Shadows on the Path by Abdi Assadi

Shadows on the Pathis a small gem, offering up wonderful insights and penetrating wisdom, one page after another. In these days of market hype, New Age mania, and flashy quick fixes, there is a beautiful clarity and understatement to this book that is compelling. Mr. Assadi has done an outstanding job of illuminating many of the pitfalls and perils of the spiritual journey, all with compassion, quiet good humor and humility.

Readers will recognize many of the traditional barriers to spiritual awakening — addiction, consumerism, separation, and aggrandizement among others. As the author outlines it, these are many of the measures that we use to cope with the pain in our lives, and it is only when the house is on fire that we seek a better way, or a path back to peace and serenity. It is then that we turn to spirituality in its many forms as an attempt to feed our souls, or as the author puts it, “to remember our true nature.”

Where Mr. Assadi excels is in highlighting the less acknowledged pitfalls, mishaps, and delusions that largely get glossed over in most of today’s literature about spiritual healing — any one or all of which can result in straying off the true spiritual path. These can include becoming addicted to meditation, yoga, psychic readers, or the “high” of visions or breakthroughs; abdicating responsibility and giving up all one’s power to a guru; using a New Age emphasis on being a “light worker” to deny the shadow aspects of the self, and more. As the author points out, there is also a sort of “spiritual consumerism” happening now, where we think we’re on the path to healing as we buy more and more Buddha statues, candles, and copies of the I Ching, and race off to attend a variety of “healing workshops”. There’s a whole section on how we, as a society, are too enamored of the “quick fix.”

Shadows on the Path offers great insight into the many ways that we sabotage ourselves and it is equally clear on how to get ourselves back on course. Mr. Assadi, a therapist and acupuncturist, has clearly done his own spiritual work and, as is clear from his many revelations and insights, suffered his own mis-steps along the way. His anecdotes and teaching tales are marvelous, and his humility and warmth invite the reader to recognize those snippets of themselves that may still need healing — and that may be the very best recommendation of all.


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review by Cheryl Shainmark
Abdi Assadi, M.S., Lic. Ac., is a healer, spiritual counselor and author. Raised in Africa, Asia and New York City, he has studied a range of healing practices including shamanism, psychotherapy and acupuncture. His work centers on helping his clients use their disease and dysfunction as a doorway to spiritual serenity.