ten to zen by Owen O’Kane

BOOK REVIEW: Ten to zen by Owen O’Kane

Ten to Zen: Ten Minutes a Day to a Calmer, Happier You is written by Owen O’Kane. The book was published on 27 December 2018. The genre of the book is self-help. Owen O’Kane is an English based psychotherapist and mental health specialist. He spent his early career years as a palliative nurse. Living closely with the people who were dying made him write to motivate the people who have lost interest in their lives. Therefore, His practice seeks to help people overcome fear and control depression so that they can live happier and safe lives. 

Ten to Zen by Owen O’Kane  (BOOK REVIEW)

The language of O’Kane is informal, and it almost feels like you’ve been sitting next to him as he discusses how it will change your life to get into the habit of sitting and thinking for ten minutes a day. The book begins with the history of O’Kane, why he came up with his philosophy, how it works, and what kind of effort it requires. Chapters that follow go through each stage of the process,

Ten to zen is divided into two parts the first part deals with the introduction and it includes the example from the lives of other people. That how using the approach helped them to change their lives, The second part of the book deals with ten to zen workout. The book consists of both physical and mental exercises. The work out involves breathing, meditation, visualization, positive imagery, and mindfulness.

According to the writer, most of us spend almost ten minutes in the shower every morning. Ten minutes preparing and enjoying tea, but we have no time clearing our minds at all. Ten to zen uses four medicinal styles in collaboration to psychotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, mindfulness, and eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing. Despite having a weak start the book provides helpful and sensible workouts. The writer’s approach is not based on positive thinking rather it is focused on adaptive thinking. According to the writer:

“Hope is found in learning the flexibility to adapt and live fully with what is, rather than entering into magical thinking about what could have been”. Click To Tweet

He says that you should accept the things you cannot change, be compassionate to yourself and other people around you. The writer is of the view that “when you change your mindset, You have the ability to change the way you view your life.”

The workouts included in the book are mainly 6-7 minutes that will help you to identify how to:

  • Settle your mind quickly
  • Focus and retrain your brain on dealing with stress
  • Restructure unhelpful patterns of thinking
  •  Develop ways of communicating that are more effective

In the breathing practice part, the writer wants us to focus on our breathing for two minutes. Only doing breathe in. And then Breathe out first, dreaming about where the breath goes. It is better than the look of it. Concentrate on mindful thinking until you have perfected breathing. To truly embrace yourself as you are. Just make yourself feel good about who you are. Here is a short exercise from the book:

1 Minutes –Stop and dedicate without disturbances, to give yourself ten minutes. Checking in and acknowledging the present state of feelings for yourself.

2 and 3 Minutes  –  Getting to your zen stage. A place in your mind that you build that reflects zen to you.

4 and 5 Minutes– Conscious breathing and breathing exercises.

6 to 7 Minutes – Manage your thoughts and negative thought patterns.

8 and 9 Minutes – Meditation and thinking

10 Minutes – Choose to live with acceptance, compassion, and authenticity.


I will definitely suggest you read Ten to Zen by Owen O’Kane. This book gives you a complete road-map on how to overcome the challenges of this world. It will help you to give a pattern on how you can alleviate your anxieties. The book consists of short and effective exercises. If you implement them in your daily lives you can gather an immense amount of benefit from them.

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