Andal's Garland


Product Details

Odyssey Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.67 inches | 0.84 pounds

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About the Author

Helen Burns' interest in Eastern traditions turned serious in 1975. She devoted three years to Asian Studies with a major in Hindi at The Australian National University, until the call to venture deeper overtook the need for a degree. India beckoned.Time in Sarnath and Bodh Gaya, where it is said Gautama the Buddha gave his first teachings, led her on a path of inquiry. Sitting at the feet of lineage holders and teachers she has practiced within the three Buddhist traditions - Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Extended silent meditation retreats in Myanmar and Australia provided a foundation for living, working and relationship over the next decades. Toward the end of this period she began writing. An early draft of a travel manuscript about the pilgrimage to Santiago do Compostela was awarded a Byron Bay Writers Festival Residency in 2004 and later selected for a Varuna LongLines Residency at Australia's National Writers' House. Close to completion, in 2009, it was shortlisted for the annual Varuna Harper Collins Award. The Way is a River of Stars was first published as an ebook in 2013. It is now available as a paperback.Through all these years the pulse of India kept on. In 2009, with one book completed and no intention for another, it was time to return to India. Descending through the clouds into the smoky night sky of Chennai felt like coming home. Little did Helen know the circuitous path awaiting her. She encountered the teachings of Indian saints, living and dead, from tombs within temples and mosques, to ashrams where the world flocked; from all-night qawwalis at the feet of Sufi saints in Rajasthan, to lone sadhus in mountain caves. And then, one day, entering the gates of a temple to a goddess where Araiyers dance past midnight and divine with pearls as they chant her name, the seeds for Andal's Garland were sown. A novel that has taken its own sweet time was released by Odyssey Books in September, 2021Helen has practised as a Herbalist and Iridologist and created several businesses catering for what was once known as the New Age. She now divides her time between a tiny house in Byron Bay, a slightly larger abode in Far North Queensland, and India wherever it takes her.https: //