Nearing age thirty, Amanda thought she’d be someone else by now. Instead, she’s just herself: an ex-nanny yogini-wannabe who cranks out “For Idiots” travel guides just to scrape by. Yes, she has her sexy photographer boyfriend, but he’s usually gone—shooting a dogsled race in Alaska or a vision quest in Peru—or just hooking up with other girls. However, she’s sure her new assignment, “Enlightenment for Idiots,” will change everything; now she’ll become the serene, centered woman she was meant to be. After some breakup sex, she’s off to India to find a new, more spiritual life.
What she finds, though, is an ashram run by investment bankers, a yoga master who trashes her knee, and a guru with a weakness for fashion models. She escapes a tantra party at the Taj Hotel, has a nasty argument outside the cave where the Buddha used to meditate, then agonizes through the ten-day silent retreat that’s supposed to make her feel better.
No, India is not what she had pictured. But she finds a friend in Devi Das, a redheaded sadhu who refers to himself as “we.” And when a holy lunatic on the street offers her an enigmatic blessing, Amanda realizes a new life may be in store for her—just not the one she was expecting.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: Enlightenment for Idiots|
|Release Date: 04-15-2008|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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Enlightenment for Idiots
The student of hatha yoga should practice in a solitary place, in a temple or a hermitage, an arrow-shot away from rocks, water, and fire. The hermitage should have a small door and no windows. It should be level with the ground and have no holes in the walls. It should be neither too high nor too long, and clean and free from insects. It should be laid daily with cow dung.
–H a t h a Yo g a P r a d i p i k a , c a . A D 1 4 0 0
CHAP T E R 1
My cell phone rang at 6:27 a.m., ripping me out of a nightmare in which I was teaching a yoga class wearing only a bra and panties.
“Amanda? Maxine here,” snapped a voice that was not the one I was hoping for. Strange how the fantasy–maybe it’s Matt–could hijack my mind before I was even awake. I squinted blearily at the glowing red numbers on the clock. Oh, damn. I must have slept through my alarm. In exactly thirty-three minutes I was supposed to be at The Blissful Body Yoga Studio, substitute teaching the Monday Rise and Shine class. The regular teacher had called me late last night, croaking with laryngitis; I knew that I was probably seventh or eighth on her list, but still, for an aspiring yoga teacher, not even certified yet, subbing for this class was a rare honor. And here I had almost slept right through it.
“Oh, hello, Maxine.” I tried to sound as professional as possible as I scrambled out of the tangled sheets and began groping around on the floor for my yoga pants. Of course it wasn’t Matt; I’d told Matt I never wanted to speak to him again. Maxine was my editor at Bigday Books, the publishers of the For Idiots: Guides to No-Risk Adventure series, w