Rachel Neumann, Parallax Press’s editorial director and the author of Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness, says that BEA is the perfect place to practice mindfulness, i.e., focusing only on what is happening in the moment. “No worries about past or future, just the present—that’s it,” Neumann says, explaining that one should practice mindfulness by first paying attention to one’s breathing—even if one is lugging a bag of books around Javits. “It’s as simple as saying, ‘I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out,’ ” she explains.
Neumann advises that practicing mindfulness might be a particularly viable exercise for those waiting in the perpetually long lines at the Starbucks stand downstairs near the Events Hall. And for those really wanting to see how the experts do it, Parallax Press and Wisdom Publications will co-sponsor their annual tea and meditation for mindfulness for Buddhism-friendly publishers and editors tomorrow, 4–4:30 p.m. in Wisdom’s booth (4142A), within Perseus/PGW’s pavilion.
Neumann, a New York expat who now lives in Berkeley, insists that even the most type A personality—a neurotic, driven, Manhattan Big Six publishing company executive—is capable of successfully practicing mindfulness. She has been practicing mindfulness for the past 10 years, ever since she became Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s personal editor and decided to apply the philosophy of mindfulness she was preaching in her professional life as an editor at a press run by the Unified Buddhist Church and in her personal life parenting two children. “My goal is every day, not all day.”
Neumann will be practicing mindfulness and signing galley copies of Not Quite Nirvana at Table 25 in the autographing area today, noon–12:30 p.m., and tomorrow, at Parallax Press’s booth (3490), 1–2 p.m.