Writing a Book and Generosity

This week is a big week for me, and I want to share this with all of you. After a year of writing and refining with my colleague, Dr. Greg Serpa, we are sending the finished and edited manuscript for “Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness” to the publisher. It will be on the bookshelves in June 2015.

The need for a book

This book came out of our work at the VA of teaching clinicians how to teach mindfulness. I had already had quite a lot of experience and material from training new MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) teachers. Then, while working at the VA, Greg and I were putting together more lists, summaries, tips and practices. We found ourselves wishing that somebody had already done this work so we could simply refer to it: “Get that book,” or “Go to that website.” Since there wasn’t anything like that available, we finally stepped up and did it ourselves—really quite simple. There was a need and we responded. We had the knowledge and expertise and we wanted to share it so that more people could learn the life-changing practices of mindfulness and compassion.

Writing as generosity

Things to be generous with easelThis week in our “Deepening Joy” class at InsightLA, we looked more in-depth at the practice of generosity. We wrote an entire white board full of things we can be generous with. We listed the ones that might come to mind immediately, such as food, shelter, money, and time, and also the less obvious ones like experience, dreams and patience. This exercise made me realize that sharing our knowledge and expertise in writing this book is an act of generosity—that hadn’t really occurred to me before. But writing this book will allow many more people to benefit from what we have learned. Aspiring teachers will become better teachers, and, in turn, their students will be touched by mindfulness in a deeper way. The book will be out there, preserved for the future as long as it’s useful – and independent of us, the authors (just in case this whole impermanence thing turns out to be true after all).

I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have ever taken a class with me—you have helped me gain the expertise that I can now share with everybody. Thank you!

And the deepest bow of gratitude goes to Trudy, who took me under her wing in 2003 and decided that I would make a good teacher. She let me tag along with her and co-teach many classes together, and has been so very generous with her knowledge and expertise.

With much joy and gratitude,


Note: This blog was first published as “Note to the Reader” of InsightLA’s newsletter November 14th.

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11 Responses to “Writing a Book and Generosity”

  1. Rick Herranz November 19, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    Ok christianne
    I like the article. It’s good. I am sure it will serve a noble purpose that many can find freedom from sufferring. It’s Tuesday night 11/18/14 . Thanks for your work.

  2. Samar November 19, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    Hi Christiane,

    I was very happy to hear about your new book. I am not surprised at all because I know you seem to have reached a higher level of understanding and clarity when it comes to the human nature . It’s a great responsibility to be a pionneer I wish luck . I am also delighted to hear that there is so much interest now in mindfulness that doctors are now using it the world over to treat variety of conditions. The world did not entirely loose it’s mind and there is always this inner simple state that we could touch if we have the courage to open our eyes.
    Thank you for your generosity.

    • Christiane Wolf November 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Thank you, Samar! Yes, let’s wish that more and more hospitals (and doctors!) learn about mindfulness.

  3. Phil November 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    The book won’t be released until June? Any way of getting it sooner or Is it best to practice patience…..

  4. Eleanor November 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    It’s reassuring to know that clinicians are embracing this practice. Thanks for providing a very valuable resource that will help not only healthcare providers, but their patients as well! Congratulations on completing your book.

  5. James November 26, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    It is so exciting to think of the number of people you will be able to reach through this book. I know that I have grown greatly as a result of your classes and believe that others will now have that opportunity. Best of all, people like me who work in community mental health clinics, will be able to bring mindfulness to our clients. I often use your body scan or breath work recordings in session, but this book will allow me to share a deeper understanding of mindfulness with individuals who otherwise would not have the opportunity.
    Congratulations on the book and thank you!

    • Christiane Wolf December 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      Thank you, James! Yes, exactly – that is my hope that people will get access and introductions to mindfulness who otherwise wouldn’t.

  6. Lee Vance July 26, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    I just finished reading this book and am using it to begin a mindfulness meditation group within my local community – a small, rural New York community that is yet to be exposed to any of the ideas. I’m beginning the community for free and than I’ll incorporate into my practice as a psychologist. A local church is hosting the space for mediation to flourish. I’m excited and thankful for your work. Thank you.

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