Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Author: Luke Benoit

ALL STORMS PASS; The Anti-Meditations
Author, Luke Benoit

I started writing a book 2 ½ years ago without really knowing it.

It turned into a book of meditations called ALL STORMS PASS; The Anti-Meditations.

Meditation is a funny word. 

People generally come up with a picture of a man sitting quietly cross legged on a mountain top or under a tree chanting.  And there are many definitions of meditation.  In this context, I think we are simply talking about a reading meant to quiet and produce thoughtful pause and maybe some increased clarity.

People always ask me right away “Why ‘Anti-Meditations’ or ‘What does ‘Anti-Meditations’ mean?  The most real answer is that those words just presented themselves to me in an inspired way that told me to use them that way.  But the point also is that the meditations in this book are very different from meditations in “regular” meditation books like the Hazelden Meditation books series or the Language of Letting Go” meditation books by Mellody Beatie.

Those books are generally day by day entry books with constructive hope messages and suggesting tools that someone in struggle or dealing with addiction or codependency can use to handle difficult situations or even just a difficult day.

The meditations in ALL STORMS PASS are not dated or daily numbered.  And while they are meant to engender hope, they also deal some pretty dark themes.  They often present as puzzles that are designed to make the reader stop and think and ruminate.  And the book really works best when it’s read with 2 or more people and the meditations can be used as springboards for discussion.  They focus on difficult relationships and codependency but also on striving for personal spiritual growth and realizing solid and strong Self-Esteem.

This is the kind of book that could almost be a coffee table book that you pick up in a moment of confusion or need for clarity, open randomly and maybe receive a message you need about exactly where you are.  The print in the pages is very large making the book about 645 pages but filled with lots of white space on purpose.  It weighs about 2 ½ pounds and feels very substantial in the readers hand and the cover and it’s picture of storm clouds clearing makes you stop and pay attention. 

I started writing the meditations as a teaching tool.  I was running therapy groups at a lock-down acute care mental hospital for patients who had tried to commit suicide, were severely depressed or were hearing voices or dealing with other psychoses.  The groups were lower functioning and sometimes hard to get going or moving.  So I got idea to start bringing ideas into the group to use as that “springboard” or jumping off point to give the groups a shape.  Initially – and you can see this in the book – the ideas were more simple.  Somewhere along the way, they morphed in process and turned into the more complicated thoughts and meditations that appear in the book.  The progression is actually very visible and obvious because the timeline of their writing has been preserved.  They appear in the same chronologic order in which they were written. 

People’s reactions to these were STRONG right away and I began making copies of these and giving them to everyone I worked with and then people started waiting for them.  Then I started emailing them out of people until I was sending them to about 180 a day and they developed their own following. 

And somewhere along the way someone told me that I needed to write a book of these and incorporate them into a volume and “Poof” 2 ½ years later, here is ALL STORMS PASS.

I have loved doing this project.  While it hasn’t started selling a lot of copies on Amazon yet, I can’t seem to keep enough books in my hands.  Since January 10, 2012 when the book went up on Amazon (I self-published this book through Amazon’s CreateSpace) I have been through four cases of books.  I can’t keep enough on hand for the requests I am receiving to buy them.  When I go lecturing as a Life Coach, the books have consistently sold out and I have had to take mail orders home to fill.

The reviews for this book have been AMAZING.  Right now, on Amazon, the book has 10 – 5 Star rating reviews (highest) and 1 – 4 Star rating.  And the ratings on GoodReads are also excellent and those are all 5 Stars.

But maybe the neatest thing of all about ALL STORMS PASS has been the deepening connection that the project has brought about for me and my parents as it has progressed.  My parents really love the book and I have kept in very close daily touch with them telling them about every exciting step that has happened along the way.  They are so happy that I wrote this book and it just keeps bringing us closer.  

It’s very much like we’re doing this together.  

Amazon Reviews Link    
GoodReads.com Reviews

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Luke Benoit LifeCoach
All Storms Pass: The Anti-Meditations by Luke Benoit: Self-Esteem Help Book


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