Let Me Carry You Home

Susan Kiskis, a native of New York City, realized around the age of 20 that she needed to learn more about religion and find peace within herself and with God. This began her journey to India and her new-founded relationship with Buddhism.

Courtesy: Susan Kiskis

She chronicled this trip in a new book, Let Me Carry You Home. Her story to finding enlightenment was not easy, but India taught her how to come home to herself. Kiskis’ experience with the dancing, chanting, happy Hindus, led her to search for God in India.

Instead of finding the divine, she ran down the stone ramp of Hawa Mahal escaping from men following her. On the road to Sarnath, her husband tried to shield her eyes from the bloody remains of a man, the latest victim of India’s lawless traffic.

Dirty children with torn clothing at Dungeshwari Caves asked for money, but settled for sweets instead. Military guards lined the streets in Bodh Gaya during election day, while a stray dog slept near a Buddhist nun.

In Varanasi, the smoke of the cremation ghats reminded Kiskis of the short life we live. In each city, Kiskis racked up a list of sins, from pretending not to see the woman with blue-black skin at the train station in Mumbai begging for money, to walking away from a dog covered in maggots tucked up into a corner in an alleyway in Varanasi.

Susan Kiskis. Courtesy: Sunbury Press, Inc.

Neem Karoli Baba said, “Love everyone. Feed everyone. Remember God.” In the middle of India, Kiskis found herself surrounded by the unrelenting cruelty of mankind.

She lost God. She lost her own compassion. She lost herself- until she finally understood what her guru meant when he whispered, “Let me carry you home.”

Kiskis is a non-fiction author. She is also a certified yoga teacher, activist, and public speaker. Based in Pennsylvania, her books are guided by her intuition and inspired by her deeply seeded case of wanderlust.

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania, In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. One day, she might figure out how to put that master’s degree to use.

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