Think of a time when there was a “perfect storm” moment in your life.
What was that like?
Has anyone ever listened to the story of your heart of hearts?
In what ways have you experienced the Presence of God or what you call your higher power within you?
Recall a time you had to have a difficult heart-to-heart conversation.
What was it about? How did it go?
Chapter 1-In the Beginning
What things do you share in common with L. Frank Baum?
When have you taken big risks? How have you succeeded? Failed?
What kind of support did you have from people close to you?
Chapter 2-Looking Inside
Where is God for you? Were you taught to think of God as far away?
What do you think about the possibility that you and God could overlap?
How do you start a prayer? Do either one of these ways work for you?
“Our Father who art in heaven? Or, hello in there?”
Chapter 3-Uncommon Common Journeys
“Would you like to come along with me? Would you feel degraded to be seen in the company of a cowardly Catholic priest?”
How do you feel about taking this kind of journey?
How do you answer the God question, or do you? Are you a believer in Something or Someone?
Would you identify yourself as agnostic, atheist or “none of the above”?
How comfortable do you feel about self-reflection?
Chapter 4-The Characters
In looking at your own life, what is it like to consider yourself as God’s gift to the world?
“We’re surrounded daily by familiar faces we barely know, some of them in our own households.” What is your experience with this?
“Toto, I believe, is a Christ-figure in The Wizard of Oz.” What do you think about this?
Chapter 5-Watching the Movie
What do you think about infinity and your place in it?
Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are busy providing for Dorothy, while not providing for her. Have you ever found yourself in a similar scene?
How would you feel if you had the opportunity to start over in your relationships? Do you think that’s possible in this world or the next?
Can you imagine a place where there isn’t any trouble?
Would you go to such a place? Have you been to such a place?
Chapter 6-Going No Place
Think of a time when you felt like giving up.
Have you ever felt “they” were all against you? When? Why?
“God can be found in the oddest places in the oddest forms.” Can you think of instances in your own life where this has been true?
Chapter 7-Marvelous Encounter
How do you recognize a fellow traveler when you see one? What experiences in your life’s journey have equipped you to help fellow travelers?
Professor Marvel helped Dorothy reimagine her circumstance. When has someone done that for you? What was that like?
When have you felt that you have been understood? On whose shoulders do you stand?
Chapter 8-A Storm’s Blowin’ Up
If you’ve ever been caught in your own private cyclone, what was it like?
“Love gives her the power to reverse her direction.” When have you experienced this kind of power? What effect did it have?
What events ever caused you to “put down your baggage” and embrace what matters most?
Have you ever experienced a deep peace in the eye of the storm?
Chapter 9-Over The Rainbow
Have you ever gotten exactly what you wished for? What was it like?
What do you think of the idea of latent gifts lying dormant in you? Have you experienced a gift emerging in you exactly when it was needed?
Glinda advises Dorothy to seek The Wizard’s help in getting back home. Was this good advice or a bum steer? How do you feel when well-meaning folks offer you unsolicited advice?
Have you ever had to live in ink, where no mistakes were tolerated?
Have you ever done a major “turning around?”
Do you think of your life as “something beautiful you’re in the process of creating?”
Chapter 11-Life’s Way
When you think of your life, do you consider it as a time line or a circle?
“Death, like birth, is temporary. Both are followed by new life.” What do you think about that?
How do you respond to these questions:
“Can you ever finish loving those you love?
“Why would you want to?”
Chapter 12-Do You Believe In Dog?
“I will love you but I must be in control of our relationship at every moment.” If you experienced this in your life, how did it make you feel?
Can you imagine God choosing to be weak in order to love?
“Believer” and “Beloved” are from the same root. What do you believe about love from someone who considers you beloved?
Chapter 13-At A Crossroads
Think of a time when you followed your joy. Were you glad you did?
When have you done work for which you were very ill-suited?
“Where did Dorothy’s earlier apprehension go? It melted away in the presence of a new companion on the journey.” When has something like this happened to you?
Chapter 14-Echoes of Eden
The apple tree didn’t want to feed Dorothy but it is very willing to hurl its fruit at her like missiles. When have you behaved like that?
Can you think of a time when a healing word changed you? When have you offered a healing word?
Tin Man blames his creator for his lack of a heart. What have you blamed your creator for?
When have you ever been made to feel subhuman?
Did anyone ever love you at a time you felt unlovable?
Chapter 15-Fear And Courage
Have you ever talked yourself into being afraid? Or joined your voice to a chorus of doomsayers?
