The Doctor Who Sat for a Year

As a psychiatrist, Brendan Kelly is used to doling out prescriptions and advice. This is the story of what happened when he decided to try his own medicine and take up meditation for a year.

Can this busy psychiatrist, dad and Buddhism enthusiast improve his life by meditating for 15 minutes every day? Will it improve his relationships with his family and patients? Will he find inner peace and, if so, how will he know that he has? Will he ever be more mindful than Trixie, the cat that peacefully observes his daily practice, always seeming more zen than the meditating doctor?

This is the journal of a self-confessed ‘Zen failure’ who believes there is much to be said for sitting quietly but soon realises that there are also many distractions. The Doctor Who Sat for a Year is a funny, thoughtful and inspiring book about embracing both mediation and our imperfections.


‘The world is full of mystery, but here’s something we know: meditation is the best way to harness the power of the human mind. And this book tells us how.’ Uri Geller,

‘Like many of us, Brendan Kelly has an on/off relationship with meditation. His everyday diary describing varying degrees of success and failure to meditate has a captivating intimacy. Whether a recidivist meditator or committed practitioner, you will enjoy this book.’ Dr Muiris Houston, Medical Journalist and Health Analyst with the Irish Times and Adjunct Professor Narrative Medicine, Trinity College Dublin

‘An excellent introduction to the path of meditation … The author describes both how difficult meditation can be in the face of daily distractions and, ultimately, how easy it becomes when simple choices are put in place.’ Michael Harding



Publication Date

March 2019




Paperback, 272 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Books

Availability Status

Not yet published

Brendan Kelly is Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght University Hospital. He is the author of Mental Health in Ireland: The Complete Guide for Patients, Families, Health Care Professionals and Everyone Who Wants to Be Well.

Press Release: Gill to acquire The Collins Press

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