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A Guru in the Guest Room Paperback – March 16, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another wonderful book injected with humor throughout. Pick up a copy and enjoy the ride with tears of laughter and sorrow. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dhyan
Wonderful book full of wisdom from a cranky loveable cookie loving guru. You will laugh and cry. You will wonder and think about your life and where it is going. A great read. Read morePublished on August 16, 2012 by diane
Vicki writes with depth, humour and love. Swami Z is a guru we would
all love in our lives, encouraging, cajoling and infuriating by turns. Read more
The previous reviews and accolades for Vicki Woodyard's A GURU IN THE GUEST ROOM are so eloquently written by humble authorities of Truth that I'm tempted to just say "What they... Read morePublished on July 26, 2012 by Gail D. Storey
Moving touching ..wisdom in a nutshell with a sense of Humor..touches your heart and soul .beautifully written ,..wisdom in plain English.. Read morePublished on April 29, 2012 by PRASUN C RAY