Forgiving the Unforgivable: The Power of Holistic Living: The True Story of How Survivors of the Mumbai Terrorist Attack Answered Hatred with Compassion

Master Charles Cannon, with Will Wilkinson. SelectBooks, $17.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59079-218-6
Cannon's book is a study in contrasts. It is the horrific retelling of the 2008 Pakistani terrorist attack on Mumbai that lasted more than 40 hours, leaving over 150 dead and many more wounded. But it is also the story of the "Holistic Lifestyle," a system that allowed Cannon and members of his Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality, several of whom were killed in the assault, to not only forgive their attackers, but to send them, in the words of one survivor, "our love, forgiveness and compassion." The book is told in powerful flashback interviews—one woman vividly describes having to extricate herself from the dead bodies on top of her. Interspersed with the scenes of terror are lessons about the Lifestyle, which is predicated on balancing "physical, mental, and emotional experiences throughout the day." If readers struggle with the "Lifestyle" lessons (and they will—talk of "Ultimate Myster[ies]" and "Pregnant Void[s]" abounds), Cannon repeatedly grounds the narrative by returning to survivors' firsthand accounts of the attacks. Whether readers leave this book as converts or skeptics, there's compelling reason to explore the teachings of the Holistic Lifestyle—few would be able to endure a tragedy of this proportion and be able to say, "Mumbai enriched our lives." (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 02/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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