About the Book

About the Book

Staying mindful amidst the traumas of a rapidly heating world is hard but necessary work, and in this engaging and powerfully-written sea saga, Heather Lyn Mann provides some very useful testimony about how (and why) we should proceed!

Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet


An authentic and exciting adventure of oceanic and psychological depth that each one of us should venture on at least once in our life time…. She shows us that with the practice of mindfulness, one can find coolness for oneself and thus can help find coolness for the Earth.

Bhikshu Thich Chan Phap Dung, Dharma Teacher of the Plum Village Tradition


In 2007, Heather Lyn Mann was a battle–weary environmental advocate, living in Madison, Wisconsin, struggling over what to do about climate change. Frustrated and burned out, she and her husband set sail on a 15,000–nautical–mile, six–year voyage in a 45 foot sailboat with their cat, Dinghy.

Ocean of Insight is a compelling story of ecological mindfulness and expanded awareness of an evolving human consciousness that has the capacity to bring forth healing and transformation. You can’t help but be changed for the better for having read this book.

Carolyn Rivers, Founder and Director, The Sophia Institute

In Ocean of Insight: A Sailor’s Voyage from Despair to Hope, publishing by Parallax Press this November 8th, Heather reveals how the Atlantic became her teacher, transforming her with uncompromising lessons on how to harmonize with natural order and the exact moments and ways to let in to authentically let in fearlessness, resilience, happiness, impermanence, balance, compassion, skillful action, and beginner’s mind.

Mann’s Work is a combination of Buddhist philosophy, ecology, adventure travel, and science. She’s an excellent storyteller and a powerful advocate for Mother Earth. Her writing makes me think of Annie Dillard and Barbara Kingsolver. She also does the healing work of Joanna Macy.

Mary Pipher, author The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in our Capsized Culture

Heather’s suspenseful, sometimes hilarious, and always heart–warming journey of body and mind, shaped by ancient Buddhist teachings, entertains as it charts depths and danger zones, disasters and discoveries— from life-threatening storms, near collisions, and a pirate scare, to the boredom of isolation, sinking ships, and colorful Caribbean characters. Arm–chair adventurers, spiritual seekers, and the climate concerned will navigate tumultuous waters and arrive together on the shore of planetary well–being.

Heather Lyn Mann proves herself a deft navigator as she leads us through the many journeys–both real and spiritual–that unfold in Ocean of Insight. The writing is lively and the sea stories compelling, but what I found most remarkable was how her adventures and lessons learned on a tumultuous sea steer her toward hope in confronting her own fears and concerns for our planet and our future, which, as she notes, has yet to be determined.

Mark Pillsbury, editor, Cruising World


Excerpted from Ocean of Insight by Heather Lyn Mann © 2016. Reprinted with permission of Parallax Press.


Tilloo Cay, Abaco Islands—Bahamas December 31, 2008

I look upon the jagged shore to calculate the time until impact. It’s difficult to know exactly because the anchors scrape the ocean floor, slowing our approach. The storm is building. Waves slam against the bow and drive us backward. The ship’s engine picked this moment to stop functioning, so Dave and I are suddenly, inexplicably, without power. The sun is slipping low and soon we will be without light.

I sailed my ship, Wild Hair, to this spot because I wanted lobster from the reef for a New Year’s dinner. But this is a place of peril in a gale––especially with a busted throttle cable. Now I am exposed, disabled, at risk of losing my ship, and maybe my life.

A primal panic starts simmering at the base of my spine. It wraps my intestines. My limbs feel thick as logs and my thoughts are slow; they roll into consciousness with the speed of old movie credits. Usually, I’m a quick thinker with good judgment, but fear is turning me into a sluggish animal—a bear sliding into hibernation.

“Wind, please stop blowing,” I whisper. A cold blast strong enough to make me stagger in place is the answer.

Wishful thinking is my problem. The promise of buttered seafood seduced me into believing the wind and sea wouldn’t turn foul until late in the evening, the storm would come more from the northeast, and this lobster-peppered harbor would remain flat. In reality, the fifty-four-degree cold front textures my flesh with goose bumps and shoves the boat toward ruin. The sky and ocean froth in a matching Soviet color palette. I don’t know what to do.


A Sailor’s Voyage from Despair to Hope
by Heather Lyn Mann
Trade paper original, 5½” x 8¼”, 304 pages 
ISBN 978-1941529300, $22.95 
eBook ISBN 978-1941529317, $12.99
Publishing October 18, 2016


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