A memoir recommended for those who are open to look at the story of their lives as well as the stories they tell themselves in order to make it through their days and find peace and contentment.
Gangaji, born Antoinette Varner, grew up in Mississippi and, like many Americans, searched high and low for meaning in relationships, career, activism, and spiritual practice. Her quest culminated in 1990 when she encountered Sri Poonjaji, a student of Sri Ramana Maharshi, on the banks of the Ganges River in India. She surrendered to her own radiant inner self and found all she needed was inside her heart. Her teacher gave her the name Gangaji. In her first book, The Diamond in Your Pocket, she explored the discovery of who we really are with probes on self-inquiry, seeking truth outside ourselves, suffering and surrender.
In Hidden Treasure, Gangaji puts forward the idea that sharing the story of our lives is a path to genuine dialogue with others and the road to peace and contentment. As Sam Keen and many other spiritual teachers have taught us, we all have a story to tell. This can be done though journals, exploration of family history and ancestors, harvesting our memories, or the everyday accounts of what we are feeling that we share with those we love.
Gangaji uses a teaching story titled "Hidden Treasure" by her guru Poonjaji and accounts of her childhood and spiritual quest (motherhood, libertine lifestyle, meditative experiences) as examples of honest self-inquiry. In the process of looking at her own life, the author ponders the meaning of harmony, reversal of fortune, hell, the offer of redemption, cynicism and refusal and denial, asking the right question, and discovery. Gangaji challenges us to take a hard look at both the story of our lives and the stories we tell ourselves in order to make it through our days.