Shaken by 9/11 and then the loss of my job, I began to feel a pull toward the spiritual longings that had been buried since I was much younger. In this I was alone. My wife didn’t understand why our family life couldn’t provide what I needed, and my friends, who are mainly atheists, couldn’t relate. After suffering what I thought was a heart attack and calling out for God, I realized that I needed to take action on my spiritual longings immediately, whatever the cost.
I limited my search to within two hours of our apartment. As I write in Pilgrim: “I couldn’t even think of traveling to an ashram in India or a monastery in Greece. Any dancing with dervishes I’d do would need to take place within 100 miles or so of New York City.”
Over the next two years, my journey takes me down many different paths: from the profound silence of Quaker meetings and Buddhist meditation groups to the uplifting vibrations of a candlelit Christmas mass and a weekend spent chanting Hinduism’s many names for God; from Kabbalah and Torah classes at a neo-Hasidic Jewish shul to a session with a spiritually gifted astrologer — until I finally find the community I have been seeking. Along the way, I strive to reconcile my needs and beliefs with those of my family, knowing that I may be risking their bond. I also explore the latest research on the effects of how religion and God impact our brains, emotions and health.
Praise from readers:
“Lee Kravitz has brilliantly captured the spirit of searching so many of us feel. Pilgrim is the perfect book for our time — open, engaging, even suspenseful. You’ll be cheering him on even as you learn more about yourself.”
— Bruce Feiler
“Lee Kravitz takes us along on his deeply felt spiritual journey. This is a courageous work filled with wisdom and life lessons that all of us can benefit from.”
— David Isay
“What a beautiful, honest, enlightening, modest, and wise book this is. Lee has written a map for all us wanderers and seekers who take the perennial spiritual challenge to ‘Go forth” and become the artists of our own life. Pilgrim is crackling with insights.”
— Rabbi Irwin Kula
“Lee Kravitz’s journey of spiritual renewal leads him right into the heart of what matters most: family, community, and love. Pilgrim is a beautiful, heartfelt book for anyone who has struggled with the big questions about passion and purpose—which is to say, everyone.”
— Hope Edelman