stephengrissomSometimes it takes an author to jog our memories about what we do here at 1106 Design for authors who self-publish, and why we do it. OK, so we know what we do. We provide cover and page design, editing, proofreading and layout services to indie publishers who choose to self-publish, along with hand holding…blah blah blah. And we do it well. But it’s so easy to lose the “Why” of what we do.

Stephen Grissom, author of Rivulets of the Absolute: Healing Ground in the Ancient Tamil Siddha Tradition, reminds us that in a way, 1106 Design is like a team of midwives (and midhusbands?) that helps authors give birth to their books when they self-publish.

“It is really a wonderful thing to hand over one’s beloved work that they have labored with for years to a company and have them treat it with the same devoted care and attention as if it were their own child,” says Stephen. “This motherly affection is embodied by everyone at 1106 Design.” To us here at 1106 Design, it was a gift to be involved in Stephen’s book, which most importantly, is an integral part of his spiritual journey and his own personal gift to the world.

Rivulets of the Absolute is a narrative nonfiction account of Stephen’s personal journey through ancient healing and spiritual arts of India. Stephen explains, “The coolest thing is that none of these methods have been put down in written form. Some subjects, like the spiritual practice called tantra, have received some attention in the past, but never from a personal perspective of one traveling through them.”

Stephen says that the inspiration for writing Rivulets of the Absolute sprung from two factors: his many years of travelling to India, and meeting his Guru, Siddha Healer Pal Pandian. Although Stephen travelled to India for 17 years, he says it was no vacation, but rather a quest to discover the meaning of life. “I kept returning to South India looking for answers to silent questions that had tormented me since I was a young boy. ‘What the hell is life all about?’ ‘What does anything mean when we all are going to die anyway?’ ‘Why am I here? Who am I?’” Reflecting upon these questions now, Stephen comments that they made him restless and unsatisfied, and that he experienced an intense need to find relief by getting answers. “These are the reasons I sought out India and her many spiritual practices. Once I found a strong attraction to the great Indian sage, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and His path of self-inquiry, I set off to India each year for several months at a time desperately seeking resolution for the inner torment.”

Then, in 2006, Stephen met his Guru. “This was the truest inspiration for my book,” smiles Stephen. “Following the first time I met Siddha Healer Pal Pandian, the internal turmoil immediately began to recede. His gifts to me included restoring health and vibrancy to my body, greater balance to my mind, and a strong vigor for living my daily life.” Pal introduced Stephen into the healing realm of the Siddha masters, called Siddha Vasi Healing, and initiated him into various spiritual paths like tantra, yogic practices, alchemy and martial arts. Continues Stephen, “Pal asked me to write a book on my own uniquely personal and intense experience under his tutelage and the graceful blessings of the Siddha masters, and I immediately set about learning how to write.”

rivuletsoftheabsolutefbThus, the main goal of writing Rivulets of the Absolute was to “reveal Siddha Vasi Healing to people so that living free of chronic and acute illness is better known and understood.” Says Stephen, “Just as important as the healing realm are the spiritual dimensions. Through the book, those who yearn for deep transformation in their lives can learn more of the Siddhas and make informed choices.”

Self-publishing his book was an obvious path for Stephen, who has found that traditional publishing companies are reluctant to publish religious books. Certainly we know that publishers tend to shy away from niche markets; independent publishers were a result of the need for niche publishing. Stephen also recognized that in order to retain full authority over his book, including the content—what was included and what was left out—he would need to self-publish..

The 1106 Design team is pleased to have played a role in helping Stephen to bring his book into the world and fulfil the request of his Guru. “The team at 1106 Design crafted the entire experience of taking my manuscript and bringing into the form and substance of a book,” states Stephen. “They helped make Rivulets of the Absolute available to the world, and assisted me in the beginning steps of letting people know of its existence. These alone are incredibly valuable, amazing, and damn near magical results!”

Thank you Stephen. Your quest to find answers helped us remember what we do, and why we do it!

Book title and subtitle: Rivulets of the Absolute: Healing Ground in the Ancient Tamil Siddha Tradition

Author: Stephen R. Grissom

Genre: Self-improvement, spiritual, body-mind-spirit

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