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Welcome. I hope this finds you well as you enter the fall. These past two years have been deep and instructive. They have led me to the completion of several books. My book of poems, The Way Under The Way, won a Nautilus Book Award and The One Life We're Given was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award. Both were kindly cited by Spirituality and Practice as two of the best spiritual books of 2016. I'm also happy to announce my new book coming out this fall (see below). It's also been a joy to meet many of you while teaching. I'm grateful for that space and keep learning form the circles we are convening. I hope to see you along the way. Many blessings,
MARK'S INTIMATE THEMATIC READER, THINGS THAT JOIN THE SEA AND THE SKY, WILL BE PUBLISHED BY SOUNDS TRUE, NOVEMEMBER 1, 2017
In Things That Join the Sea and the Sky, Mark shares bare and honest reflections drawn from over fifty years of journals. This thematic non-fiction reader is comprised of 145 entries gathered and shaped over the last fifteen years. The book takes the reader through seventeen sections organized around archetypal thresholds we all face, including "Stopping the Noise," "Unraveling Our Fear," "The Gift of Deepening," The Practice of Relationship, The Reach of Kindness, and "The Radiance in All Things."
Of the book, Mark says, "These pages are field notes on living, a travelogue of my conversation with the Universe, a mix of inner reflections, questions, and stories that have come to teach me how to be here. They contain raw moments of sinking and being lifted, intimate accounts of being thrust into feeling and depth, my stretching and wondering about my life and the lives of others in this ongoing push and pull with a Universe that holds us, then tosses us about, only to hold us again. Under every piece, I hope you feel the common song we're born to sing in our unique and very human way."
At the end of the book, Mark shares an essay about the nature and gift of journaling, followed by journaling guidelines, and 100 journal questions to work with. All to encourage the reader to engage in their own conversation with the Universe through the art of journaling.
Open this book. Read the table of contents. And let the magic and promise of this offering invite you into the depths of your own humanity. Allow the poetic soul of Mark Nepo to guide you. And then keep this guide on your nightstand as an oracle and a roadmap for living well. This book is pure gold.
This book offers itself to you like an intimate conversation with a dear friend. Enjoy the beauty and the deep dives into life's varied meanings and mysteries.
Mark Nepo's vulnerable and generous-hearted sharing from the depths of his inner explorations is irresistibly readable, reminding us of the importance of staying with ourselves unconditionally, trusting the moment-by-moment experiences that lead us to our awakening.
A rich source of comfort and courage for anyone who opens it.
Written with the simplicity of a Koan, Nepo's short writings say everything there is to say about recording the hidden wonders of the world around us.
FLAMES THAT LIGHT THE HEART: A NEW VIDEO COURSE BY MARK IS NOW AVAILABLE
Over the last year, I've been working with Sounds True to create a video course called Flames That Light the Heart: Ten Lessons on Living with Meaning, Truth, and Kindness. I'm excited to have gathered many stories, metaphors, and paradoxes from my years of teaching into this in-depth exploration of the life of transformation and the heartwork that is required to be a spirit in the world. My intention, here, is to help you live with meaning, truth, and kindness in your own personal way. The course is now offered through Udemy, the online learning center. You can preview the introduction to the course here, as well as the first session. The sessions offer a long and intimate conversation on the growing pains of transformation and the art of living as an awakened part in an awakened whole. I hope you'll take a look. Many blessings,
Mark will be in Charleston, Bangor PA, Denver, Southern CA, Winter Park FL, New York City, and at the Garrison Institute during Fall 2017.
I will be offering workshops and retreats around the country, focusing on my latest books, The One Life We're Given, and my collection of poems, The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting. This will also include my new book coming out this fall, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky. I hope you can join me. many blessings,
SEPT 15-17: Friday Night, Readings from Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living, and Weekend Retreat (Sat and Sun), Heartwork: Being a Spirit in the World, The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC, (web link), or call 843-720-8528
OCT 4-5: Bread for the Journey: A Celebration of Poetry and the Human Spirit, Keynote Reading and Workshop, Kirkridge Retreat Center, Bangor, PA, contact Michael Glaser, (web link)
OCT 13-14: Mile-Hi Church, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living, A Publication Reading, Fri 7:00-9:30PM, and Sat Workshop, The One Life We're Given, 9077 W Alameda Ave, Lakewood, CO 80226, (web link)
NOV 3-5: Pine Manor Retreat Center, The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting, Weekend Retreat 2, register at Pine Manor, (web link), or contact Gail Warner at 949-552-1633
NOV 11: : Breaking Down Barriers Benefit Conference-Concert, Full Sail Live, Winter Park, FL, Keynote, 1-2PM, (web link) EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA - Our thoughts are with everyone in Florida.
