A punk rocker’s guide to grow, learn, and appreciate the present moment—in short, to live a life that doesn’t totally suck.
All Miguel Chen ever wanted was to be happy. Just like everyone else.
But—also like everyone else—he’s suffered. A lot. Running from difficult personal losses—like the deaths of loved ones—was something he did for years, and it got the best of him. Eventually, though, he stopped running and started walking a spiritual path. That might be surprising for a dude in a relentlessly touring punk band (Teenage Bottlerocket), but Miguel quickly found that meditation, mindfulness, and yoga really helped. They allowed him to turn inward, to connect to himself and the world around him. Suddenly, he had found actual happiness.
Miguel’s realistic. He knows it'll never be all sunshine and peaches. And yet, he is (for the most part) at peace with the world and with himself. It shocks even him sometimes. But he’s come to see the interconnectedness of all things, the beauty of life…even the parts that suck.
Each short chapter ends with a hands-on practice that the reader can put into action right away—and each practice offers a distilled “TL;DR” takeaway point.
TL;DR: Miguel Chen shares stories, meditations, and practices that can help us reconnect to each other, ourselves, and the world. They’ve worked for him—they can work for anyone.
“What a wonderful book! I can't recommend it enough.”
– Chris Grosso, author of Indie Spiritualist
“We often think of spirituality as something soft and shiny, practiced in serene places far from the grit of everyday life. This book’s not that. Miguel Chen turns spirituality on its head by inviting us into his world—the punk realm of dark rock halls, f&#k you’s, and loud music—and he challenges us to find spirituality amid the noise and chaos. This is a book of self-care for a world that increasingly resembles a mosh pit.”
– Jason Garner, author of . . . And I Breathed.
“A self-help book for anyone who just needs to cut through the crap of everyday life and find some peace and acceptance in a world of chaos.”
– Jim Lindberg, lead singer of Pennywise and author of Punk Rock Dad
“Miguel demonstrates a tangible spiritual practice grounded in reality that is available anywhere, anytime—and Miguel lets us know that we too can be well.”
– Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Love
“Much in the spirit of Dharma Punx, Get In The Van, or even Please Kill Me, Miguel Chen has done something important with this book. And I’m gonna stop feeling self-conscious about listening to DRI while doing yoga.”
– Zach Blair, guitarist for Rise Against
“Miguel Chen’s I Wanna Be Well is an honest and thoughtful approach to mindfulness. The book is full of insight and succinct ideas for anyone looking to expand their viewpoint and live well. A comfortable and fun read for intellectual and pinhead punks alike.”
– Trever Keith, singer for Face To Face
“[An] inspiring memoir...there are important lessons to be gained from Chen’s experience. Those who find Noah Levine’s punk rock approach to East Asian practices valuable will be comfortable here.’’
– Publisher’s Weekly
"At the risk of sounding trite or too over the top, this book changed me. [...] Somehow, Chen intersperses his knowledge and practices of yoga and Buddhism into the text with such ease, you almost don’t even realize it until you’re on the floor in child’s pose."