Learn More about Mark Nepo and His Work and Teaching

Welcome. I hope this finds you well. I’m eager to share that Atria recently published my new book, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom that Waits in Your Heart. I’ve learned a great deal in retrieving this book, which furthers the short-chapter, story-driven form of The Book of Awakening. This book explores how our hard work and authenticity ready us for meaning and grace, and how our sincerity and effort help us to survive and thrive.

I’m also grateful that Sounds True will be publishing a major collection of my poetry on November 1, 2016, The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting. This collection includes three books of poetry and gathers 217 poems written over the past twenty years. The central theme of this work is my ongoing inquiry into the inner space of the soul and the journey of being human. The place of true meeting, which is always near, is where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. Both books are now available on Amazon. Descriptions of both books are below.

And I’m excited that OWN has announced the inaugural SuperSoul 100, a collection of awakened influencers who are inspiring others to live an authentic life and help contribute to society. Oprah Winfrey, OWN CEO, said, “Each of these individuals is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters. These inspired leaders are using their gifts and voices to help elevate humanity.” I’m honored to be among these voices, and a part of Oprah’s good work.


Mark will be in New York City December 15, 2016, and again March 3-4, 2017.

Dec 15, 2016, Thrive Pop Up Store, What It Means to Thrive, A Publication Reading & Conversation, 7:00-9:00PM, 419 Broome Street, SOHO, New York City

I want to congratulate Arianna Huffington for creating Thrive Global as a resource, which can help us restore meaning and care in our culture. As part of its launch, I’d like to offer an evening of readings and conversation about what it means to thrive. I hope you can join us. —Mark Nepo

Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, and The New York Times #1 bestselling author of The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo will read from his two latest books, The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting, which gathers twenty years of his poetry, and The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom that Waits in Your Heart, his latest non-fiction inquiry into the practice of being human and our effort to restore what matters, while making good use of our heart.

This reading and conversation will center on our connection to the depth of life, that place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. About surviving and thriving, Marks says, “Every day, we’re asked to move at the pace of what is real, to see each other for the first time, to take the risk to be wholehearted, and to have the courage to stay soft and strong and kind—this is what it means to thrive. In moments of thriving, we repair each other and illuminate the world.”

March 3-4, 2017: ABC Carpet & Home, Weekend Workshop, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart, Fri 7-9PM & Sat 10:30AM-6:30PM, 888 Broadway and 19th north of Union Square, New York City. Details here.

This two-day workshop will weave themes from Mark’s new book, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart, and his #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening. The two-day journey will bring you more deeply into the river of your own life.

This journey offers a chance to work with Mark as a way to deepen your inner life. The weekend will explore the practice of being human as an applied art of spirit while unfolding the archetypal dynamics we all encounter in our struggles to engage our full humanity.

Using ancient and contemporary stories, poetry, journaling, and dialogue, Mark invites participants to befriend their own stories and listen for their own wisdom in this reflective and transformational journey. This course is an invitation to engage with profound and life-giving material that will deepen the way you perceive and relate to the world.

“Studying with Mark Nepo is like discovering new landscapes within my soul. I always want to go with him because he knows the terrain so well. Together we travel through deep time. I am transported in awe and wonder. I emerge on the other side with new eyes…new sight…informed in ways that save me, and daily.”
—Elesa, Chicago, IL


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.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic

“Mark Nepo is one of our national treasures.”
—Rev. Ed Bacon

“This book is a powerful guide to being in the world.”
—Arianna Huffington

“The wisdom presented on the shining pages of this holy book is another luminous
gift from a gallant, grateful and imaginative spiritual master.”
—Spirituality & Practice (read full review)


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.”
—Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., Sufi teacher and author

“When 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.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Words Under the Words

“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.”
—Agapi Stassinopoulos, Author of Unbinding The Heart


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 26 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.

Check out nine of Mark’s most moving quotes from his two-part interview with Oprah—and download them and share them with friends.

WATCH THESE CLIPS! And many more here on SuperSoul.TV

CLIP: Why Mark believes listening with an open heart is the key to living a vibrant and meaningful life.

CLIP: “The Inspiration For 7,000 Ways to Listen”

CLIP: “Mark Nepo on poetry”


On his way to Maui to meet Oprah, Mark wrote a poem about their 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 Mark’s poem. Watch it here.

Paia, a Clearing

in the Forest

—for Oprah

We agree to meet half way

round the world where the ocean

waited thousands of years before

opening its clear mouth to speak

this island under the sun. All to

remember we are students of the

large stillness, struggling with our

little stillness. Never knowing what

will rise between us, we meet beyond

the bamboo forest and bend in

the light, hollow as these stalks,

listening for a trace of the

beginning, as we do.


Mark’s previous Super Soul Sunday appearance was on a panel with Ed Bacon and Elizabeth Lesser. WATCH SELECTED CLIPS HERE.



MARK NEPO moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time,” “a consummate storyteller,” and “an eloquent spiritual teacher.” His work is widely accessible and used by many and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. A bestselling author, he has published seventeen books and recorded twelve audio projects. In 2015, he was given a Life-Achievement Award by AgeNation. And in 2016, he was named by Watkins: Mind Body Spirit as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

Recent work includes The One Life We’re Given (Atria, 2016), Inside the Miracle (Sounds True), selected by Spirituality & Health Magazine as one of the top ten best books of 2015, The Endless Practice (Atria), cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2014, his book of poems, Reduced to Joy (Viva Editions), cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2013, a 6CD box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in Reduced to Joy (Sounds True, 2014), and Seven Thousand Ways to Listen (Atria), which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award.

Mark was part of Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Tour in 2014 and has appeared several times with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV. He has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. The Exquisite Risk was cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it “one of the best books we’ve ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life.” Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. He continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats.


Oprah shares a favorite passage from The Book of Awakening


Mark on The Book of Awakening


Mark on Good Morning America (January 2011)