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Original trade paperback | 364 pp | April 2011 | ISBN 9781597190268
Prince Siddhartha, raised behind palace walls and showered with every extravagance, abandoned his protected life to embark on a spiritual journey. He ultimately reached enlightenment and became known as the Buddha, which means "one who is awake." He then spent his life teaching that all have the potential to awaken...
Meet Syd Arthur! Living in the cloistered world of suburbia, Syd is a middle-aged Jewish woman who is potentially awake, but likes to start her day with a strong cup of coffee, just in case. Her daughter has just left for college and her diet is once again off track. While for most of her life she's been convinced that happiness can be attained by a magic number on the bathroom scale — or a really great shopping day at Bloomingdale's—she finds herself in the grocery store with an empty cart wondering if there just might be something more.
When East unexpectedly meets West, Syd embarks on a journey as a spiritual seeker. Soon she's in over her chakras as her search takes her from yoga studio to meditation hall to ashram gift store to the pages of Zensational catalogue. Her Mah Jongg group insists it's merely a midlife crisis. But nothing's going to stop Syd's journey toward Nirvana—not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom's. Follow Syd as she finds her bliss and discovers a richness that rivals a Godiva truffle, making for one delicious enlightenment.
"What do you wear to the meditation center?" I had asked Montana. "I mean, when I go to temple, I usually wear a suit. Sometimes a pantsuit, but mostly a skirt and a blazer."
"Okay, you definitely don't need to wear a suit, Syd. Just wear something comfortable to sit in. And I promise you Om Guru is not about the clothes. No one cares what you wear. People there are concerned about the inner you, about your journey to realize and meet the Self."
I thought for a minute and then said, "So let me ask you it this way. When I meet my Self, should I meet her in country club casual or something more dressy?"
PRAISE for Syd Arthur
“Every once in a while you read a book that provides you with such a deep connection to the story’s heroine that you wish she would simply step out of the pages and become your best friend (think Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones, or Jennifer Weiner’s Cannie Shapiro).
Ellen Frankel’s Syd Arthur joins their leagues with her warm sense of humor, acute eye for social nuance, and infinitely relatable search for meaning in her life. Buy a few copies—I guarantee you’ll want to share ‘Syd’ with the readers in your life!”
Are You My Guru? How Medicine, Meditation & Madonna Saved My Life
"Syd Arthur's journey toward enlightenment is a laugh-out-loud adventure full of wit and wisdom. This book will touch your spirit and funny bone, awaken your senses, and nourish your soul."
author of the New York Times bestseller
Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
"A tour de force! This remarkable novel is full of humor, Buddhist wisdom, and Yiddishkeit. Art awakens us to new ways of seeing and being, and this novel is like an alarm clock."
Lama Surya Das
author of the New York Times bestseller
Awakening the Buddha Within
"...a truly touching book with great spiritual insights to carry you long after the last page has been turned."
Rabbi Baruch HaLevi
Congregation Shirat Hayam
"For those who came away from EAT PRAY LOVE with indigestion and an itch for something more substantial than a fluffernutter, I prescribe SYD ARTHUR. This too is the story of a woman who loves food, has all the accoutrements of a completely pampered American life and embarks on a quest for self-knowledge and nirvana....The protagonist Syd Arthur's funny, touching, and completely credible quest has more chutzpah and panache and less self-importance than EPL and others of the memoir/novel/spiritual quest genre. Frankel does a great job weaving philosophy into the action of the book. One comes away feeling the story is grounded in reality....all in all this is a very satisfying read."
author of A Trick of Light
& The Season of Lost Children