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Hidden Gems: Meet Dan Tricarico of The Zen Professional

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Tricarico. 

Hi Dan, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have been a high school teacher for over 30 years. About seven years ago, I was facing massive burnout and experiencing a great deal of stress. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it to retirement. 

To deal with it, I remembered being a drama major and actor and started using the relaxation, breathing, meditation, and mindfulness activities I learned in my acting training to relax and reduce my stress. It worked. In an attempt to turn my negative experience into a positive, I started a blog called The Zen Teacher. That blog became a book called The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom, and I started doing workshops and keynote presentations for teachers all over the country. A few years later, I published Sanctuaries: Self-Care Secrets for Stressed Out Teachers. 

More recently, I expanded my platform to include ALL professions and call that platform The Zen Professional (A book for business/corporate people is on the way). I now do workshops and keynotes for business/corporate people experiencing burnout and stress as well. 

I didn’t expect this path in the twilight of my teaching career, but it’s been such a blessing to help other people. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No road is completely smooth, of course, but my challenges have included the stigma of Zen, meditation, and mindfulness among the more conservative thinkers, going through a divorce, juggling a full-time teaching job, and navigating a global pandemic. The ironic part is that, given the pandemic, stress reduction techniques and strategies for avoiding burnout are even MORE important now to professionals than when I started talking about these things in 2015. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Zen Professional teaches overwhelmed, overworked business people to reduce stress, improve self-care, and avoid burnout so they can thrive both inside and outside the workplace. My workshops –which are done both virtually and in person– shows harried professionals how to use Zen-inspired techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, Beginner’s Mind, compassion, gratitude, subtraction, decluttering, gratitude, non-judgment, and intentional and radical self-care to achieve a greater sense of relaxation, peace, and control in both their personal and professional lives. 

Using the 5 step Zen Professional Blueprint, this workshop shows teachers how to: 

–Act with intention 

–Accept what is 

–Be present in the moment 

–Focus on The Now 

–Show compassion 

–Pay attention 

–Live mindfully 

–Create space 

–Reflect and meditate on their practice 

–Detach from expectations and embrace the “teachable moment.” 

–Embrace stillness and subtraction for a greater sense of fulfillment 

I am different from most business consultants/trainers because I focus on the “soft skills” that are often less visible but that can have a massive (and positive!) impact on retention, reliability, productivity, and simply having a more fulfilling experience during your day. 

I do workshops around the country, but I am a San Diego native and am grateful every day to live in such a beautiful city. I believe that we can say no to the “go go go” mentality of our culture. We can slow down, take a breath, and spend time taking care of ourselves simply because we’re worth it. 

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
I also have an online course or two that can be found at 

Contact Info:

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