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Rachel Neumann 

When: Mon., Nov. 5, 7 p.m. 2012
Price: free

New York writer Rachel Neumann was on a speedy path to exhaustion in the weeks after September 11, 2001, when, on assignment for the Village Voice, she met renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher-monk ThichNhatHanh. He was just sitting -- nothing deeper than that -- but his very being, quiet and present, changed her hectic life. Soon, she became his personal editor, learned about Buddhist practices, had two children, turned forty, and returned to the rural California commune of her youth -- everything seemed to fall into place for this skeptic-workaholic-turned-mindful woman. Neumann shares the story of her conversion and lessons she learned along the way in Not Quite Nirvana, which she'll read from at Moe's Books (2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) on Wednesday, Nov. 7. 7:30 p.m., free. 510-849-2087 or

— Alison Peters


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