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The Empty Bowl

The Empty Bowl is the story of a human seeking self-knowledge—fraught with victories and disappointments, streaked with longing for love and peace. This new memoir recounts one woman’s search for truth and spiritual connection within a dysfunctional family and a chaotic world. Told in vivid vignettes, the story unfolds during a time of social change that challenges gender roles, religious ideas, and scientific explanations. Readers will cheer for this California seeker as she slogs through modern physics and Eastern philosophy in an unrelenting search for self-understanding. The pages echo everyone’s secret yearning for truth, freedom, and belonging.
Rikki’s tale begins with her Catholic childhood in a Chicago suburb. As a little girl, she prays for her drunk father, begging God not to send him to hell. As a rebellious adolescent, she abandons religion, yet she yearns to connect with something more loving and peaceful than the human mind. As a teen on the California coast in the 1960s, she seeks union with higher consciousness through the use of drugs and mantra repetition. And as a young woman studying at UC Berkeley, she gives up spiritual matters and shifts her trust to science as the only reliable truth. But something is missing for her—and when she launches her career in Silicon Valley, the drinking culture forces her to confront her own demons.
Relying on Alcoholics Anonymous and therapy to stay sober, Rikki gravitates to Eastern spirituality to find her genuine self and relationship to the universe. But after years of fasting, chanting, and praying, she still finds herself seeking more—and ultimately, it is only when she throws overboard all her notions of God and truth that something unexpected and wonderful blossoms in her world.

Coming January 2025
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