world. The results of his researches are here distilled and clarified with loving precision.
Murray’s experience and forthrightness should save many an earnest seeker from years of running after the glittering gurus of the world and losing themselves in unprofitable spiritual backwaters. He is a guide one can trust. His overall global view of the mystical life refreshingly cuts through the cloying cultist cobwebs of dogma to the essentials.
Sweeping aside the trappings, he points out the pitfalls lying in wait for the naive and unwary seeker on the Path. He has no time for ‘preciously secretive’ esotericism and fearlessly and freely gives out many of the jealously guarded secret teachings of the sects and gurus with whom he has associated.
Here is a visionary with his feet on the ground, answering the questions (taken from the letters of his students) which beset us all, with a wealth of common sense, uncommon wisdom and a spiritual discrimination as lucid as that of a Chogyam Trungpa or Krishnamurti. He covers a wide spectrum of spiritual problems, including: Choosing a Guru; Problems on the path of Action or Passivity?; On Changing the World (a glimpse into a mystic’s universe); Meditation; Mantra; Psychotherapy and the Spiritual Life (a sympathetic critique of Primal Therapy and its shortcomings); Healing the Hurts of Many Lifetimes; Opening the Third Eye; Siddhis and Seeing Through Spiritual Silliness (a salutary and humorous sideswipe at starry-eyed spiritualism); a very moving and edifying piece On The Souls of Animals, and many others.
Never Mind the Mind is a tremendously liberating chapter for those of us locked into our mental habit patterns, and the in-depth exposition of the Nature of Ego is a brilliant breakthrough in perception way in advance of the presentwestern psychological model. These two stimulating chapters alone make the book well worth having, but every section is a treasure trove of inspiration or practice, not only for yoga teachers, but for housewives and academics alike, having appeal to both the head and the heart.
The final chapter on Healing the Sickness of the Soul gives a remarkable psychological portrayal of ‘one of the most prevalent maladies on earth today, to which we are all prone on one level or another.’ Here the author is at his most endearing. In his therapeutic method of ‘Sunconsciousness’ he has rendered the profoundest practices of the sages (for experiencing God within oneself) into a deceptively simple, but eminently effective practical tool for the Western seeker bent on overcoming the stresses of the soul. The method begins to work after only a short period of practice, and I for one am grateful for it. It will prove a godsend to many soul sufferers.
In short…Quest is a book of Light and de-light. Anyone troubled in spirit will get a boost from it and the insightful confirmation that ‘All is well with the world after all’. A book no sincere spiritual aspirant can afford to miss. Highly recommended.
Prof. J. Felbermeyer
Human Potential Resources Journal
Occasionally I have reflected with total bewilderment upon which book I would select to take with me to a desert island, should I ever be faced with that famous dilemma. Now Muz Murray has come to my aid. After reading Sharing the Quest I concluded that I—or anyone else for that matter—could do a lot worse than consider this volume as a leading contender for the place of a long-term companion.
Consider its credentials: in the first place, it is a rich book, full of fascinating diversity, from stories of Muz’s own travels and spiritual progress (including meetings with many revered teachers) to practical exercises to help others over life’s hard times and promote inner development. Along the way it takes in some little known aspects of Christianity, consideration of phoney gurus and teachings...the value of mantra, ways of overcoming distractions while meditating and much, much more. (Several of the chapters are based on Muz’s thoughtful and compassionate replies to questions sent in to him through his column in the magazine Yoga Today). Rich indeed—almost a spiritual cornucopia.
Secondly, it is a wise book, imbued with the wisdom of a lifetime seeker who genuinely enjoys sharing his quest with others of like mind. Or No-Mind. “One morning in April I suddenly woke up to find my mind-flow had ceased altogether. The endless interior dialogue was no longer operating. What a wonder!” And this experience, like others, with its consequence of “pure clarity and gentle joy” stands as an inspiration to all the rest of us; not only that but because of the humility and lack of ego, the simple ‘ordinariness’ which infuses Muz’s every sentence, we are left feeling that this is not some distant, almost unattainable peak of spiritual experience, but a realisable hope for all of us.
Richness and wisdom, what more could one ask for? But there is more—practicality, aliveness and an all-pervading human warmth, amongst other things. Offhand I can think of no other book which would give one quite the same sense of no longer being alone on that desert island, but rather of having beside one a lively, laughing and above all compassionately insightful friend and guide with whom to dispute.. to commune to walk in joy, and, in every sense, to Share the Quest.
