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When Nomads Press originally published “A Vagabond in Mexico” some of my reviewers were somewhat disappointed with my biography. And they had their reasons; this was my biographical entry on the back cover:
“About himself, S. Guzman-C. allows little to be said for the moment; it would be redundant. As you read on, you will get to know him some, for he actually was, a vagabond in Mexico.”

Upon reading such a short entry, they thought that perhaps I was trying to create mystery to sell the book. And in their opinion the opposite was true: more information about the author would have been a boost. They wanted more.

And perhaps they were right. Our conditioned mind always wants to know “the” why. Why did I become a vagabond in Mexico? So maybe they will be pleased with my new book, “The Eye of the Dragon, Stalking Castaneda.” It explains, to a great extent, why I became a wanderer. This is the preface:
“In days of yore (not fully aware of what I was doing, I must confess) I left everything behind in search of The Eye of the Dragon. At the beginning of my journey, I came across the teachings of the ancient Toltecs of Mexico through the works of Carlos Castaneda. The wisdom of don Juan, a Mexican Yaqui Indian shaman, was a beacon. Still, in 2001 I came across derogatory information about Castaneda, which cast a shadow on his credibility and proved that many of his claims (and to a great extent his work with Don Juan) were fraudulent. At the time, I had verified much of what he had written about, so the new and discrediting facts greatly puzzled me. They also forced me to question my findings and convictions and to look in other directions to corroborate further.

Furthermore, it had been claimed that Castaneda had left this world in full consciousness taking his body with him. And the turmoil that Castaneda’s ordinary death (due to cancer of the liver) caused in many of his closest followers, made me realize how blind human beings can be and how ready we are to miss the point and become either judges or victims. I am writing these notes with a double purpose: to help me get a better perspective and a new direction, and to maybe help a few others do the same.”

So who is S (Rio) Guzman? Is this blog throwing some light? According to what I have found, there is not much of an “I” anywhere. This “I” that we put so much stock on is not the same from day to day, or from moment to moment. As an example, being a marketer is quite an accident for me; life has strange twists, doesn’t it? Did I make a wrong turn somewhere? But then again, everything is interconnected. Every being on this planet has a path to follow, which is interwoven with all other paths. Are there any “wrong” turns?

I have verified that nothing in this world is actually explainable; it is all energy in motion. When the Buddha says, “Regard this fleeting world as a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream; a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream.” he can’t be more explicit. You see, magic is afoot, although we have the uncanny ability to ignore it completely. We live in a daze; we live in confusion, a confusion caused precisely by our undisciplined ego, our self-absorption. But who is this “I” anyway? Who are we really? I leave you with the question, for it behooves all of us to do our homework, our due diligence. 

Contact Information: email rsgguz@gmail.com

Address: Tucson, AZ

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James Reinhardt, Rio Guzman, Pliny Reynolds, Kelly Schenk
From Top Left: James Reinhardt, Rio Guzman, Pliny Reynolds, Kelly Schenk

Bottom Left: Yu Miyamoto, Melissa Andrew, and Christopher Gidley

Me and my buddies: the Arcosanti experience

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26 Responses

  1. I like your A Vagabond in Mexico. It is written in a manner that is very easy to understand. I mean it is very easy for me to understand. Thank you so much.


  2. HI Rio, or whatever you go by now…Enjoying your book, and your blog. Nice surprise to see my picture playing my harp there on the Santa Fe Plaza. Our meeting was perfect, and when some part of me noticed you sitting there in the shade of the trees with your books next to you, and it seemed to me as if you were visible and invisible at the same time. Asking for attention, yet not being too overt. Perhaps you had no venders license and was undercover. There only for those who could see and receive you. Glad I listened to whatever that is that ‘knows’ and bought your book. Thank you too for your tips in my harp begging bowl. That is how I feel, seem and unseen. Heard by some, tuned out by others, playing the air waves there using the harp as a subconscious tool that gets into people without them always understanding or knowing what is happening. Music without words can do that it seems.

    I agree with you about there is no reincarnation if there is no self. Seems like another self glorification of the ego to need to create false histories like that, when only there is the now and the Self.

