After almost five years - and more drafts than I can remember (fifteen? twenty?) - I am pleased to announce that I am publishing my first book today.
What began as a class I first taught in August of 2011 at East West Bookshop, was scribbled out long-hand in a series of sketchbooks during a somewhat uncomfortable weekend writing retreat in New Mexico, and revised and designed over the past nine months since I began my blogging hiatus in May of last year, is now complete. It is not perfect, but I am proud of it.
I hesitate to say proud because pride brings to mind an overabundance of good feelings about oneself, but checking the dictionary just to be sure this is the word I wanted to use, I found that "overabundance of good feelings about oneself" is actually the secondary meaning of proud and that it primarily means feeling pleased or satisfied as a result of one's own accomplishments or qualities. So proud works for me.
And now it is time to let go.
When I first imagined publishing a book it was with much fanfare - a New York publisher, a book party, a cross-country tour - but once I really started to write I realized just how much the publishing wasn't the point. The writing is the point. What happens next is not up to me. I am grateful to Shunryu Suzuki for this reminder today.
The quote above is from "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," which is the book I am reading before my meditation time right now. Today's passage was about giving (the Buddhist concept of dana prajna paramita) and about that Suzuki says, "'To give is non-attachment,' (quoting Dogen-zenji) that is, just not to attach to anything is to give." Then later, "To produce something, to participate in human activity is also 'dana prajna paramita.'"
My hope then is that Write Your Life may be dana prajna paramita, that through writing and non-attachment I may give something to the world that may benefit someone in some way.
If you would like to order a copy of Write Your Life, it is available on Blurb.com in either paperback ($12.99) or ebook (for iDevices only, $1.99), follow these links to purchase.
Blessings, love and best wishes to you as you write your life!