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FIREFIGHTER ZEN

A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times

“Be brave. Be kind. Fight fires.”

That’s the motto of firefighters, like Hersch Wilson, who spend their lives walking toward, rather than away from, danger and suffering. As in Zen practice, firefighters are trained to be fully in the moment and present to each heartbeat, each life at hand. In this unique collection of true stories and practical wisdom, Wilson shares the Zen-like techniques that allow people like him to stay grounded while navigating danger, comforting others, and coping with their personal response to each crisis. Every life contains the unexpected and the unwelcome. How you cope with those inevitable events, more than the events themselves, defines the quality of your life. Firefighter Zen is an invaluable guide to meeting every day with your best calm, resilient, and optimistic self.

Endorsements

“Full of the bittersweet wisdom of hard experience.”
— Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers

“Wise and practical, simple yet profound, Firefighter Zen is filled with tales of everyday endurance and frailty. As a parish minister (and first responder) acquainted with grief and healing, I highly recommend this field guide to negotiating life’s alarums with calm, clarity, and courage.”
— Reverend Gary Kowalski, author of Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet

Firefighter Zen is one of those rare books that draws on firsthand experience and ageless wisdom to convey life’s immutable lessons. Hersch Wilson uses clean, elegant prose to tell stories that are at times light, dark, funny, tragic, and compelling, and always instructive. This book is a must-read not only for anyone in a profession required to answer emergencies but for all of us who at times experience life’s unrelenting, tragic, and sublime beauty and want to think more deeply about it.”
— Cary Johns Griffith, author of Gunflint Burning: Fire in the Boundary Waters and Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods

“This beautiful memoir of the experiences of a volunteer firefighter in New Mexico is a page-turner that also happens to be packed with wisdom. Author Hersch Wilson is an exquisite storyteller who writes in succinct, engaging, evocative prose. Firefighter Zen’s stories of suffering, courage, drama, humor, and triumph are organized not chronologically but rather into a set of tightly connected lessons for living life well. I kept worrying that each next chapter could not possibly live up to the standard set by the ones that came before, but the book never disappoints; story after story is pitch-perfect. It is astonishingly good.”
— Amy C. Edmondson, professor at Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organization

“Hersch Wilson’s deceptively simple mantra — be brave, be kind, fight fires — contains not only great wisdom but also a call to action. The internal peace you’re looking for is to be found by serving others out in the world. This book left me both revitalized and inspired.”
— Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows

“Inspiring, helpful, deeply meaningful, and moving. Much more than a practical guide for maintaining health, peace, and wellness during the trials of life, Firefighter Zen is also a testament to living a life of fulfillment by finding purpose through compassionate service, mercy, and usefulness to others.”
— Police Capt. Dan Willis (ret.), author of Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder’s Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart

“Hersch Wilson’s Firefighter Zen is an up-close-and-personal look at the courage, humanity, and great heart required of those among us referred to as first responders. Deeply compassionate and wise, this book belongs on the shelves of all those who respond to the world of tragedy, their hearts filled with the wisdom of service to others. This book is a beacon of light not only for first responders but for all of us striving to live more meaningful lives. As an engaging testament to how important it is to be strong, to be brave, and to keep showing up, Firefighter Zen contains numerous stories that will take you into the heart of a greatness and grief you may have always admired but not clearly understood.”
— Murry A. Taylor, author of Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper’s Memoir of Fighting Wildfire

“Gripping, eloquent, and insightfully written, Firefighter Zen offers an inside glimpse into the unpredictable and chaotic life of a firefighter, reminding us there is no safety in avoidance and the best way out is always through. Full of heart-pounding 911 calls and timeless spiritual truths, Wilson’s book describes the many challenges and intense hardships firefighters and EMTs endure, but also offers a blueprint on how to thrive, maintain our humanity, and find transcendence on the other side. And with first responder PTSD and ‘mental injury’ at an all-time high, this beautifully crafted book is as nourishing as a cool oasis in a stark desert.”
— Kevin Grange, author of Lights & Sirens: The Education of a Paramedic


Author: Hersch Wilson
Product Code: 86889
ISBN: 978-1-60868-688-9
Pages: 264
Package: 1 Paperback / softback
Size: 5.25 X 8.00
Your Price : $16.95
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