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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

Admitting Who We Are

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 12:50 PM

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 | 6:21 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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On Retreat

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 11:55 AM

It's humbling how fear can rearrange our eyes. This piece describes a personal example of this.

On Retreat

Walking from my cabin through the frosted grass, it's very quiet. The meetinghouse is on the hill. From the field below, I see a dog on the steps. I don't have my...

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Nectar

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 12:07 PM

Life tries to lure us into the open, the way sunlight opens a flower after a storm. This poem explores the life-force that calls to us.

Nectar

Like the nose of a bee, the heart
rubs its face in trouble and joy. So
bring all you've touched to...

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My Father's Spirit Left His Body

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 11:49 AM

This fall, Atria published my new book of spiritual inquiry, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be. It's a journey that explores the difficult and rewarding aspects of being human, which are often inter-related, including how to restore our trust in life, when suffering makes us lose...

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The Fifth Element

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 2:53 PM

The Fifth Element

Our job is to stay thoroughly human, not to perfect our way out of it. I admit I've lost years to refining myself when I've needed to deepen myself. I admit I've known the lift of the beatific ocean of Spirit and the crash of the world's...

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The Courage Not to Waste Our Gifts

(2) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 10:37 AM

No one can construct the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of your life, but you. -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Every single being has an amazing, unfathomable gift that only meeting life head-on and heart-on will reveal. And we can't fully know our gift alone. We need each...

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Jupiter and the Bee

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 3:56 PM

No matter how often we fall, the gift of wakeful effort allows us to find our way back to what is heartening and affirming, without denying the suffering we encounter. Still, the things that dishearten and drain us are always near, as near as all that is affirming. Here is...

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Gentleness

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 1:59 PM

Receiving depends on gentleness, which relaxes our boundaries. It lets us interact with what comes our way. It lets us lend some of our shape to what's before us. Lending our shape in this way allows for a momentary joining, through which we can feel the aliveness that flows between...

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Aslan and the White Witch

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 2:17 PM

This passage speaks to the turning points of resilience that are always near.

Aslan and the White Witch

We always have the choice to be one who affirms or one who drains. This choice is beautifully rendered in the C.S. Lewis classic The Chronicles of Narnia. There, Aslan, the life-affirming,...

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A Dream We're Close to Living

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 2:42 PM

This passage explores a different sense of destiny.


A Dream We're Close to Living

I was given an insight when young, which arrived one day in the rain as everything thirsty in me relaxed. It was an insight about destiny and how, like trees and plants, destiny...

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The Practice of Courage

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 5:03 PM

From the outside, being courageous seems a monumental canyon to cross, but inside the opened depth of any situation, it begins with a single step.

The Practice of Courage

The practice of courage is doing small things with love. This was Mother Theresa's anthem. We begin to dismantle what is...

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Being the Part, Feeling the Whole

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Since we're each a living part in a living Whole, one challenging art in being human is to live out our particular life while comprehending the Whole. One aspect of the endless practice is to feel both the depth of our feelings and, at the same time, to stand on...

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Saying Yes to Life

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 2:50 PM

In the face of this gritty, mysterious, and ever-changing dynamic we call being alive, it's nothing short of heroic that we are asked to choose life and living, again and again. Not just to put a good face on things while we're here, but because saying yes to life is...

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Polishing the Heart

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 5:50 PM

This fall, Atria is publishing my new book of spiritual inquiry, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be. It's a journey that explores the difficult and rewarding aspects of being human, which are often inter-related, including how to restore our trust in life, when suffering...

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Our Journey on Earth

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 3:38 PM

This fall, Atria is publishing my new book of spiritual inquiry, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be. It's a journey that explores the difficult and rewarding aspects of being human, which are often inter-related, including how to restore our trust in life, when suffering...

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One String

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 3:34 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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So Much is Carried

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 2:01 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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Kiss Everything on Fire

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 3:10 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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Ahyo-oh'-oh-ni

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 11:15 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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