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December 1, 2015 – 2:31 am

Good eating, an eclectic Toastmasters group, hospice training, Zen meditation, depression, social phobia, orgasmic meditation, tears — and laughter — all come into play in Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press), an insightful gem of a memoir: writer, editor, foodie and adventurer Wanda Hennig’s first.

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Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures…

Submitted by on December 1, 2015 – 2:31 am 13 Comments

Cover of Cravings Wanda Hennig's Zen-inspired memoir

Could some impossible-to-imagine link between infidelity, a blue movie, vegetables and Paris, France, sprout a seed of liberation? And what about Maslow and that “Aha” moment on a waterbed in a Mormon home in Pocatello, Idaho, where the author slept, or more aptly did not sleep, during a Greyhound bus journey stopover?

In Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon, long-time journalist and life coach Wanda Hennig (see her US Amazon author page here) draws on her writing, psychology, life coaching and Zen background to create a great read for both men and the book’s primary market: women.

Bonobos, a curious LSD miscreant, good eating, an eclectic Toastmasters group, hospice training, Zen meditation, depression, social phobia, orgasmic meditation, tears — and laughter — all come into play in this insightful gem of a memoir: writer, editor, foodie and adventurer Wanda Hennig’s first.

Author interview: Sunday Tribune.

Author in Sunday Tribune.

An inveterate traveler and long-time travel writer (for some years now with a culinary travel focus), the author finds liberation strikes in unlikely places — if you’re open to it.

Many of the insights shared in this memoir-cum-self-help were gained while traveling and so we drop in on South Africa, San Francisco and Oakland, Poland, Paris (France), Pocatello (Idaho), Salt Lake City and elsewhere. This book is, however, first and foremost, a sex-positive “original, fun, real, sensitive, smart” and entertaining inner journey.

Read about Cravings, indie-publishing and Say Yes Press here.

Visit Wanda’s US Amazon author page.

Visit Wanda’s UK Amazon author page.

Cravings in Cosmopolitan.

Cravings in Cosmopolitan.

If you are in South Africa and wish to purchase the print version of Cravings check out the following two options (both offer free delivery).

  1. Order Cravings by Wanda Hennig (Say Yes Press) on Loot.co.za.

2. Order Cravings by Wanda Hennig (Say Yes Press) on Book Depository.

Visit Wanda’s Amazon France author page.

Visit Wanda’s Amazon Germany author page.

Visit Wanda’s Amazon Japan author page.

Cravings in Saturday Independent.

Hennig: Saturday Independent.

See Cravings for order — print version — in Australia from Readings here. (Or order from Book Depository.)

See Cravings on Amazon Australia here. Kindle version.

See Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir… on Barnes & Noble Nook.

See Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir… on Kobo books.

Or look for Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir… on Apple iTunes.

Isn’t this a trip?!

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13 Comments »

  • Susan Behrends says:

    Wanda Hennig’s book Cravings is a tasty treat. She has experienced everything we have ever felt about food, love, passion and relationships. Wanda shares not only her experience with us but gives us a road map to finding joy. She has written Cravings as a journalist, a writer, a daughter and a mother but also as a life coach. She speaks to us not only as a woman who has lived a roller coaster life, complete with marvellous travels and gorgeous men, but as someone who can show us the way. She is not preaching, just giving us a delicious dose of informed living.
    I recommend Cravings highly. Be warned, once you start you won’t be able to stop until Wanda delivers her final line. And it’s a great one.
    You will want to read this book more than once.

  • Betsy says:

    I must confess, Wanda and I met ages ago at a lecture. Immediately, her warm smile, gusto for life, intrepid self, won me over. Her book won me over in the same way. However, it went deeper. Her musings, or sketches of moments and feelings, without a timeline, reveal a life lived with intent. Zen meditation is her rudder. It does more than permeate her life. Her description of her experiences with meditation are honest; no holier-than-though attitude here, just the facts. Her relationship with food and sex, bluntly described with humor and introspection, will be priceless words of wisdom for many women. Not just a good read, a deep read. Can’t wait until it’s made into a movie.

  • Elizabeth M says:

    “It’s not what we do, but who we become.” I picked up that bumper sticker at a shamanic gathering years ago. It inspires me as it hangs in my tree of life in my office, and I always mention it, surreptitiously, to the younger ones in my life. As with your coaching, your book guided me towards understanding a few things more clearly.

    So many questions came to mind reading your book, so many memories, so many stories, the reliving of so many meaningful moments. It occurred to me that you really processed meditation in today’s time, you wrangled the bull by its horns, and you named the phases, illusions, failures, paths, rewards. In a nutshell, you made it a currently viable process. I can see a manual, or a guide, or a coaching webinar, something to use what you so trustingly, elegantly, and bluntly have told us about yourself to empower currently searching souls.

  • C & S says:

    The book is beautifully written with a clear and clean style. Everything about the feel of the book and typeface, etc., is lovely.

    Your theme of food and sex is nicely woven throughout and caught up in the end in the concepts of adventure, challenge an pleasure. Zen is felt throughout. We liked the chapter when you struggled through your first major Zen meditation retreat. It was well and humorously described and we can identify with much of it. We appreciated your Black Madonna encounter. The OM experience was very strange for us but nevertheless describes for us a San Francisco oddity.

    Thank you for having the courage to tell your story in this engaging manner. You are a gifted writer.

