Fuming. That’s how Cam, the main character in The Merit Birds, feels about being dragged to Laos, Southeast Asia, by his mother. His absent father, his lifetime of anger issues, and his recent basketball fight only serve to compound his strong emotions. Gradually, Cam’s change comes when he learns about the power of the breath and of serving others. Written by Kundalini Yoga instructor, Kelley Powell, the novel ends with KRI-approved instructions for the One Minute Breath.

Inspired by the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, The Merit Birds is unique in that readers are introduced to Kundalini Yoga through fiction. It is about the friendships that Cam eventually and often reluctantly makes and how a lifetime of anger can be transformed from the inside out. It’s about how daily attention to the breath and bringing focus within can melt away years of anger and hurt. And it’s about how this realization of inner peace leads to a bursting open of the heart and acts of pure service. All this transformation is set against the dramatic background of a worn down prison in Laos, where conditions are close to inhuman. It is in this environment of extreme captivity and harsh conditions, where a young man’s soul is finally set free.

A social media campaign has been created around The Merit Birds where people tag, mention and highlight acts of kindness that people have shown using the hashtag #MyMerit.

Today and tomorrow only (June 2 and 3, 2015), Kelley is having a virtual launch party for The Merit Birds. Everyone who buys the book online on June 2 and 3 will be able to access over $100 in free bonus gifts, such as a unique selection of song downloads (many of which are connected to the novel), a One Minute Breath audio guide, a recipe book based on the novel, an educator’s guide and free fiction.

By Victoria Atmabir Kaur Lynes

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