The Land of Dark Zen

July 02, 2016  •  1 Comment

Bob Fergeson, mystic, author/essayist, naturalist, photographer, has now turned his creative hand to fiction; integrating his repertoire of tradecrafts into this one-of-a-kind novel about true spiritual transformation. Osprey MornOsprey MornOsprey lit by sunrise, by full moon, Bayou Cane Knowing of what he speaks, this book carries the stamp of authenticity. There have been countless books and blogs written about the subject, but only a few using the novel as a medium. And even fewer that deal with it so directly and concretely. This books relies on none of the general platitudes and palliatives of popular new age style renderings.

Set in the bayou country of Fergeson’s native Louisiana, post-Katrina, this book is the pilgrim’s progress of a young man, Bobby Bordeaux, adrift and struggling with disconnection and competing values. He alternates his time between hosting swamp tours of the Tangipahoa River and Lake Pontchartrain, fishing, drawing, and hanging out with his girl friend. He has a passing knowledge of philosophy and psychology, and non-duality spiritual traditions. Dark Zen Cover PhotoDark Zen Cover Photo Then, through a chance encounter with an enigmatic but colorful down-to-earth fellow, OD Magee, who surprisingly lives down the river from his aunt and uncle’s store, Bobby finds a father figure and Zen-like mentor. A Vietnam vet who had a mystical awakening, and now lives the very Truth Bobby is seeking. He is introduced to a group of students and older folks who have been inspired by OD’s informal lectures at the university.

Along the way, Bobby is forced to question all his sacredly held beliefs and notions, and face the lies he has grown to rely on to prop up his increasingly flimsy self identity. Through one-on-one meetings with OD, he notices a disturbing but exhilarating energy emanating from this swamp rat of a zen teacher, Lighthouse sunsetLighthouse sunsetLighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain, Madisonville, Louisiana and a connection whereby the man’s inner voice seems to be present in Bobby’s head, stirring something awake he never knew was there. OD offers up some very fascinating techniques geared towards mediation and interior study; such as ‘breathing underwater’, ‘taking one’s self’ out of everyday situations, starving fear and ego. And how to become more whole via a higher nostalgia, the dissolving of binding energy knots, and using both of one’s masculinity and femininity to forward understanding. Until finally, a traumatic but catalytic event with OD changes everything. Cypress WaveCypress WaveCypress trees in the surf of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

Fergeson succeeds in conveying the big picture, but also richly painting a canvas with the unique beauty and light of his local region along with the folksy idiom and banter of its characters. And to highlight it all, each chapter ends with one of Fergeson’s signature photographs.

‘Dark Zen’ is a simply rendered but profound, multi-textured and layered epic in short form; inviting those who are new to the noble quest of Self Discovery to consider that something of this magnitude is available to one and all, and by the way, right here and now. - Paul Schmidt


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Dark Zen - A Guru on the Bayou

Twin Poles - Bayou CaneTwin Poles - Bayou Cane


I just finished Dark Zen. What a great read! Characters are nicely developed....I give it a big thumbs up :)
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