    I like what you say about discovering that Castaneda was right, yet perhaps lost in his self illusion. How many times must the ‘Big Swami Kahuna’ die, not ascending with his body, leaving behind his rotting cancerous corpse and yet his followers need to proclaim his greatness, and specialness still. The ‘I AM’ people did it in the 1940’s, Godfrey and Lotus Ray King, dying but not taking their bodies with them as they claimed. Even Yogananda who I respected in my youth played that game out. These ‘spiritual teachers’ who make it big, with the money and power get so lost in their ‘specialness’. We are all that one same Self, or whatever we wish to call it, and they are doing a disservice to sell their courses on ‘Self Realization’. Yet having served for years under one of these so called great, but phony gurus, my lesson was like you talk about the petty tyrants and how they serve us in our growth by breaking apart our attachments to our own ego. Disillusionment was the gift of this guru, to help free me from the illusion that there was some special ‘one’ out there who was my spiritual leader and guide. After many years, I had to leave [escape] his ‘holy order’, being chased by the other monks who resented my ‘realisation’. Spiritual leaders and guides are all around us in everything and nothing. The ego wants it to be in just one being, cause it makes our false ego feel special to be with this other special one.

    There is a documentary movie out now, Called “Kumare, the true story of a false profet.’ Is about an east indian man who pretends to be a guru, and gets a following, and then tells them the truth that he is pretending. He then makes this his truth. I will let you know how I like it. I am seeing it tonight. The premise is great though.

    When you make it to santa fe again, you are welcome to visit and perhaps stay here. I live in the foothills 9 miles from the plaza and there is space to park and camp here. I a join several thousand acres of ponderosa pine forest that is part of a church summer camp that is rarely used. All my 4 children were born here and it our family homestead. I live here now with the last of them, my eight year old half breed Thai daughter. The Thai wife I brought back from Thailand has ‘gone american’, and lives separately now, pursuing her new found materialistic dreams and money. We still seem to love each other, but like you talk about in your book, sometimes we reveal a part of ourselves [the part trapped in the illusion that is a form of insanity] that overshadows the future of the relationship. We have a beautiful daughter who we both love a lot together, so all is perfect.

    Anyways, best to you in all ways now on your journey my friend.
    Thanks for sharing who we are “NOT” and who we might ‘BE’.


    PS…. send my an email adress and I will send you some pictures.


    • Hey Roark!
      Nice hearing from you sir!
      Glad you enjoyed my book. Definitely we are our own gurus.
      Until we verify, the teachings are useless. Like the Buddha says:
      “Don’t believe anything the scriptures (or I) tell you, until you have
      put it to the test.”
      I will add your website to my blog. Enjoyed the pictures. Great family . . . and
      your little girl is adorable.
      My email is right on my “contact” page, but I will be sending you an email also.
      Take care!


  3. Hi Lois! Nice hearing from you.
    My book is being well-liked, but my reviewers are slacking (probably busy). I’ll send you an email.


  4. Hi Rio – thanks for staying in touch. How is the book doing!


  5. I hardly ever use it.


  6. Hello, I stumbled upon your site and we have a lot in common I must say. I would like to ask you a question though first. What is your real name?


  7. Hi Lois! I guess you are referring to Emily. The Buddha and other sages also said that . . . and, most important, it is so easy to see if we pay attention. Thanks! Please keep in touch.


  8. “This “I” that we put so much stock on is not the same from day to day, or from moment to moment.” Ah! So! said she.


  9. Hi Cynthia! Thanks. Keep in touch.


  10. Amigo…como esta! Espero el universo me lo este tratando comoe se merece…so be good!!! Saludos ciao


  11. Well I hope you can make it back soon. But present we must be everywhere; it is the only way to escape the trap of ego. This is one of my favorite posts: https://rioguzman.com/2009/04/28/buddhism-mindfulness-meditation/
    These two quotes go to the gist of the matter.
    Please check it out.


  12. Oh that’s too bad about traffic, but then again, after Boston we probably would be fine with it.

    At least scenery is incredible, so one can just be present and take the moment to just be. I think with my crazy wonderful life I would appreciate getting stuck in traffic in San Diego , as long as I am along in a car 😉 I would be just thankful for being there…


  13. Yes, there is a great combination of everything here. It would be great if you guys could move back, although, I have to admit, that the traffic congestion is beginning to make it look like Los Angeles.


