Booklaunch, Blogs, Podcasts and Zen Poems
On Wednesday 21st December I held my official book launch. I do not say this lightly
but it was a fantastic event that I thoroughly enjoyed. Why was it so good I hear you ask! The biggest reason was the venue I chose to hold my event. It was held at a local charity called The Haven, check them out here. https://www.thehaven.co.uk/
The Haven is a charity dear to my heart and I recently was proud to become their Chairman. A role I am really enjoying. My launch was held in their well-being space and was organised by one of The Haven's staff members and also a fellow board member volunteered to help.
Well! These fantastic ladies (Rachel and Tarryn) prepared the well-being space in such a truly fantastical way it set the tone for the rest of the evening. Let me give you an idea of what they did! They made intricate decorations that hung down from the ceiling as you entered The Haven. These decorations consisted of small circles of card, that they had cut out by hand, and all of them had The Buddhist CEO printed all over each individual circle. Amazing!
This was just the start of what they had prepared. The room was beautifully lit, incense had been burning earlier, giving the room a lovely fragrance. They had prepared tea and
coffee and snacks for everyone. Of course they didn't stop there. A beautiful warm mulled apple Christmas drink had been prepared and everyone commented about how lovely it was. The greatest touch of all came from the best helper of all, young Magnus, the son of one of the fantastic set up crew, he neatly placed small lights all around the room, which gave the place a magical feel. Thanks Magnus!
The welcome they gave to me, my family and my guests when they arrived was so warm and welcoming. This only served to confirm my long held belief that charities are the glue that holds society together. They always go that extra mile. I feel proud to be involved with The Haven and their compassion and ability to do the right thing was there for all to see that evening.
Did I do anything? Well eventually after enjoying all the hospitality laid on for us I did get up and give a talk. I felt so honored that the evening had sold out and so many people had come along, so I wanted to make it worth their while. I gave them a real insight into my own career and my life as a practicing Buddhist and how my own life gave me the idea for the book.
After my talk I gave a 15 minute reading. I chose to read the first few pages of chapter 7, which is called Segaki. By now I had the audience in the palm of my hand and I then gave them some meditation instruction and we all took part in a two minute meditation. This seemed to go down well. I then took questions and much to my delight there were many questions and even more pleasing I was able to give an answer of sorts to them all. After this people bought books and I happily signed them all.
Many thanks to The Haven for all that they did that evening and to everyone for coming along and making it a special night. A special thanks to my wife Andrea for her support on the night and my oldest son Tom who also came along.
What else happened this week. I was delighted that a dear friend and spiritual mentor of mine, Reverend Master Mugo White, a Buddhist monk, from Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, wrote a lovely blog about my novel.
Reverend Mugo has been a great source of inspiration and support over the years. She kindly read the book in its draft format, some time before it was published. Thankfully she enjoyed the book and even wrote and endorsement for it. Part of her endorsement is featured at the top of the back cover and her full endorsement can be read at the start of the book. Her blog is called Jade Mountains and can be found at
www.jademountains.net I have subscribed to her blog for many years and really enjoy it. Here is a link to her blog post about my book but do take the time to subscribe to her blog whilst you are there. You will not be disappointed.
Further news. I have been invited onto an American Podcast called Bump in the Road. This podcast is really interesting and I feel very privileged to be asked onto it.
The podcast is run by a lady called Pat Wetzel. Pat interviews people who have all experienced a major unexpected something in their life. Their own bump in the road. This bump might be a health issue, loss of money or home, but whatever it is the people she interviews have always found a way of overcoming and dealing with the life adversity thrown at them. We are recording our interview on the 8th February and it will go live soon after. I will post it on here once it goes live.
I continue to tweet my daily Zen poem on Twitter which is always accompanied by a photo, usually one of my own. Here are what I regard as my two best poems of the week. If you enjoy my Zen poems follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BuddhistCeo
I sit Zazen
My mind is mostly peaceful
I begin in the dark
A candle by the window
Stars twinkle in the distance
Permeates the room
The rising sun
Reveals a crisp frost
Painting the world
A delicate white
I look out the zendo window
The snow clings on
Warmer weather on its way
So they say
I can't help
But hope this is true
Replaced by normal cold
I sit zazen
For a moment
I will finish here but can I thank you for reading my blog. Your support means a lot to me and it is deeply appreciated. Please have a very peaceful Christmas and a happy new year when it comes. More blogs will be on their way soon!