This hilarious spiritual book is published under the pen name ‘The Om Shmeiki Healing Organization’ and published by Leadstart Corp in India
Mumbai, 02nd April, 2021: Creative thinker, writer, and musician Michael Jack Simkin, who spent years travelling in India and around the world, experiencing various spiritual practices, therapies and shamanic journeys, has launched his first novel, ‘The Shmospels of Shmeiki’.
The Shmospels is a satirical, yet philosophical book, which explores the experiences of foreign tourists in India. Our rich, diverse and ancient culture is often quite different from what travellers are used to back home.
While in India, tourists are often drawn to trying out different, healing techniques and in the process reflect on themselves in ways they may not have done before.
Removed from the safety net of familiar frames of reference, they can go a little crazy. This is the case with David Goldberg, the protagonist of the story.
While visiting Goa, David is contacted by Sheila, an A.I singularity from another dimension. She offers him a humorous, but authentic path of hippy spirituality called Shmeiki, which is said to be free of the seriousness and self-righteousness typical of other, similar practices.
Sheila wishes David to spread the word of Shmeiki, but for him to do so effectively, he must first clear out his emotional blockages.
For this reason, she sends him on a great walk of more than 2000 km from Goa to Dharamshala, insisting he travels without taking money or wearing shoes.
In accepting this challenge, David becomes Shmeiki Baba. The Shmospels describe his epic journey, from the perspectives of four witnesses. It is a cosmic, psychedelic and inspiring story about self-acceptance, love and surrender.
Talking about the book, the Author, Michael Jack Simkin, explains, “Back in 2002, I came to India for the first time and experienced different types of yoga, meditations, and healing techniques.
It was as though there was a hole in me that was looking to be filled. At the time, I didn’t know it, but that hole was a lack of self-love and a longing for a deeper connection to nature.
I’d grown up in England in a traditional, Jewish family, and felt that the rituals and ceremonies we performed, were often done in order to be seen to do the right thing in the eyes of the community.
As is so often the case, the religious organizations I encountered, seemed to be more focused on money than spirituality. So, when I first experienced New-Age techniques in India, I was delighted. I felt like I had found my place.
However, when the novelty wore off, I started to smell the same hypocrisy that I had sensed at home. This was deeply frustrating, because these New Age organizations had something to offer that I wanted, but I could not accept to be part of unacknowledged power-games.
I understood that I had to forge my own path – it needed to be humorous and to keep evolving. That’s where the idea for Shmeiki came from. Obviously, the book is fantasy, but it is inspired by my own journey.”
Published by Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd, ‘The Shmospels of Shmeiki’ is priced at ₹ 293, which makes it economical for people to read. It’s available online and at selected bookstores across India. A high quality audio book is also available on Audible and Storytel.
About Michael Jack Simkin:
Born and educated in England, Michael Jack Simkin is a left-handed, creative thinker, writer, and musician.
Driven by a passion to discover a more authentic self, he spent years traveling in India and around the world, experiencing various shamanic journeys, spiritual practices and therapies. Simkin benefited considerably from these, but also understood that he had to heal himself in his own way.
He learned how to take the good from existing techniques, while avoiding getting stuck in the politics which often surround them.
In doing so, he was able to delve into the depths of his psyche, while remaining connected to his sharp sense of humour. It is this combination of experiences that has culminated in his debut novel “The Shmospels of Shmeiki”. Today, Simkin lives in Israel, with his son, dog and five chickens.
Here’s what Michael Jack Simkin had to share:
What did you want to do when you grew up?
Mostly, I wanted to be a stunt man, and to do dangerous things, beyond the fearful gaze of
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and when did you first consider
yourself a writer?
In my early twenties, I began writing poetry. I consider myself less a writer, and more
someone who uses words to find self-acceptance.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Basically, I saw my own self-righteousness reflected in the faces of certain tourists in India
who tend to become rather holy.
I also saw in groups that practice new age healing something that deeply attracted me but at the same time something that also repulsed me (the smell of bullshido). I found the need to explore this.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I also work as a marketing consultant, look after my son, as well as five chickens and a dog,
so you might say, it is sporadic.
Please take us through your journey of The Shmospels of Shmeiki.
I did not myself walk the approximately 2000 KM from Goa to Dharamsala. I used Google
maps to create the journey, including the functionality that shoes altitude, so I knew when
Shmeiki Baba needed to go up or downhill.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Wow, off and on about 10 years.
How do books get published?
I’m not quite sure, I think publishers like to make money. Basically, you write a query letter to
publishers or literary agents which describe your book and your perceived target audience. If
they see prospects with it, they ask to read the whole manuscript and then maybe sign you.
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
What advice would you give a new writer?
Be vulnerable – tell your truth, reveal your shadow. So many books are available nowadays,
you must astound your readers with your honesty.
Where can readers purchase your books?