Reb Gutman Locks’s spiritual journey, Coming Back to Earth – The Central Park Guru becomes An Old City Jew, is now available on Amazon.com as an e-book for only $2.99!
How does a man go from corporate life to Hindu guru, to cult leader, to Christian spiritual leader and finally to an ultra-orthodox Jew in Jerusalem? This true story takes you through an amazing adventure, an amazing life time of spiritual searching and leadership until the author finds his way home - to his own people and his own religion.
Laugh together with our own Reb Gutman Locks as he searches for spiritual truth and discovers the truth of various spiritual paths along the way.
(Soon to be available on the Barnes & Noble Nook, iPad and other e-book platforms, G-d willing.)
As one reviewer wrote…
Ever wonder what happened to the "Silent Guru" of Central Park? Back in 1972-73, he sat on a bench on the corner of 86th Street and Central Park West, every day, rain or shine, meditating in total silence. It is said that he radiated an aura of peace and tranquility. Certainly he attracted quite a following. People of all walks of life came to sit in his presence. He was written up by the New York Times and other publications. He was occasionally mentioned in New Age books on meditation and spirituality. But who was he? And where is he now?
His name is Gil Locks, and he is now a Hasidic Jew who lives in Jerusalem. He spends a lot of his time at the Western Wall, encouraging fellow Jews to put on tefillin (phylacteries) and get in touch with their own Jewish roots. But he doesn't cram the Torah down their throats like some rabbis do. Rather, he listens compassionately to their questions and spiritual struggles, because he, too, has been there. This book is his autobiography -- a very honest, often amusing account of how he traveled to India, lived on ashrams, meditated with various gurus, returned to the USA, traveled around the country in an old bus with "Yea God" painted on it, was guided to sit in Central Park, later tried and rejected the "Jesus trip"... and eventually found authentic spirituality in Hasidic/kabbalistic Judaism.
Parts of the book are hysterically funny. When, on the beach in Hawaii, he suddenly decides to become an observant Jew, he jumps in head first -- but has no local rabbi to guide him as to how things should be done. When he reads in the Bible that Jews should tie "tassels" on the corners of their garments, he takes that quite literally -- and ties a yarn tassel on every single corner of every garment he owns -- one on each point of his shirt collars, two on each shirt sleeve where the cuffs button, etc. "I looked like I was wearing a couch cover," he reminisces on page 159. Then he reads that one should tithe one's money and "bind it to your hand" (meaning don't spend it) and take it to Jerusalem for the widows, orphans, and poor. He misinterprets this verse, too. He literally ties the money to his hand with a piece of yarn, then gets on a plane and heads for Jerusalem.
Arriving in Israel, he goes to the Western Wall. There he soon finds out that his silly-looking yarn tassels are not kosher at all (the real tassels, called tzitzit, are only tied on special four-cornered garments!) He then prays at the Wall for God to send him a holy person to show him the right way. Immediately a young man walks up to him and asks if he wants to put on tefillin. Within 45 minutes Gil Locks goes from looking like a beach bum to looking like a yeshiva student. That was 1977.
Like everything else he did in his life, Gil threw himself completely into the yeshiva world. But he also maintained the spirituality which sent him on his quest in the first place. This is the story of a genuinely God-intoxicated man. One gets the impression that, even as an Orthodox Jew today, he is still something of a local "character." The book is filled with amazing stories and anecdotes that will make you laugh, cry, shake your head in wonderment. Whether you are Jewish or not, whether you are a "religious Jew" or not, this book will speak to your heart and soul. Ten stars!
We strongly recommend it.