In Search of Simplicity

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

 In 1986, at the age of twenty eight, the author wakes from a meningitis-induced coma in Norway, just in time to prevent a potentially lethal injection of penicillin, to which he is allergic.

Follow his adventures as his life takes an about face from manager and investor to backpacking world traveller. A bewildering series of coincidences guides him through the tropical jungles of remote Papua New Guinea and the alpine mystique of the Shangri La-like Hunza Valley.

His mission? To discover his calling and to determine how to live with simplicity.

From a highjacking to a near death drowning, from meetings with simple villagers to leaders of religious sects, this story looks at the roots of our current ecological and social traumas and it hints at solutions available to us all.

Hold on. You’re in for a ride. You need not leave the safety and comfort of your favourite chair. But you just might find your own mission along the way. And you’re guaranteed to see the world in a different way after reading this book.


Hear the author read from the book here

In Search of Simplicity is a truly amazing true story travel/adventure book by a loving and thoughtful man. I LOVED [this] book. I found it fascinating …inspiring, hilarious, moving.”

Amanda McBroom, actress, singer/songwriter and composer of the 1979 worldwide hit, The Rose. 

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: 

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“In Search of Simplicity is nothing short of captivating. It’s an incredible travelogue of the spirit, with a plot composed by the universe itself and an author who takes as much delight in language as he does in life. Whether you pick it up for inspiration or for escape, you’ll discover that the entire book is evidence for how the whole world conspires to support and delight those who follow their hearts.”

Siona van Dijk, Director of Gaia Community

“Even amidst bouts of malaria, a recurring spasm of meningitis, and appendicitis, Haines paints his surroundings and experiences in such a rose colored tint that it almost seems as if he enjoyed the worst ordeals of his journey as much as the glorious climaxes. Perhaps this is the true mark of a Zen master… By simply taking part in his journey, he gives the reader an adventure in conscious connection, bringing hope that we can always find our path if we simply open ourselves up to it… No book in the literary realm gives such a buoyant look at [synchronicity] as In Search of Simplicity by John P. Haines.”

Steve McAllister, Modern Hippie Mag.  For the complete review visit:

“As modern society takes us further away from simple living, the message in this book brings us back to what matters most, by reminding us that ‘simplicity’ is available at any time when we are prepared to open our hearts and minds and engage fully with the world around us..”

Suzanne Stewart, Wellington

“As you read the many colorful accounts of John Haines’ true story you find that he has all the color and verve and life experience of an Indiana Jones.”

Elan Sun Star, Photographer-Writer-Teacher, Hawaii


Beyond the Search

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 at 4:25 am

Beyond the Search chronicles the author’s profound experiences and experiments with Truth, simplicity, self-sufficiency and the Spirit of Nature in New Mexico, Arizona and beyond. Although it is the sequel to In Search of Simplicity it is a complete volume in its own right.

Beyond the Search describes in an enjoyable, easy-to-read style John and Lucia Haines’ attempts to live the dream; to live simply, nobly and in harmony with nature and each other; to live an unfettered life, unplugged and disconnected from all forms of media, while remaining connected to the messages coming from nature and within.

It is a story of challenges and adventures—from rattlesnakes and a devastating hailstorm to a an international gold mining company intent on developing an open pit mine on the other side of the fence.

Beyond the Search is a triumph of the spirit. It is an inspiration to anyone wishing to live a little more simply, a little healthier and more connected with nature and each other.


Click here to hear the author read from the book

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

“Beyond the Search is an intimate sharing of John and Lucia’s intended dream existence of Self Sufficiency. They walk their talk together, leading by example through the pitfalls and rewards and all that is encountered to pursue their quest. A huge learning curve for them, and perhaps for YOU too, if you choose to journey with them through these pages.”

Rose Lyn De Garis, Adelaide, Australia

“John Haines continues his life story and his spiritual search in “Beyond the Search”. In this follow up to “In Search of Simplicity” there are more travel stories and itchy feet descriptions of parts of the Netherlands, New Mexico and New Zealand. Now with the responsibilities of children and the duties of marriage the author’s spiritual search narrows to relationships and nature. And it is in his descriptions of this that true spirituality emerges. Despite outward dramatic events the author and his writing become imbued with more and more stillness, spaciousness and peacefulness. Along the way we are given practical and often esoteric information on relating to nature and how to make a garden flourish.

This is an inspirational book. The reader is left thinking: that if they (John, Lucia and the children) can survive the challenges of relationship, the forces of nature (snakes and violent thunderstorms to name just two!), health problems and the mad society we live in, well then I can too.

It is how they do this that provides the heart of the book.

One example. On arriving in New Zealand all their photographic and documentary history was stolen. They responded to this disaster rather than reacted. Did this clean out mean they should stay, as planned, in New Zealand or were they being told to go? Both John and Lucia answered the unspoken question intuitively – it meant a clean slate – and they would stay. It is not often we approach life with a clean slate as we carry our past around with us as memory. The author and his wife saw the theft as an opportunity to begin life anew. Beginning life anew moment to moment is something all the spiritual teachings say is the Way. They recognized this, settled and still live in New Zealand. May the next book come soon.”

 Peter Bligh

Book Trailers and More

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 at 3:19 am



John in the Hunza 1987


John and friends in the Hunza 1987


More from the magical land of the Hunza


Hunza: 7700 metre Mount Rakiposhi, the highest mountain from base to summit in the world.