Firefighter Zen. A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times

Publication Date:

May 2020



Original language and publisher

English (USA) | New World Library

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Audio (Highbridge)


Personal Development, Religion & Spirituality

Firefighter Zen. A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times


“A page-turner that also happens to be packed with wisdom.Wilson is an exquisite storyteller who writes in succinct, engaging, evocative prose.Firefighter Zen organizes its stories of suffering, courage, drama, humor, and triumph not chronologically but rather into a set of tightly connected lessons for living life well. The book never disappoints; story after story is pitch perfect.” —Amy Edmondson, Professor, Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organization (Wiley 2109)

“Unflinchingly honest…full of the bittersweet wisdom of hard experience.” —Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice

“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

“When we serve, when we take care of strangers, when we work in community to save a community, we feel most alive…You don’t have to be a firefighter to find the same fulfillment. You just have to see the world through a firefighter’s eyes. To see your life as one of purpose, meaning, and service. Firefighter Zen will show you how.”

Hersch Wilson spent his life walking toward, rather than away from, danger and suffering. In this unique collection of true stories and practical wisdom, the firefighter 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. As in Zen practice, firefighters are trained to be fully in the moment and present to the heartbeat at hand. Each of five sections in the book applies the firefighter’s experience to everyone’s daily lives. Readers learn to maintain perspective and equilibrium – even in the midst of crazy times like we’re experiencing now, worldwide – and how to prepare for adversity as well as aftermath and recovery.