  • Meg Kiuchi says:

    A compelling, gritty, courageously honest, page-turning account of one person’s life facing her demons, punctuated by lessons in Zen Practice devoid of mystery and esoteric philosophy. Hennig presents Zen in the way of Zen teacher, Charlotte Joko Beck, as “Everyday Zen” and “Nothing Special”, and, therefore, offers viable options for “freedom from dark places.”

  • WSM says:

    Absolutely brilliant. You have taken a very difficult literary mechanism and made it work. I mean the time jump. Madness. You do it… You talk, I think, to a wealthy audience and you do it with charm and wit. I think the book, had you done the grunt-work with hard-copy publishers, could have been a big seller. It may still happen that it becomes a blockbuster. I am chuffed to note that someone I know to be an exceptionally good journalist has produced such a literary treat. I think the power of the book is its frank approach and novel proposition. You really should be exceptionally pleased with yourself.

  • Richard B says:

    Enjoyed reading your book. I went to a couple of retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh, but got more involved with Tibetan Buddhism. All your stuff around being present and sexuality was pretty trippy. By trippy I mean looking at a subject from a slightly different angle, like when one is stoned, and thinking abstractly, but in this case, with involved emotions. It’s hard being in the present, and brave of you to discuss it in that way — and very helpful and insightful. By insightful, I mean, for example, the realization that one can evoke a feeling as one walks down the street that makes one feel okay, or in view. I thought the idea of using erotic feeling as a way of being present and feeling good about the world — abstracted from the actual act — was cool. Sort of like, do people evoke a feeling of sexuality so they can have sex with someone? Or do they have sex so they can feel sexual and good about the themselves and the world?

  • Anna de Marigny says:

    Wanda, have just finished your book and delighted in its quirky insights. Thank you for sharing your colourful experiences and acquired wisdom! I so enjoyed your seamless style and descriptions of those “Aha” moments! X

  • Dr. Wendy Royal: Vancouver, Canada says:

    A ‘must read’ for everyone searching for an authentic, independent and meaningful life

    It’s original, fun, real, sensitive and smart. A mature look at what it means to be feminine now. These were the words of Wanda’s book agent. And then she disappeared. Over 20 years ago. Thank goodness Wanda had the fortitude and perseverance to bring her writing project to fruition, so that we, her readers, can now enjoy this courageous little gem of a memoir. The messages remain as relevant today and will resonate with women seemingly eternally conflicted with body image and self-confidence issues. Told with an earthy, self-effacing humor, Wanda dives deep into life and love as she explores the physical world, from South Africa, to Poland and the United States, ever-so gently dropping nuggets of immense wisdom along the way – I don’t travel alone, I go with myself. But it is her internal journey, where she unflinchingly confronts and overcomes her demons – her crippling shyness, dark depression and binge eating – that will linger with everyone searching for an authentic, independent and meaningful life.

  • MWJ says:

    Your book, Cravings, is on my night stand and it’s one that I enjoy “visiting” a bit before I drop off to sleep. I find that it’s a book best taken in small doses. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. Each little snippet brings thoughts and my own pondering. I prefer to concentrate on one thing before jumping onto the next. Also, I’ve not been reading it from front to back, but instead I just open it up at random and start reading at the first break I see. And usually re-read the same section two or three times so that I can absorb the beginning after I already have knowledge of the whole. Very delightful and satisfying.
     
     Last night I read about your “being relieved of the burden of virginity”  (I called it being de-virginated, myself). And laughed that the most satisfying part of the experience was the “sweet relief — knowing that…I done it too”. You writing always comes across as though I’m sitting at lunch with you and you’re chatting away. I don’t think is just because I know you. There are other authors I find the same. You’re just better at it.
     
    Oh, and mine was in a single bed in an upstairs rented bedroom in south Germany. While wearing a full length nightgown and having drunk a few glasses of Rhine wine. At 18. I still remember the young man’s name and his kisses, which were quite good. And his asking if my nightgown “was alive” as it kept wrapping around his legs. 
     
    I’ll keep reading this wonderful memoir and keep you updated on what parts of it I enjoyed the most.

  • K.A.P. says:

    It’s almost strange, feels like I know you, having followed you through so many stages and feelings and happenings and places. Am grateful for your book, it touches in many different ways, one of them being the awesome writing handicraft you so elegantly demonstrate… Am wowed by the way you manage to start right in the middle – In Medias Res – and create your scenes with a lot of unknowns around, like a flower opening petal after petal, only showing what you choose to share…

    Makes me wonder how that is — after publishing your memoirs, when you meet people who have read it, they know all these things about you. How special, would love to have a conversation about that – and many other things – when we meet one day.

  • John M says:

    I’m not into the ‘body, mind, spirit’ genre but I found Cravings thoughtful and intriguing. Really enjoyed it.

  • I.N. says:

    I have finally finished your book — not that it was a labour to read. I just had to get out of my regular surrounding and break with a pathetic bedtime Netflix addiction, and once again dive into a book!

    Really enjoyed reading it whilst on holiday in Portugal. At the onset I found myself considering that the issues you discuss were not mine — which I thought might make it more difficult to read.

    But I got into it quite easily and found quite a lot of it read like an interesting documentary film. Your life is a fascinating tale and I’ve learnt a lot. My compliments!

    It is an interesting and entertaining read. I think almost daily about the simplicity of just “breathing in and breathing out”, and how I could use that.

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