Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness by Rachel Neumann


The book is a memoir of how a skeptical, fast-talking New Yorker became Thich Nhat Hanh’s editor, turned forty, realized she was aging, and slowly and reluctantly started to absorb mindfulness practice and grow up. Scenes with Thich Nhat Hanh and the author’s two vividly exuberant older parents, illustrate how the author adapts mindfulness techniques for the busyness of her life, without losing her edge. With honest and vivid stories about dealing with difficult relationships with family members, death, illness, vanity, exhaustion, and creating a safety net of joy, the author explores and offers guidance for three key mindfulness practices: Knowing When You’re Available and When You’re Not; Full-Attachment Living; and Interbeing (Other People are Not a Hobby).

This book is designed for adults who are new to mindfulness practice, Buddhism, curious skeptics, people familiar with the practice who want a personal story, and those interested in memoir.

Rachel Neumann has worked with a number of leading Buddhist and mindfulness authors, including His Holiness the Dalai Llama, Sylvia Boorstein, Sulak Sivaraksa, and others. For the past ten years, she has been the primary editor for the bestselling author and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Her writing focuses on the intersection of mindfulness, parenting, and the poli- tics of everyday life. She is a regular contributor to AlterNet and has written for various newspapers and magazines including Shambhala Sun, The Village Voice, and The Nation. Read her blog at

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: