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Mark Nepo
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MARK NEPO has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for more than thirty-five years. His #1 New York Times bestseller "The Book of Awakening," was selected as one of “Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things” in 2010. In his book, "Seven Thousand Ways to Listen," Mark offers ancient and contemporary practices to help us stay close to what is sacred. His most recent book, Reduced to Joy, contains 73 poems, retrieved and shaped over the last 13 years, about the nature of working with what we’re given till it wears us through to joy. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. To learn more, please visit www.MarkNepo.com and www.threeintentions.com.

Entries by Mark Nepo

For Nine-Week-Old Mira

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 5:32 PM

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and unfold the journey from our head to our heart. For the next two months, I'm happy to be...

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Running the Table

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 3:42 PM

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and unfold the journey from our head to our heart. For the next two months, I'm happy to be...

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The Water Takes Many Forms

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 1:51 PM

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and unfold the journey from our head to our heart. For the next two months, I'm happy to be...

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Behind the Thunder

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 11:58 AM

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and unfold the journey from our head to our heart. For the next two months, I'm happy to be...

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Bareback

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2014 | 6:34 PM

There are times when how we operate in the world just turns upside down. This poem speaks to such a time for me.

Bareback

No question I've been knocked
from my invisible horse and the
one with tools in his hands keeps
prodding: Get back in the...

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You Ask about Poetry

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 1:02 PM

The longer I'm blessed to be here, the more I realize (make real) the wonder that poetry is a state of being and not a craft of language.

You Ask about Poetry

You ask from an island so far away
it remains unspoiled. To walk quietly
till the...

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Natural

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 1:05 PM

Throughout history, there has always been a dissonant conversation between those who feel we as humans are dark creatures who need to be controlled and those who feel that we are born with and innate goodness that allowed to blossom will heal the world. Of course, it's both. This passage...

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Without Knowing

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 1:26 PM

Our first encounters with love shape us and have a lasting impact on how we meet the world. Triggered by a young couple in a café, this poem helped me look back and understand the gift we give each other as we're just beginning to form both inwardly and outwardly.

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Turn Around

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 1:47 PM

It was in a dream in my sixtieth year that I realized that for all my efforts to protect my inwardness from a brutal world, my inwardness is the source of my strength and resilience.

Turn Around

I've spent too much time
protecting my spirit from the
world,...

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In the Interior

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 1:27 PM

This poem speaks to a lifelong journey with my oldest friend Robert. We have known each other for close to thirty years.

In the Interior

When you let me in your life,
all the way in, we took this walk
that turned into a hike that I didn't

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For My Brother

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 4:47 PM

During my father's slow avalanche to death, my brother was a tireless advocate on his behalf, a bodhisattva in the way he cleared debris and made things easier for everyone around him. I was in a plane over the Pacific Ocean when I finally wrote this poem for him.

For...

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The Murmur of Life

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 2:41 PM

That our heart can receive and hold anything and that we feel that the intensity of living is too much to bear is a paradox we can only live into. Under what is both unbearable and endlessly uplifting is the murmur of life.

The Murmur of Life

I hear this...

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Out of the Way

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 6:54 PM

Kindness and suffering are wordless teachers, ready to bend us and soften us until we accept that we are here; that, try as we will, we can't build our way out of existence or dream our way out of being human. Once opened in this way, we come to realize...

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The Dilation of What Seems Ordinary

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 3:33 PM

To dilate means to widen or open more fully and the purpose of experience, both through ease and pain, is to widen and open us more fully. The normal way we meet the world is full of bumps and bruises and noise that scratches up the heart. And yet, if...

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Heartwood

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 3:45 PM

An old friend died several years ago. At the time, I wrote this poem. I don't know why but I still can't delete his phone number from my contact list. Oh, to do so would seem so final, but I also still feel in contact with him.

Heartwood

...
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To Cultivate Wonder

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 9:48 AM

Wonder is one of the arts of reverence. It is always very close to the surface, just behind the eye, below the tongue, in between the beats of a waiting heart. It's a subtle resource that requires our welcome to show its full strength.

To Cultivate Wonder

As a teacher,...

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Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 5:48 PM

In the days after my father died, there were many quiet moments and many stories told. It was a small thing my mother said while crying over tea that allowed me to connect these small stories of my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father. I never realized that they form...

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The Moon Hears My Confession

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 12:32 PM

I'm always humbled by the way life appears when I think I'm in control. It's then I always feel less than, as if I'm falling short, as if I've let things slip out of my hands. When I remember that I'm one small part in a very complex and numinous...

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Midway in Our Journey

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 3:38 PM

Part of everyone's journey in life is to arrive at precipice or fork in the road or at the end of a path and to realize we no longer know our way. Hard as this is, this is where the inner journey begins, when all we've carried has served its...

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Aging

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 1:43 PM

My father used to quip that old is always 10 years out from wherever you are. I'm 62 and to think of how old I once thought this was! What I'm learning is that age is not the distance from the beginning of our lives but the distance at any...

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