NOV 17: NY Open Center, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living, A Publication Reading-Workshop, 7:00-9:30PM, 22 E 30 St, New York City, (web link)
DEC 1-3: Garrison Institute, Weekend Workshop, The One Life We're Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart, Fri, 7-9:30PM, Sat, 9:30AM-5:00PM, & Sun, 9:30AM-12:30PM, 14 Mary's Way, Route 9D, Garrison, NY, 10524, (web link), or call 845-424-4800
DEC 12: Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living, Fri, 7:00-9:30PM, A Publication Reading & Conversation, 7-9:30PM, Kalamazoo, MI, Transformations Center, 3427 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048, (web link)
THE WAY UNDER THE WAY IS A NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD WINNER FOR 2016
THE ONE LIFE WE'RE GIVEN WAS A FINALIST FOR 2017 BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD
I'm humbled and excited that The One Life We're Given was a finalist for the 2017 Books for a Better Life Award. This is the fourth time I've been blessed to be a finalist: with The Book of Awakening in 2001, Inside the Miracle in 2016, and winning with Seven Thousand Ways to Listen in 2013. BBLA is such a fine group of giving people that this means all the more. Also, my good friend Elizabeth Lesser won with her moving memoir, Marrow. (web link)
THE ONE LIFE WE'RE GIVEN AND THE WAY UNDER THE WAY ARE CITED BY SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE AS TWO OF THE BEST SPIRITUAL BOOKS OF 2016
"The wisdom presented on the shining pages of this holy book (The One Life We're Given) is another luminous gift from a gallant, grateful and imaginative spiritual master."
"A spiritual teacher's conversation with the Universe through tough and tender poems, The Way Under The Way is the first large collection of Mark Nepo's poetry. It is a robust and spiritually revelatory volume of 217 poems. What touches us most about these poems is the way they testify simply and humbly to Nepo's experience of the Divine."
THE ONE LIFE WE'RE GIVEN: FINDING THE WISDOM THAT WAITS IN YOUR HEART (ATRIA, JULY 19, 2016)
The wisdom presented on the shining pages of this holy book is another luminous gift from a gallant, grateful and imaginative spiritual master.
This new book affirms how precious this one life is and opens the chance we have to be fully alive and to be of use to each other and the world. Through personal stories of joy and grief, friendships and challenges, I try to illuminate how the life of the soul is shaped and crafted every day. I offer reflective questions and meditations to help make sense of our own experience and appreciate each moment. In truth, we learn to shape our perspective as a woodworker might carefully shave a piece of wood to reveal its inner grain. And throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into what we're given brings us alive—whether we must deal with suffering, pain, fear, and loss, or surprise, beauty, love, and wonder. Each becomes an opportunity to listen more deeply to our feelings, to deepen our connection with others, and to sense the sacred nature of ordinary things.
As we discover for ourselves the lessons of our journey, we are led to the wisdom that waits in our heart, the inner knowing of what truly sustains us—feeling, loving, and connecting—which allows us to fully live the one life we're given.
I confess that working with you as readers and students is a path I am devoted to. This path is a continuous inquiry into what it means to be human, to be here, and to care for each other. My hope is that you will deepen your conversation with life. That through your own path of obstacle and surprise, you will be opened to your gifts and become somewhat freed of all you carry. My hope is that this book will support you in becoming skilled at living with both effort and grace.
Mark Nepo is someone who walks through this confusing and sometimes dark world holding up a lantern and lighting the way. I can say with all certainty that I would follow this man anywhere his words want to take us.
Mark Nepo is one of our national treasures.
This book is a powerful guide to being in the world.
Please check out this short video in which I describe the book
A MAJOR COLLECTION OF MARK'S POETRY, THE WAY UNDER THE WAY: THE PLACE OF TRUE MEETING, IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM SOUNDS TRUE
This collection contains three separate books of poetry, gathering 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. The first two books in this collection, Suite for the Living and Inhabiting Wonder, bear witness to the messy and magnificent journey of being human. First published in 2004, they were wonderfully received and sold out of their first editions. Evolving these books further, Nepo has integrated fifty-eight new poems. The third book in this collection, The Way Under the Way, gathers eighty-three of his most recent poems. It centers on the place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit.
About poetry, Mark says, "The poems are the teachers. They arrive with their wisdom and become my guides. What they surface becomes my inner curriculum and by staying in conversation with them, I grow. We're all drawn to what we need to learn, which if engaged with honesty reveals insights common to us all." Of the books, he says, "My hope is that the arc of these poems will be aids in living, listening, and beholding each other. I offer them as small wonders found and cared for through the years."
Mark Nepo's poems are like rare wine that directly nourish the soul. These are stories of the heart, of brokenness that heals, of grief that awakens us to joy.
en I read Mark Nepo's luminous, meditative poems, one word stands tall in the mind and silence that follows—BEFRIEND. He does not avert his eyes from the difficult moment or the lost hour. He stays steady to feel the magnificence again.
In this magical book, Mark Nepo ushers us to the depth of who we are and where we truly live. His words, like pearls for the Human soul, awaken us and transform the ordinary into the mystery of our being.
