Caught In The Act: Reflections on Being, Knowing and Doing and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Caught in the Act Paperback – September 9, 2004


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, September 9, 2004
$1.80 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (September 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585423467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585423460
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,631,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review


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.”
Shambhala Sun

“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
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

I was born in London and began my publishing career there. In 1964 I came to the US and worked at Alfred A. Knopf for thirty-two years, as reprint rights director, while editing the TAO TE CHING, Frederick Franck's THE ZEN OF SEEING, and many other books. In 1989, I founded Bell Tower, an imprint of Crown/Harmony, where I was editorial director and published seventy books I hoped would nourish the soul, illuminate the mind, and speak directly to the heart. These included Thomas Berry's THE GREAT WORK, Stephen Levine's A YEAR TO LIVE, Gunilla Norris's BEING HOME, and Alistair Shearer's THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI. My own two books. NOTHING LEFT OVER: A Plain and Simple Life and CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Reflections on Being, Knowing, and Doing, were originally published in 2002 and 2004, and reissued in 2014. I began to study Chinese Brush Painting in 2000 and now teach what I have learned on the Upper West Side of New York City. Discover more on www.toinettelippe.com

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
Best of all, the challenge is to step out playfully, to keep a sense of humor about how our conditioning limits us.
G. Lee
In addition to the elegant writing and thoughtful examination of many fascinating subjects, I enjoyed smaller elements of the book, like the clever chapter titles.
Avid Reader
I sat down to read just a chapter of this book, and simply couldn't put it down until I'd read almost the whole book.
C. Cox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Lee on March 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
This account of beginning her semi-retirement, told with candor and vulnerability, wonderfully illustrates how the personal becomes universal. Who doesn't have an identity centered around what they do, think, and know? More than a flash of recognition in the mirror, Caught in the Act is an invitation to explore your own boundaries and to step out beyond them. Best of all, the challenge is to step out playfully, to keep a sense of humor about how our conditioning limits us. How to enjoy life just as it is now, while being open to seeing more than we think we already understand. This is no instructional manual of advice, thankfully, instead it is a book about learning to surrender. An informed and well-grounded 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.

It is easy for anyone to relate to the challenges of losing your identity with one's work and filling free time creatively; you needn't wait for retirement to explore the territory of "doing non-doing" or to face the inner critic that turns play into more work. Learning to live at ease in the "don't know" zone sounds like the advice of many a Zen master.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Cox on November 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I sat down to read just a chapter of this book, and simply couldn't put it down until I'd read almost the whole book. Reading it was like spending time with a good friend--the best kind of friend: one who levels with you, thinks deeply, cares about the spiritual path, and is unusually honest and direct in discussing core issues. The author talks about her own struggles with meditation, for example, and the difficulties that we all have with remaining really present. Topics include surrender, dealing with hard times, and learning how to just *be*, instead of self-defining by *doing*.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jay Gordon on January 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
We have to hope Toinette Lippe keeps writing since she does it with such grace, and it is clearly addictive. Her observations are profound, but they require only a receptive mind to be understood and accepted. The spiritual books she has edited over the years offer clues to her intellectual integrity and serene spirit. For those who are inspired by clear and imaginative thinking, she has become one of America's most endearing writers. She writes about how we feel and what we would say if we were poets. For readers unaccustomed to contemplative writing, their first encounter with Ms. Lippe's ideas will feel like reaching to shake a new friend's hand and being pulled into a full embrace: surprising, delightful, and comforting.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on January 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book takes me straight to the heart of my current preoccupation, how to live more fully in the present. Many spiritual teachers address this subject, but rarely is the experience captured with the intimacy of Toinette Lippe's reflections. Reading Caught in the Act is like being inside her mind-which is astonishingly like being in my own. In the practice of entering ever more fully into each moment, the aspirations and the obstacles encountered are largely common to all of us. I was touched and inspired and also greatly entertained by reading such candid accounts of another person's path toward deeper awareness of moment to moment "being, knowing, and doing."

My favorite parts of the book concern the author's painting lessons. Her description of a Chinese calligraphy workshop makes almost palpable the sensations of moving an ink-laden brush across paper-so vivid, in fact, that I felt an intense yearning to have the same experience myself. The writing in this section is like a thick ribbon of silk drawing us through each sensuous step in the act of painting to the unexpected culmination: folding the sheet of paper and putting it aside, relinquishing the work of one moment, surrendering to the next, acknowledging impermanence. "Where the paint meets the paper," the author writes, "there is discovery."

In addition to the elegant writing and thoughtful examination of many fascinating subjects, I enjoyed smaller elements of the book, like the clever chapter titles. "Watch This Space," for example, is followed by an epigraph from Ovid: "Let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish." The illustrations at the head of each chapter are another nice touch-the author's own paintings, offering a lovely link to her descriptions of her art classes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?