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“How much are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams?”

At 25, Tuomas comes up with his answer: everything. Stuffing his life into a single orange suitcase, he moves across the globe to a Hindu monastery deep in the redwood forests of Northern California. He expects to finally find the tranquility, truth, and harmony he has always yearned for, but instead comes face-to-face with his darkest shadows.

As it turns out, ashrams are a lot less “Kumbaya” and a lot more like rehab centers. The greatest battle of Tuomas’ life begins, and there’s no knowing whether he will land on his feet or his ass.

“The Recovering Materialist” offers a candid, raw, and at times sidesplitting portrait of the hardships and victories of a life dedicated to spiritual enlightenment. In lean and inventive prose, Mäkinen takes the reader on a rollercoaster from his alienated years of hardcore punk and societal underperformance, through his relationship dysfunctions and family drama, to crying alone in a dark yurt and barely averting a fist fight with a fellow monastic, all the way to tentative contentment through building a temple.

There is no middle ground in this memoir. The story is in constant movement between the depths of darkest despair and the heights of spiritual ecstasy. Get ready!