Spectrum British Wheel of Yoga Journal
What a truly amazing book! *****
“You won’t want put this one down in a hurry. Even when you’ve read it you’ll want to read it again. Not one word is wasted here. True, it is a book on self-development and spiritual awareness, but the style is almost hypnotic and the philosophy has been made so interesting that you want to know more—read more. It points out Man’s weaknesses, but it also points out the solutions. What’s more everything seems so achievable. This is a book to keep by you as you advance along the spiritual path, or even if you’re just starting, or thinking about it. Try it.”
Foresight Magazine (UK)
Enthralling and thought-provoking reading *****
“In this book, the fruit of many years study and meditation, the well-known mystic Muz Murray puts forward his spiritual philosophy and his views on a variety of different subjects.
“The final section of the book, ‘Healing the Sickness of the Soul’ shows the author at his most wise and compassionate. The feeling that life is empty and without purpose is one that afflicts many people. …He describes a simple mental exercise which anyone can perform, designed to induce a state of ‘sun-consciousness’, or ‘spiritually-illumined intuitive receptivity’. It is an exercise which, having tried it, I can say it works.”
Linda Williamson—Light magazine
The book is packed with information *****
“Muz is an excellent writer and the pieces roll along with no lack of readability and vitality. The chapters are not a merely random collection but proceed with a meaningful logic, keeping in view the problems and queries that will arise to bedevil the sadhak as his development (hopefully) continues.
”The book is packed with information on a great many aspects of the spiritual path, supported with many of his own experiences in the course of a twenty-year trek through the spiritual scene and illuminating texts from his wide reading. Any student of the way could do far worse than read this book from cover to cover; it should save him or her chasing after numerous red herrings and provide a wealth of solid knowledge on the complex and subtle matter of finding a path in that huge jungle of delusion that surrounds us all.”
Brian Netscher (Editor)—Yoga Today
An unusually fascinating book on matters spiritual.
“An unusually fascinating book on matters spiritual. The writer has been in quest of the Self for decades and has certainly arrived… He dwells upon many important themes, e.g. Sound, Psychotherapy, Inner Eye, Meditation and Contemplation, Revolution vs. Revelation. All told, the writing provides solutions to many a problem that perplexes seekers on the Path.”
M.P. Pandit—The Mountain Path (India)
No aspirant should be without Muz Murray as a compassionate guide *****
“Muz Murray made a name for himself in the yoga field by combining a considerable study of yoga—much of it in India—with lively common-sense intelligence.
“The chapter ‘Never Mind the Mind’ is an example of the author’s simple profundity... If we read and re-read this section regularly, it alone makes the book worth buying. But there is much more of similar value and no aspirant should be without Muz Murray as a compassionate guide.”
Howard Kent (Editor)—Yoga and Health
A caring and uplifting book for the dark days we are in *****
“‘Sharing the Quest” is a fascinating book… that seeks to be both enlightening and accessible—a difficult task. But one he manages to accomplish with ease and a peppering of humour.
“Muz Murray’s openness to other ideas means that the book contains very flexible ideas and suggestions for seekers on the spiritual path. He tackles difficult philosophical and religious problems with an easy gentleness and offers simple though never simplistic approaches to understanding. There’s a truly fascinating chapter,,, on the souls of animals. But the main body of the book concerns the healing possibilities and the subsequent life-enhancing possibilities of ‘Sharing the Quest.’
“In person, Muz Murray comes across as a man of great heart and much warmth and these are the qualities that permeate his book. ...this is a caring and uplifting book for the dark days we often find ourselves in.”
—Healthy Living magazine
A book on many levels*****
“It is a book on many levels, delightfully illustrated and clearly divided into eight sections, which will appeal to a wide audience. Each chapter starts with an intelligent question, to which Muz Murray replies in a detailed and practical way, using scholarly information, warmth and humour, showing a deep understanding of our aspirations.
“In the chapter Sensing the Inner Sound, he talks of the ‘internal OM – the true Song of God.’ Another fascinating chapter is... a section entitled Psychotherapy and Beyond. As a practising psychotherapist Muz Murray is able to talk with authority on this subject; stressing the need for spirituality to be an essential part of healing the mind and body.
“The book ends with meditations on a loving heart and Inner Sun visualisation – very representative of this compassionate teacher and wonderfully wise man.”
Lesley Greenwood—Link Up magazine
An engaging mix of humor, warmth, candor and deep spirituality. *****
“Sharing the Quest by Muz Murray… is an engaging mix of humor, warmth, candor and deep spirituality. Murray is a well-known teacher of yoga and mysticism in Britain… The realization of the spiritual depths of the human heart is the book’s actual theme, which runs throughout like a golden thread.
