“My book is about loss and impermanence, death but most essentially, love; itâ€™s a love story. Itâ€™s about a young man named Jim Bird, who at the beginning of the book, dies, technically for just a few minutes, and returns with no memory of any lights, or angels or tunnels, or anything exciting like that. Anything that indicates there might be something waiting for him on the other side, or waiting for any of us for that matter. And coming back with that knowledge spurs an investigation of sorts into hopefully there is something and maybe he didnâ€™t see it.”
“When youâ€™re young, love is given to you if youâ€™re lucky enough to have at least one caring parent or caretaker, but over the course of a childâ€™s life, I think the idea of love evolves. I was trying to explore that. And I think at some point thereâ€™s always going to be a fall from grace and I wanted to see how does a kid go from realizing their initial perception of love doesnâ€™t fit with the real world and it has to be something bigger and greater, something they seek on their own.”
“I wrote this book because I wanted to read it. A couple of years ago I realized I was making all kinds of â€śWhenâ€ť decisions in my life. Everything from â€śwhenâ€ť to exercise during the day to â€śwhenâ€ť to do certain kinds of work, to â€śwhenâ€ť to abandon a project. And I realized I was making those decisions in a pretty haphazard way.”
“The bookâ€™s about my career as a negotiator in responding to a wide range of hostage barricade and suicide incidentsâ€”covering prison riots, right-wing malicious stand-offs, religious zealot sieges, terrorist embassy takeovers, airplane hijackings, and the kidnapping of American citizens abroad.”
“In this New Year, you might want to try meditation. Some of you may have wondered about the benefits, stress reduction, lowering of anxiety, helping you cope more efficiently, be less frustrated, less addicted in your behavior. The most important thing from the beginning is not to turn it into another self-improvement project. Meditation can be useful if you donâ€™t expect too much from it. So let me guide you a little bit into the way I think about it.”
Learn more aboutÂ Advice Not Given.
“Our book is about…well the short answer is our book is about meditation. The slightly longer answer is our book is for people who think meditation is not for them or that they could never do it. I had written a previous book called 10% Happier which was all about how I, as a skeptical news man, stumbled upon meditation and how it made a significant difference in my life. I assumed, kind of naively, that when I wrote my book and explained all of my reasons for meditating, including the fact that there’s science that suggests it’s really good for you, I kind of assumed that everyone would start meditating.”
Learn more aboutÂ Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.