Have you ever been bullied? Or been a bully? What did the experience teach you?
What has made you most fearful? What has made you most courageous?
Chapter 16-Playing Witch’s Advocate
Is there anyone you’d like to hate that you haven’t properly met?
Do you believe it’s true that everyone has some good in them?
Have you ever loved an enemy?
Chapter 17-Sleeping And Waking, Dying And Rising
Do you believe you will survive your death?
“Lots of people want to believe in a listening God who hears their prayers, but are unsure that their prayers matter at all, especially in life-and-death situations.”
What do you think?
The Scarecrow cries “Help!” and is heard and helped. When has this happened to you?
How do you feel about the hope of being reunited with loved ones upon your death?
Chapter 18-The Title Character
Have you ever acted within a role that became your identity?
Do you think there’s a little of The Wizard in all of us?
Have you ever had to admit that you’re a very good person, but a very bad wizard?
If you went on a pilgrimage where would you go? What would you seek?
Whom in your life do you feel bound together with on a common journey?
Chapter 20-If I Were King
Was there ever a time when you longed to be respected — to be given a second look? Did it happen?
Was there ever a time when you craved a leadership position for the status it would give you? Did you grow into something deeper?
Think of a time when someone encouraged you before you had your own courage. What was that like?
When have you had to override a cautiousness you were taught?
Think of a time when you had to find the courage to initiate a difficult conversation. How did it go?
Have you ever been relieved to hear a difficult truth?
Is there anyone, living or deceased, you’d like to have an important conversation with?
Chapter 22-Unholy Encounter
What experience have you had of being turned away rudely by someone who was supposed to represent the holy?
Were you ever moved to compassionate action unexpectedly?
In what scary places has your life landed you?
Do you think it’s possible for humans not to hate? For you not to hate?
Can you look back upon a time when life got hardest right when you had nothing left to give? What did you do?
What do you do when you need to regather?
Chapter 24-Using Words
Recall a time when someone was present with you in a dark time or place.
Would you consider that a time of love becoming enfleshed for you?
Do you believe your being is a gift to the world?
Were you ever in a circumstance in which you wanted to do something to help but your presence was all you really had to offer?
Chapter 25-Nobody’s Home
Have you ever known someone who wanted “more of the same” in a way that only made them feel lonely? Have you ever been that person?
Have you ever craved more of something even if possessing it would harm those around you?
Dorothy rejoices when Toto runs away, leaving her more alone than ever.
Have you ever known such a moment?
Chapter 26-On A Mission
When have you brought too much stuff on a mission?
When have you been in a community where gifts emerged right when they were needed?
Have gifts you never knew you had emerged right when they were most needed?
Chapter 27-Not So Fast
Has your life had its missions? When were there times when you were sent to accomplish an important task?
Who were your companions? What gifts did they have or lack?
When have you had to rely on others who weren’t always sure of themselves?
Recall a time you had to go up against long odds feeling that you lacked something essential. What was that like?
Have you had to move through disappointment and defeat, only to move on to the next chapter of your life?
People “sometimes need help seeing in themselves qualities that are easily recognized by those around them.” Has that ever been true of you?
Have you been becoming something slowly, day by day, with the help of those around you? What are you becoming?
A sacramental is “an outward, visible sign; a token, of the inner, invisible reality.” What’s the most important one you’ve received?
What do you think about The Wizard’s statement, “a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others?”
Chapter 29-Into Thin Air
Have you ever been in an atmosphere with lots of energy and little real substance?
Have you ever, like Dorothy, wanted something so badly that you believed in it, even when you knew it wasn’t real?
Have you ever, like The Wizard, let another believe you could do something that you knew you could not?
Did you ever receive a kind offer to settle for less than a goal you felt you needed to pursue?
Have you ever chosen to live a part of your life closed off to new relationships?
Have you ever chosen to risk your heart, even if it might hurt?
Are you good at asking yourself, “What have I learned?”
Chapter 31-No Place Like Home
Do you have a meditative practice — or anything like it — that helps you move into your heart of hearts?
Does this scene make you think of anything similar in your life? Have you ever awakened in a way that was hard to make others understand?
Have you ever had a profound experience of coming home?
Epilogue: The End And A New Beginning
When did you begin to say, “I love you?”
How are the words, “I love you” spoken in your family and in your circle of friends?
“Those she’d said a tearful goodbye to were given back to her, only slightly different, in the next scene.” Do you think we’ll ultimately be given back to those we love?