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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

Another Day

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 2:44 PM

We fall in and out of the deepest understandings out in the world while getting groceries and pumping gas.

Another Day

I was in the market recently, when I closed my eyes until the cup without thought at the base of all I know began to collect the tenderness of...

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The History of My Heart

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 3:49 PM

During my cancer journey, I was able to see my heart on a screen during a test in which I was injected with radioactive dye, so they could trace the first pass of blood through the first chamber of my heart. It was an experience that changed my understanding of...

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Sizing His Dream

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 3:18 PM

After my father died, I leafed through his notebooks as a schoolboy as he was learning his trade. This poem comes from feeling him as a young learner.

Sizing His Dream
(For my brother)

Near the end, our father gave me
these notebooks written in his hand
...

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Waiting to Be Picked Up

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 1:04 PM

I was ready to fly home after teaching in Albuquerque, when the sudden light on the underside of a palm trip took me to another time.

Waiting to Be Picked Up

A burst of light makes me look across the way,
where a sliver of dawn slips under the...

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News of the Universe

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 2:03 PM

We live in a global culture addicted to the noise of how things fall apart. Yet all the while, things are quietly coming together as well. It's not about good news or bad news, but having access to whole news. This poem explores what's below the noise.

News of the...

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Short Wisdom on a Long Planet

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 9:31 PM

Our ecological problems are evidence of a deeper, spiritual problem whereby we, feeling incomplete, feed off the Whole; whereby we, feeling empty, use everything up in an attempt to fill ourselves; whereby we, feeling insignificant, scar the earth in order to feel significant.

Short Wisdom on a Long Planet

We...

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Between the Wall and the Flame

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 10:56 AM

One of the noble covenants of love is how we take turns lifting each other from the limited vision that arises when we are in pain, how we take turns reminding each other that there is more than our pain, more than our despair, while bearing witness to our pain...

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The Book Won't Let Me Hold It

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 2:13 PM

I was trying to read a book of poets from all over the world but the day and the light led me to feel their lives. This is the poem that arrived.

The Book Won't Let Me Hold It

This morning, the sun spills
from the mountain to the...

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With Things That Break

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 7:11 PM

The deeper the cut, the redder the blood. The deeper the experience, the richer the wisdom. It has always taken more time to reach the deep than the surface. And so it is with each other. It takes time to listen our way beyond the cuts into the depth of...

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A Walk Through Time

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 12:31 PM

Months after my father died, I found myself in New York City, wandering through the Museum of Modern Art, a place I love. On the third floor, in an exhibit featuring the work of Gauguin, I felt his presence strongly.

A Walk Through Time

Up 7th and over at 53rd,...

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Being a Teacher

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 10:56 AM

I am a life-long teacher, which means I am a life-long student. I come from a lineage of teachers. And so, I offer this small poem about this noble calling.

Being a Teacher

Like the moon standing full
reflecting as much of the Source
as it can so...

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From Here to Here

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 4:00 PM

I'm blessed to be part of a mens' group that has been meeting for eight years. We've become very close. One of us, Don, describes our closeness this way, "I am living in a trust that now deeply shapes my life." Once a year, we have a retreat together. After...

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After Mira

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 12:07 PM

It's been a year since we lost our beloved dog-child Mira. During this time, we have learned even more about the nature of grief and loss, and how no one is exempt from these tender journeys. This poem speaks to what I've learned.

After Mira

One day, we think we...

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Nothing Is Separate

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 5:57 PM

The great philosopher Abraham Heschel speaks of his fear that we will lose our sense of the Whole. I think this is inevitable, though just as inevitable that will find the Whole again. This poem explores this feeling.

Nothing is Separate

All things are true. The wind through
the...

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A Few Turns of the Moon

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 10:27 AM

For all the hardships that life throws at us, I have always felt that life keeps living. Perhaps not in the same form or in a way that is recognizable. But life keeps pulsing under everything. And no matter the pain or confusion I face, something in me keeps reaching...

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A New Thought

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 1:57 PM

Sometimes, as we grow, what we build starts to be confining. This poem speaks to my own experience of this.

A New Thought

After so many years, I was surprised
that the self I built in order to survive
was only a tent that had no roof. And

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Everything Sees

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 5:04 PM

Everything is alive and everything has something to offer. In the press of daily life, we often ignore these teachers, though they're everywhere.

Everything Sees

In the parking lot, I find
one lens from a pair of glasses.
I rub it clean; wondering
what it has seen...

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Compose Yourself

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 5:12 PM

Inherent in the nature of living is being disturbed and being settled and how we're rearranged by life in between these states. So we're asked to compose ourselves again and again.

Compose Yourself

Another practice we're led to is the effort to compose ourselves. When agitated, through pain or fear...

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Admitting Who We Are

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 11:50 AM

So much of our aliveness depends on how open we can remain. This piece looks at how we can let in what matters.

Admitting Who We Are

So how do we participate in the daily experiment of inhabiting heaven on Earth? Time and again, we are invited to practice admitting...

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Beyond Measure

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 5:21 PM

Life waits irrepressibly under all the clouds that come and go. This happens within us as well as in the world. This poem speaks to our need to be where we are.

Beyond Measure

Having burned dreams to keep warm,
I think of dreams as kindling now.
Having...

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