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A Guru in the Guest Room Paperback – March 16, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vicki Woodyard received a B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis. She makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia. Vicki’s first book is LIFE WTH A HOLE IN IT: That’s How The Light Gets In. Her website is www.vickiwoodyard.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Red Willow Publishing (March 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936539578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936539574
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,256,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vicki Woodyard is a spiritual writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she graduated from The University of Memphis, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in English and Psychology. She is a meditator, a webmaster and has a lifelong interest in the spiritual path.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As the author of Doorway to Total Liberation: Conversations with What Is, This is a touching and heartfelt story that both entertains and teaches. It's funny, too! Where else will you hear about a guru calling his satsang attendees, "my peeps?" In an age where so many books on enlightenment leave out the human element, this hits you in the face with it.

It is balanced between transcendence and plain old, beautiful, ugly humanness. The story takes you through the trials and tribulations of awakening, the confusion, the doubt, the ego, and the egolessness. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's in story form. It contains page after page of delicious cookies of wisdom. Enjoy it! Books on enlightenment don't always get this real in order to show you the unreal. It ends with the deepest wisdom of all, wrapped up in such plain English that you may not know what hit you.

Scott Kiloby
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is about love. Not romantic love, or even sentimental love, but about the bottomless true love that is here always when we stop paddling around on the surface of ourselves, and instead dive to the depths of Self.

Few swimmers will ever stop to notice the deeps of true nature, content to splash around in the unreal. But sometimes life tosses us a cement life raft, a sinker that will drown us to save us. In that case, we get to plumb the love we are by sinking on the heavy weight sufferings of grief, anger and desolation. Vicki Woodyard, who lost a child and a husband to cancer, knows well that loss and loneliness not only break the heart, but also break it open.

In Guru in the Guest Room, Woodyard conjures an imaginary friend named Swami Z, who enters stage left because she "opened the door." A tough love teacher with a wacky sense of humor and a short, balding, bed-sheet wearing appearance, Swami-Z moves in and begins what will become a many-year love-hate relationship. As his fictional student and real life scriptwriter, Woodyard creates a character that is more than a narrative device. Over several chapters, as Swami Z bakes cookies and holds make-believe backyard satsangs to a host of colorful characters, we begin to see that this two dimensional creation is coming to embody multi-dimensional truth delivered in clever one-liners.

Indeed, the blurry line between what is real and unreal is the very lesson that ripens from this conjuring of a swami who exists in the imagination of our writer, yet who clearly knows more than the writer knows she knows. As Woodyard notes, "The mystery of Swami is he doesn't exist. No matter how hard I try, I cannot bring him to physical life. And yet he is a miracle worker.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What seeker on the spiritual path could resist the idea of a live-in Swami? In Vicki Woodyard's second book, she tells the most unusual love story I have ever read. Swami Z will wind you round his little finger before you know it. Both delightful and insightful, this book is a pleasure and I warmly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
A Guru in the Guest Room is a collection of writings by Vicki Woodyard about her fictional housemate, Swami Z. It includes a small cast of characters including Vicki herself. They attend satsangs, and even satsnag, with Swami Z.

Like the movie actor in The Purple Rose of Cairo who stepped out of the movie screen and into the real world, Swami Z steps out of the book:

"Vicki has a good sense of humor when she writes about me, but when she leaves the computer, she forgets how funny being human is. She mopes around with the best of them."

And although Swami Z has a cookie habit that "would sicken more than it would heal," this cookie dough that is A Guru In The Guest Room consists of humor, wisdom, and cool chips of reality. But, Vicki points out, "Cookie-making is a messy thing. I swear we have sugar rings in the bathtub."

Thanks to that messiness, there is lots of life in this book. Through it all, the eye of wisdom never blinks. Is that the eye painted onto Ruin, the stick pony? Some say Ruin is the true Guru in the book.

Who is the true Guru? What was Swami Z's response to Vicki's question, Who am I? Did Larry really sell Ruin on eBay? What does it mean to chew the scenery instead of the cookies?

Maybe it all comes down to what Vicki calls her direct path: "Loving the script and the characters." Speaking of which, one of the characters in this book is one of the greatest fictional Gurus in history. I'm just not saying who it is.
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Format: Paperback
A "Guru In The Guest Room" functions as both a construction and a deconstruction of the guru notion. Vicki "outs" her swami at the book's start by announcing that she created him on her iMac. Throughout the book's many vignettes, the Swami plays several roles--now the font of wisdom, now the butt of jokes. I see a liberational message here.

Swami Z's last-in-the-alphabet name hints that this constructed image can be the last such image a reader would need on the path. His various roles in the book invite you to stand up tall and step forward.

Greg Goode, author of Standing As Awareness and Direct Path: A User Guide
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