Lorena Junco Margain—passionate art collector, devoted wife and mother—is already shaken after fleeing Mexico with her family while pregnant due to concerns for their safety. After arriving in her new home in Austin, Texas she learns she has a tumor on her adrenal gland. Although not life threatening, the condition is serious and requires surgery right away. Having long experienced unexplained symptoms of dizziness and lethargy that neither medications nor holistic or Ayurvedic treatments have helped, she embraces the news with tears of relief: with a simple surgery, she can regain her strength and joyful spirit. But fate can be mischievous, and to err is human—even for surgeons. Rather than improve after surgery, her condition worsens.
On the Way to Casa Lotus is the gripping true story of Junco Margain’s journey coming to terms with the permanent consequences of a surgeon’s devastating mistake. Mindful that even good people make errors and that vengeance such as legal action would not mend her broken body or soul, she chooses instead to embark on a quest for peace and healing—beginning by seeking space in her heart to forgive.
Deeply compassionate, wise and poetic, On the Way to Casa Lotus lays bare some of the most poignant contradictions of the human condition, blurring the distinctions between guilt and neglectfulness, anger and sorrow, humility and shame, gratitude and despair. Rich with imagery and metaphors from the world of contemporary art, brimming with scenes from the author’s close-knit, abundantly loving Mexican family, the book plants a seed of hope that loss and pain can serve a higher purpose: one of promoting forgiveness as a force for personal and universal change.
Praise for On the Way to Casa Lotus
I’ve seen first-hand my friend Lorena’s choice to come out of the darkness and into the light, find forgiveness instead of grieve. Her journey is one we can all learn from and find inspiration in.
— Camila Alves McConaughey
Entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of WomenOfToday.com
In this beautifully written book, Lorena Junco Margain brings immense insight into teaching us about the practice of the injured becoming the healer. Her remarkable grace and ability to forgive expands bonds and breaks barriers. On the Way to Casa Lotus is a poignant reminder that people make mistakes, and that when we do, we must start again and try to do better. Surgeons like myself are reminded of our limitations as humans and our vocation to cure when able, but to heal always.
—Nancy D. Perrier, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chief of Surgical Endocrinology, University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center
Unapologetically bold in its expression of vulnerability and pain, this exquisite narrative invites readers deep into the mind and heart of a woman wronged yet determined to make things right—not merely for herself, but for the world. Steeped in the redeeming love of Junco Margain’s close-knit Mexican family—who have preserved their unity and cultural heritage despite their own profound traumas—On the Way to Casa Lotus bravely and poetically redefines the boundaries between the personal and the universal. A beacon of hope for women everywhere, it invites all those struggling in silence to let their voices be heard.
Designer, Reem Acra New York
On the Way to Casa Lotus is the deeply honest and vulnerable portrait of a young woman trying to juggle marriage and family in the midst of the severe depression, physical exhaustion, and debilitating pain resulting from a minor surgical procedure that turned into a long-term medical nightmare. But rather than focus on doctors’ negligence or an impersonal medical system gone horribly off track, Junco-Margain focuses on the personal growth, empowerment and transformation this experience triggered. Her inconceivable journey, which begins in a place of low faith in her instincts, ultimately arrives at the most empowering stance only few who have been brutally victimized can take: genuine amnesty, self-acceptance and forgiveness.
Vedic astrologer, ayurvedic practitioner and author of Before Your Future
On the Way to Casa Lotus is a book about hope. The author’s journey to transforming the violent acts of surgery and a surgeon’s grave mistake into a quest for physical and spiritual balance holds much wisdom about how to be proactive and creative in the face of illness. It is a poignant reminder to readers and the medical community that illness affects not only the afflicted, but also, their family and loved ones; that bodies are not of a set of separate parts, but rather, are whole—and one with the soul. This book is an invitation to all to create our own rituals, follow our intuition and to allow pain to help us grow.
Multi-disciplinary artist at the Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn, NY
We all have the power to choose our actions and responses. Harboring and expressing negative thoughts and feelings is one possible route. Another is to seek—and find—the positive, the silver lining, the path to healing and peace. On the Way to Casa Lotus shows the power of love and forgiveness, of listening closely to the knowing voice of our soul undeterred by outside opinions. It is an important reminder to all of the forgotten essentials in the quest for a peaceful, harmonious life.
Owner, The Ashram Retreat