  14. Oh, Boston now. I was relocated here with my family after accepting a job offer in 2004. We love it here, but San Diego is definitely the best place we’ve lived in US. We also lived in NYC, Dallas, Scottsdale AZ and traveled a bit as well.

    I think combination of a special weather, ocean, incredible outdoors as well as many family and child friendly places makes it for the best place to live. We’d move back without giving it a second thought if opportunity presented itself.


  15. Thanks for your nice comment Elena. I am also recommending your blog. I especially liked the Oprah interview. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll.
    Where are you living now?


  16. Hi Rio,

    great blog, great variety, great writing. Love it.

    Thank you so much for your nice comment and so sorry for a late response. I just had no time to really explore your blog until today. Also thank you for the blogroll as I enjoy your blog I will also add it to my blogroll.

    PS used to live in San Diego and miss it soooo much 😉


  17. Hey La Broi! Nice hearing from you. Long time no see. Hope your dog is doing fine. Where is your dog blog?


  18. Rio!! How you doing? Thought I would check in on ya. Nice to see you’re still in the game. Talk with you soon my friend.

    -La Broi


  19. Hello Barry! Thanks for visiting and for your nice comment. Let’s keep in touch!


  20. Hey Rio,
    I’m extremely impressed, not that I wouldn’t have been, had I not seem this site! LOL

    Keep up the GREAT work! Continued success!


  21. Thanks for your kind comments Andrew. I am impressed! Not very many people understand how important it is to help others. When we help others we help ourselves; we improve the whole world.
    The Art of Dreaming is a very interesting book. I also recommend you to read, “Journey to Ixtlan” also by Carlos Castaneda, “Buddhism is not what you Think” by Steve Hagen and Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner. Excellent!
    Feel free to contact me anytime.
    PS The ability to think constructively is definitely an asset; the problem is that frequently the mind wanders aimlessly. An undisciplined mind can’t avoid doing harm. “The mind is its own world and in itself can create a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven.” Milton–Paradise Lost


  22. Hey, I’m a 17 year old guy and I have benefited greatly from me experiences. I have learned so much more than the average person my age. I’ve been really thinking about my wonderful circumstances and I feel (at this moment at least) that it is my duty to figure out how to help others, in the most productive way, to be happy. I’ve been analyzing life deeper and deeper as time goes by. Read about Taoism, Buddhism, the wide spectrum of Spirituality, Death, life, Chakras, love, , Energy, I’m now reading The Art of Dreaming. I’ve marveled at the beauty I see in life, and have felt a great responsibility to add as much good in this world as I can. I realize your first impression of me may be that I am an ignorant person who thinks he’s come to a final truth about life and is just culturally conditioned to feel like he should do charitable acts. Yes I, as every human being, am ignorant of lots of thongs, but in terms of life, I’ve contemplated a large amount. I believe that we as humans have a wonderful tool right in front of us, it’s the ability to communicate with other human beings. We underestimate this tool and we talk about baseball and the social exam, given there is a time and place for these things, but some people surround themselves in the shallow fast moving world and never share their ”soul” (personal deep thoughts) with others. I’ve learnt that just by talking to yourself in one’s mind, on can discover sooo much, and how cool is it that we can talk to others who don’t even share the same mind as us? It’s very cool. So I would like to extend to you the offer to have conversations about whatever would come up. From reading what I’ve read on this website, I’m convinced that we’d have many great things to talk about. This is for me and for you. I’m not sure how, but it’s happening and this message is going to affect both of us. woah…

    Rock on,
    Andrew Perri


  23. Thanks for your comment David. I recommend you to read “Buddhism is not what you Think” by Steve Hagen. “Hardcore Zen” by Brad Warner and “Journey to Ixtlan” by Carlos Castaneda.
    Practice is the key. Your own experience is what counts.


  24. Thank you for sharing, you show great strength in your writing, a true warrior. “I” hope one day I can feel a part of what you express in your writing…i will keep reading.


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