“Sharing the Quest is about meditation as a way to this realization viewed from a variety of angles. The discussion of birth trauma and past-life therapy, for example, shows how this modality can be used with great advantage by meditators. Murray’s comments on meditation are quite lucid.
“The destination of meditation is the heart, not the head, says Murray. His loving personality shines through the text, making it a joy to read. Sharing the Quest will leave you with the feeling you have made a new and valuable friend.”
—Meditation Magazine (USA)
A ‘New Age’ book which occasionally makes you chuckle
“Muz Murray, one of Britain’s best-known mystics, shares his visionary insights in answer to searching questions from his students and seekers on the spiritual path. Many of the questions bring up familiar problems. “One tells us we must strive for perfection, and another says that the only true way is natural and spontaneous without any effort. What do I do?”; “I find it difficult to meditate in a noisy flat. Is there any hope for a nervous wreck like myself?” and “Is the spiritual quest neurotic?”, etc.
“Such questions are answered with spiritual insight, laced with good common sense and humor. ”It is good to find a ‘New Age’ book which occasionally makes you chuckle.”
Marie Neale—The New Humanity
A very enjoyable book *****
“Deceptively simple, sensible, down-to-earth, warm and humourous, are all descriptions of this collection of articles from the author of Seeking the Master. It is so refreshing to find someone on a spiritual path who is not writing from the standpoint of an established religion, group or cult.
“…The chapter I found most entertaining was Seeing Through Spiritual Silliness… As well as sound advice on mantras, there are personal anecdotes which turn this into a very enjoyable book.”
J. T. M.—Prediction Magazine (UK)
One of the most knowledgeable, and enlightened, home-spun teachers we have.
“For anyone who regularly read ‘Yoga Today’ magazine, the name Muz Murray will be familiar. Unlike many people of the ‘hippy generation’, Muz did not turn off and drop back in, but continued his spiritual search to the point where he is now one of the most knowledgeable, and enlightened, home-spun teachers we have. It is very easy to relate to his experiences, outlook, and language, something all too rare in the great choice of literature that exists on spiritual matters.
“Sharing the Quest ends with a short section on Muz’s own method of spiritual growth, which he refers to as the “way of sun-consciousness”, which helps to remind us that spirituality is really about learning how to become a living example of love and joy.
“I love this book, and am constantly dipping into it. But be warned, it is definitely a book you will have to be furtive with, as it s likely to disappear in the hands of a friend who assures us they will only borrow it for a day or two, never to be seen again!”
Mick Dillon—Quest magazine
A splendid gem of a spiritual book *****
“Behind the simple title of `Sharing the Quest' lies a splendid gem of a spiritual book. It is fully of easily understandable spiritual help and information. Once started, I found it difficult to put the book down again. It is one of those rare books I can happily come back to and read again and again with deeper understanding each time. If your soul is trying to make sense of the world `Sharing the Quest' may well help transform your life for the better.”
—Spiritual Seeker (UK)
Highly recommended book *****
“This book is highly recommended. It shares deep knowledge in a very easy to read and understand format. The author obviously has a wealth of wisdom which is served up in this volume in a compassionate manner. It is equally suitable for the newly aspiring spiritual seeker and those already dedicated to a spiritual life. The author answers the questions frequently asked by seekers in a clear and direct manner that is so refreshing to find. A good book to keep in your library, or to give as a gift.”
A truly inspirational read *****
“A Yoga teacher gave me ‘Sharing the Quest’ last year after I had read her copy and loved it. I found it a truly inspirational read, at last a book that wasn’t afraid of upsetting religious sensibilities and was prepared to cut through the crap of cultism and speak openly about ‘real’ Universal spiritual issues. Thank you so much for affirming in ‘Sharing the Quest’ what I believe in and know to be ‘real’; it has helped enormously.”
—Juliet Wells (UK)
I couldn't put it down *****
“I bought your book "Sharing the Quest" and I just wanted you to know that I couldn't put it down. You make many things that I have questioned during my yoga studies so clear with an understanding that comes from the heart. I also know that it is a book that I will pick up and refer to time and again. So thank you. I shall definitely recommend it to my yoga contemporaries.”
—Angie Webber (Burton, Dorset)
A way of writing that immediately makes sense *****
“I am writing to inform you how much I enjoyed your book 'Sharing the Quest', having been a 'seeker' for over thirty years now. Your book clarified simply a lot of matters that were bothering me—comprehension and under-standing, that is. The improvement in my meditation and peace of mind has been extraordinary. I can only thank you for that. You have a way of writing that immediately makes sense."
—Mr. T. M . d'A. (Monaco.)