Vasant Lad is an Ayurvedic physician at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has taught many about the ancient wisdom of the Hindu Vedas and the healing powers of this kind of medicine. Each poem in this soul-stirring volume is derived from the ancient sutras of Ayurveda and offers a balm that is badly needed in our hectic lives. There are poems here about such religious themes as surrender, the art of looking, the name of awareness, emotional purification, meditation, and the end of knowledge.

Lad beckons us to a life that is slower, more contemplative, and not caught up in judgment, pleasure seeking, selfishness, and living in the future. He challenges us to see that suffering can awaken us, that relationships are "the school for self-inquiry," and that contentment comes when we make our hearts a womb for God. In one of the most startling and profound poems, titled "Judgment," Lad counsels us:

Judgment is fragmentation.
When judgment comes, let it come.
Let it pack but don't let it store.
Breathe deeply all the while.

Don't keep chewing on the judgment,
like a dog chews a dry bone.
The dog keeps on chewing and chewing,
though there is no juice there.
Soon the dog 's own gums start to bleed
and the dog believes the juice
has come from the bone.

The bone is bleeding the dog,
and judgment bleeds the judge.