From Publishers Weekly
A sequel comes, ironically, from the author of Nothing Left Over: A Plain and Simple Life
. This book is a series of musings, essays from which themes emerge organically and offer themselves up as chapter names, in a form perched midway between essay and journal. The author, a longtime editor of spirituality books, is well read and alludes over a wide range, from revered Buddhist masters and contemporary teachers through Christian scripture to novelist Cormac McCarthy. She writes from a Buddhist perspective but a distinctly amateur one, refreshingly unenlightened, confessing that she has meditated for 40 years without ever really enjoying it. Such faithfulness and disarming honesty characterize the book, which mingles glimpses from the life of a perfection-driven, always-on-time individual with ruminations on her process of thinking and making meaning. The close scrutiny of her thinking may frustrate some who find it too inward or self-absorbed, while others will nod, recognizing a kindred deliberative soul. The book has understated momentum, because it ably traces a journey of letting go—of job, of expectations, of previous conceptions, of fixed identities, of a desire to know before doing, of perfectionistic tendencies in the author's new hobby of brushpainting. This modest book would make a good handsell for the right reflective reader.
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Caught in the Act is about surrender on several levels: surrendering what’s unnecessary in life, surrendering attitudes that keep you from pure enjoyment, surrendering yourself to the moment letting it take you where it wants to go rather than where you wish to be taken. The book is unconventional in form and manner, and is told in a brisk, conversational style that’s immediate and engaging. It has a mystery and beauty all its own.”
Robert Leiter, Jewish Exponent
If we’re fortunate, there are a couple of junctures in our lives when we have the leisure and impetus to reflect on the past and consider our future. Caught in the Act witnesses a mature woman contemplating how what you do becomes what you are. She has a curious mind, an indefatigable eye for detail and a serious intellect. To see what a mind like that does with semiretirement, read Caught in the Act.”
This is no instructional manual of advice, thankfully; instead it is a book about learning to surrender. An informed and wellgrounded wisdom shines forth on every page. While the stories from her life give the reader a sense of connection to her, somehow the book magically becomes about you. Her questions become your questions, too. She writes unpretentiously, as one who finds it unnecessary to state the obvious. It is tempting to credit her decades as a book editor for the clarity of her writing, but the ability to turn a rigorous, analytical mind back on itself requires a degree of personal honesty that only comes with years of spiritual practice and contemplation. This is what makes her insight so recognizably human and relevant. It takes both humility and courage to first see, and then reveal oneself so forthrightly.
Never mind that she calls herself an almost-Buddhist,” her grasp of the issues centered around aimless aim” is right up there with Zen in the Art of Archery. If we don’t have any goals or intentions with whatever activity we are doing, we may go nowhere. Yet if we are too focused on results, we burden our actions with heavy expectations. This book is about finding that balance in your daily life.”
Gloria Lee, Nonduality Highlights
All those on a spiritual path will identify with Lippe’s struggles to simply be.
Control is what so many of us aim for and yet surrender to experience is what all the sages in every mystical tradition tell us to do. Lippe counsels herself to be welcoming to everything and to relinquish the attachments that stop her from being present.”
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Health
Lippe’s anecdotes arise from her travels, her friendships, her reading, and her meditation practice. Her style is clear and revealing. Her book will appeal to those searching for what is authentic in life, as well as those dealing with transitions, including retirement. In becoming intimate with her journey, readers have the opportunity to tune in to their own.”
Tova Green, Turning Wheel