Nikolai Grozni was a music prodigy, a jazz pianist training at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, when suddenly he decided to transform his life. He moved to India to become a Buddhist monkashaving his head, learning Tibetan, and donning long traditional robes. In the Himalayasaliving in a hut a stoneas throw from the Dalai Lamaas compounda Grozni became entrenched in a sometimes comical, sometimes reverent, always intriguing community comprised of feisty nuns, bossy monks, violent chess players, demanding teachers, and a spectacular friend called Tsar, a fallen monk from Bosnia.
Grozni went to India in search of knowledge, but learns that the people who can teach him the most are not wearing uniforms and following special diets, but rather those who, like him, struggle with doubts and cannot accept an established system of faith. Instead, he journeys with his colorful cast of friends to a new understanding of himself and his place in the world.
Like Anne Lamott or Elizabeth Gilbert, Nikolai Grozni offers the insights of a religious pilgrim from the insideain his case, from a male, Buddhist perspective. Thoughtful, funny, and elegantly written, "Turtle Feet" details the reality of a world much mythologized in the West and tells a wonderfully bittersweet story of a spiritual journey.