Three years ago, when I last posted here on All About Enlightenment, I was pretty resolved to get the All About Enlightenment book out into the world as soon as possible.
And I thought I was really close.
As luck / fate / karma / destiny / the great mother / the crew / my subconscious / that big green yukon that pulled out in front of me when I was going 60 mph would have it, those plans got way-laid.
In July 2016, I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital in rural Georgia, after a car accident. It kept me out of work for three months, and the concussion and other injuries slowed me down for much longer than that. Once again, I miraculously escaped death and/or permanent disability.
I don’t think it was an ordinary accident. Gifts sometimes come in strange wrappings.
A week or so before my accident, I had found an editor for All About Enlightenment.
By the time I sent her the manuscript, the book had grown to over 800 pages (profusely illustrated), and the editor hurled a string of expletives at me that boiled down to this:
- It’s way too long,
- You need to learn how to write, and
- You need to write a memoir first.
So much for AAE going to press in 2016.
But the slow-down from the injuries – and my subsequent job loss – gave me the time to work on #2 and #3. I would have loved to do it under less stressful circumstances, and with a brain that was fully functional, but my guides have never been known for cutting me any slack.
I took two great workshops from my editor, met several wonderful fellow-authors in Jacksonville, Florida, got a good start on the memoir, and gained some clarity on how to move forward. Part of the process involved starting a publishing company, and in October 2018, Lotus Dance Press published our first book:
It culminates 15 years of percolation (avoidance?), making a book out of the kid’s Dharma flash-cards I designed in 2003 with the help of my son.
21 Steps is a thin book (1/16 the length of All About Enlightenment) that uses bright illustrations and simple language to describe the 21 stages of the Path to Enlightenment, known in Tibetan as Lamrim. It’s easy enough for a 6-year-old to understand, yet thought-provoking enough to challenge most adults. It’s a great way to start an object-focused meditation practice, if that resonates with you.
Now that 21 Steps and its Coloring Book companion are available, I can return my attention to the memoir. And if I can get that manuscript up to snuff in the eyes of my editor before another 3 years pass, we’ll see if the world’s still in need of All About Enlightenment.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the 21 Steps books – if you have a moment, please pop over to Amazon, have a look inside, and let me know what you think!
Wishing you a blissful 2019,