Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Review of Ten Zen Seconds
Or...prepping for the visit from author Eric Maisel

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Pages: 245
Genre: Non-fiction, self-help

Author Dr. Eric Maisel teaches you just what the title says - how to achieve a calmer, clearer, more centered mind after a ten-second pause. He explains right off the bat that through the not-so-simple tasks of breathing and thinking, we humans can corral a specific thought, a specific mantra - or what Maisel's text labels an incantation - to center ourselves and release emotions, hurts, and negative influences such as pessimism and procrastination.

As a writer speaking to visitors who typically are writers, I'd like to focus on that last item in this review rather than try to encapsulate all of Maisel's concepts in one blog post. You just need to pick up and read the book to put all twelve of his healthful incantations/mantras into practice for calming a busy mind. For this review's purpose, I want to highlight his concept of expecting nothing. You see, I correlate expecting nothing with putting yourself in motion or letting go of procrastination. When a person expects nothing (Maisel's second of the twelve incantations or mantras to choose from during a 10-second centering and focusing exercise) from a particular encounter, he or she can go into the encounter more easily, with less stress and anxiety. How refreshing is that?

Let me break further from the review format for a moment and just speak to you visitors. The concept of expecting nothing - of not setting yourself up for disappointment - may sound fantastic, but it may also, at first, seem in conflict with our society. It's difficult for me as an author because I have such high hopes for Choices Meant for Gods. When I call a book store to request a signing, I want the answer to be "Sure! We'd love to have you help us sell books that day!" It's difficult to pick up the phone expecting nothing. When you consider the cutthroat tactics of businessmen and even development/fundraising personnel in so-called Christian-based non-profit organizations, you can see the juxtaposition of the "expect nothing" incantation with a successful career. Superiors who have layers of management watching them certainly expect something out of every task you attempt.

So do we all flee Corporate America in favor of less-stressful, more-enlightened company environments where CEOs and HR directors smile when they walk past an employee closing his or her eyes for a 30-minute meditation session? I did. I'm in a company now that is much more employee friendly than the last one I endured and the people around me support one another in amazing ways. Personally, I think I'd pass out if my former boss, who professed to be a Christian concerned for her employees' health, yet yelled at me when I didn't document those unhealthy subordinates' mistakes (please note the operative word "former"), suddenly whispered "keep up the good work" to a meditating employee. Luckily for all the stressed-out worker bees of society, Maisel isn't proposing we risk the boss's ire with a lengthy session. With practice and focus, we can get our centering pick-me-up down to Ten Zen Seconds.

Maisel stops by The Dragon tomorrow for an interview and visitors can leave comments/questions for him.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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