SUPER SOUL SUNDAY INTERVIEWS
Watch Mark on Super Soul Sunday
In November 2013, Mark's Two-Part Interview with Oprah appeared on Super Soul Sunday on OWNTV. In these interviews with Oprah, Mark discussed the lifelong lessons from his cancer journey twenty-six years ago, and why he believes listening with a full heart is the key to living a vibrant and meaningful life. Mark explains how modern-day distractions can keep us from establishing deep connections with one another; he offers practical insights on how to cultivate our listening skills, deepening relationships with ourselves and others.
Watch these clips and more at Super Soul TV
First Look: Mark Nepo and Oprah Continue Their Conversation
Oprah's conversation with New York Times best-selling author Mark Nepo continues at her home in Hawaii. Mark discusses his book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen and shares why he believes listening with an open heart is the key to living a vibrant and meaningful life.
First Look: Why Poet Mark Nepo Says There Are 7,000 Ways to Listen
Poet and best-selling author Mark Nepo's latest book is called Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. Watch as Mark reveals the inspiration for the title.
Mark Nepo: "Everyone Is a Poet"
Poet and best-selling author Mark Nepo says poetry is the "unexpected utterance of the soul." Find out why he says a poem is more than just words on a page. Plus, hear why he thinks we all have a poet inside of us.
Mark's most moving quotes from his two-part interview with Oprah
In a two-part interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, Mark Nepo shares his thoughts on embracing the moment, the power of listening and more. Read 9 of his most moving quotes.
Oprah Reads Mark's Poem in This Beautiful Video
On my way to Maui to meet Oprah, I wrote this poem about our meeting on an island with such an ancient and beautiful bamboo forest. Oprah and the Super Soul Sunday crew created this amazing video of the bamboo forest with Oprah reading the poem. This formed the close of part 2 of my interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. Oprah reads Mark's poem in this beautiful video Read Mark's poem
The Bigger Picture—Super Soul Sunday
In May 2013, Mark was also featured on Super Soul Sunday alongside Reverend Ed Bacon and Elizabeth Lesser, with Oprah moderating. The show explored contemporary issues from a spiritual perspective.
Also read Mark's blog post, "The Life of Obstacles," on Oprah.com.
Praise for Mark's Book of Poems, Reduced to Joy
CITED BY SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE AS ONE OF THE BEST SPIRITUAL BOOKS OF 2013
In 2013, Viva Editions published Mark's seventh book of poems, Reduced to Joy, a book of seventy-three poems, retrieved and shaped over the last thirteen years, about the nature of working with what we're given till it wears us through to joy.
"Reduced to Joy has many different kinds of poems, all of them clear, wise, beautifully put, spare. Mark Nepo has a great heart. His poems are good company."
"Mark Nepo's poems in his new book, Reduced to Joy, reduce me first to grateful silence, and then to tears, and then to laughter, and then to praise. He joins a long tradition of truth-seeking, wild-hearted poets—Rumi, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver—and deserves a place in the center of the circle with them."
WINNER OF THE 2012 BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD, FOR SPIRITUALITY
Praise for Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
A consummate master of telling stories and parables about people's hopes, dreams, yearnings,
fears, sorrows and triumphs… Nepo has written a masterwork on the spiritual practice of
listening which plays such a predominant role in our private and public lives.
This masterpiece on listening comes at a vital time when divisions in American run rampant around politics, race, and religion.
Mark discusses his book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening is one of
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo is a year’s supply of inspirational stories and beautifully written essays that the reader can reflect on in daily doses. “Mark Nepo is a poet,” Oprah says. “He’s an author and a philosopher and has been through two different cancers. So when he writes, he writes purely from the heart.”
Oprah was given The Book of Awakening as a birthday gift and says she does one lesson from the book every morning. “If we all do it together, we can begin to open our hearts, change the world and begin to have the life you want by being present to the life you have now,” Oprah says.
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Listen to Mark Nepo in conversation with Oprah on her Soul Series radio program.
For years, I’ve been trying to explore and understand: How can we, being forgetfully human, remember we are of one human family? How can we stay awake and authentic when our wounds make us numb and hidden? How can we minimize what stands between us and our experience of life? How can we make a practice of wearing down what thickens around our mind and heart? How can this practice of staying authentic serve and draw strength from the Universal Whole while we are ever immersed and entangled in the moment of our lives?
As a cancer survivor, I have found myself like Lazarus, awake again, in the same earthly place but different. Everything has changed and nothing has changed. This wakefulness has led me to be a student of that vibrant edge where our inner life meets the world. Being a poet and philosopher, I find myself there with a particular set of tools to search with.
But we all live on this shore between the depths of being and the dangers of experience. My work has become a journal of the challenges and gifts of being a spirit in the world. And now, after dying and coming back, it’s really not about my books, but about the voice beneath my name keeping the song going. These books and the voices that inhabit them remain teachers and intimates. They’ve helped to uncover sketchy maps into the quandaries of being alive. When struggling through my illness, I was bereft at how many of the books I owned were useless. Ever since, I have been committed to finding and creating books that can help us live. It is my devout hope that the work you find here can be of use, can help.
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