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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

Things Carried Through the Fire

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 1:09 PM

We have a sacred history with those we remain bonded to. We know what each scar and crease in their life means.

Things Carried Through the Fire

My grandfather's Talmud.
Your picture of Uncle Billy.
The innocence of our dog.
The things I never show the
...

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Lost Speech

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 3:03 PM

The truth of things waits out of view ready to surprise us when we least expect it. I learned the truth of this while out in the marsh one day at twilight.

Lost Speech

The more that falls away,
the more knit I am to things
before they...

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Inside Out

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 5:02 PM

Everything in nature is bruised and worn. This is how each tree and hill gets its beauty. We are no different.

Inside Out

I was taken aback, when
joining a fitness club, at
the history of my body: a
rib removed, torn ligaments
in an ankle,...

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What Matters Is Unsayable

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 12:28 PM

The challenge of poetry is that the only things worth saying are those things that are unsayable. The joy of such work is that whatever we come up with is more than enough.

What Matters Is Unsayable

As a boy, my father introduced me to the sea. Something in it...

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Honoring Your Friend

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 12:10 PM

If we would only honor our soul with the same commitment we honor dear friends.

Honoring Your Friend

Each of us has a particular piece of wisdom, which we might describe as truth made possible by love. Each of us with a bit of eternity that if not brought forward...

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When Young I Dove

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 1:02 PM

When young, we want to dive into everything. But as we age, we surrender more than dive, and so feel the magic of the wind along the way.

When Young I Dove

When young I dove to the bottom of the
sea. Now I know there is no...

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Catching the Light

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 12:56 PM

All the valuable things we can learn from books point to the force of life that can't be contained in a book. This poem explores this paradox.

Catching the Light

Forget the books and the dogma.
Faith is a chance that appears when
on the run. When lost...

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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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