You may not know of the Golden Flower that this intriguing memoir deciphers. A 12th century Taoist text on meditation, its full title is The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life or by another translation: A Manual of Inner Taoist Alchemy.
The original is poetic: "The light-flower of heaven and earth fills all the thousand spaces….Let the breathing through the nose be made rhythmical and the thoughts fixed on the dark door."
This light-flower is the energy that most of us aren't using much of: it goes by the name of kundalini (which I've written about quite a bit) or life force, chi or qi, and many others.
JJ Semple is one of those people who, like the character in my recent novel Cobalt Blue, was dramatically overwhelmed by the experience of kundalini energy rising. Deciphering the Golden Flower is his story of how he was shaken, "overhauled," and radically changed, with specifics on using the breathing method presented in the Taoist book.
Semple is also a kundalini counselor, helping people to raise their full energy and cope with the transition. Born in New York, based now in England, Semple, I was surprised to learn, also lived for years in the golf world of the North Carolina Sandhills, the same place Cobalt Blue's main character lives. Synchronicity? Weird coincidence? Or maybe something about the Sandhills' famously temperate micro-climate.
In this guy's book, I was gratified to find at length a real story similar in so many ways to the seemingly far-fetched one I made up.