A Survivor’s Zen Voyage: Reflections on Loss, Discovery, Healing & Hope
By Lee Carlson
Published by Henry Chapin & Sons
325 pages paperback $17.95
In the midst of a particularly unpleasant divorce and with his mother having recently fallen and suffered a severe head injury, writer and editor Lee Carlson was navigating rough personal waters in the spring of 2002. In an instant and without warning, his situation became much worse. After getting out of his car, he was run over by a careless car wash attendant. Having sustained a traumatic brain injury, his future was uncertain.
A practicing Zen Buddhist for some time before his injury, Carlson says that daily mediation (often aboard his 60-foot ketch Nirvana, docked at Preston’s in Greenport, NY) played a large role in his return to a normal life. He also met Meg, who is now his fiancée. Together, they discovered the 25-year-old boat decaying at a boatyard in St. Martin, did extensive repairs and sailed her to the Bahamas and Long Island.
Each of this book’s short chapters begins with a short Japanese poem called po, each with only two, three or four words related to that chapter. One can read straight through, or open the book at any point and divine the lesson within a chapter. “Survivor’s Sagacity” begins with the words: Mind,Mine.
“Passage to Nirvana is only one person’s journey, one person’s story of surviving Traumatic Brain Injury, divorce and the death of loved ones. And yet on another level it is everyone’s story. We are all survivors in our own way. We all have our own mental afflictions and abilities; we are all human beings, struggling with the mysteries of our own minds.”
The holder of a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license Lee Carlson has written for Skiing, Audubon, Outside, GQ and Martha Stewart Living and many other clients. He and Meg live aboard Nirvana, along with “two crazy dogs and four children that come and go.” As time permits, they are restoring Nirvana to her former glory.
An inspirational story of how love and the strength of the human spirit can triumph over adversity, Passage to Nirvana is a reminder to cherish every day and never forget that our health is, indeed, our wealth. It’s available in hardcover, paperback & Kindle from Amazon.com, and hardcover, paperback & Nook from BarnesandNoble. com. To order a PDF e-book, EPUB e-book or a limited edition copy signed by the author, visit passagetonirvana.com.