Learn More about Mark Nepo and His Work and Teaching
Welcome. I hope this finds you well. One of the things I continue to learn is that all things are true. All things are not fair, but all things contain truth and our challenge, while seeking justice with compassion, is to absorb the totality of the mysterious, dynamic Universe we swim in. And only the heart can absorb and integrate in a way that renews us. So I keep being knocked about, as we all are, by the tides of life, only to keep absorbing, integrating, and renewing.
This informs the books I’m exploring and finishing, from which I’m growing tremendously. In November 2017, Sounds True will publish Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living. This book shares bare and honest reflections drawn from my lifelong journals, gathering 145 entries written over the last fifteen years. The book takes the reader through seventeen sections organized around archetypal thresholds we all face, including “Stopping the Noise,” “Unraveling Our Fear,” “The Gift of Deepening,” The Practice of Relationship, The Reach of Kindness, and “The Radiance in All Things.” At the end of the book, I share an essay about the nature and gift of journaling, followed by journaling guidelines, and 100 journal questions to work with.
The other book I’m finishing is More Together Than Alone: Moments of Community and How They Work. This book will be published by Atria in July 2018. After twelve years of research, I’ve gathered stories and lessons of community from across cultures and history, with the aim of affirming that, despite the hardships always present, we are more together than alone. In each generation, we’re asked to discover, through love and suffering, that we are at heart the same. How do we come to this knowledge in our own lives, in our own families, in our own communities? What brings us together and what throws us apart? How do we inhabit what we have in common as well as what makes us unique in ways that deepen our daily practice of service and compassion? To honor the timeless process that enlivens these questions, this book is focused on moments of community and how they work.
And happily, I continue to travel around the country teaching and speaking, a joy to meet and work with so many of you. I’m blessed to convene circles in which we open a heart space where my job is to help introduce good people to their own gifts and wisdom. I hope to see you somewhere along the way.
The One Life We’re Given is a Finalist for 2017 Books for a Better Life Award
I’m humbled and excited that The One Life We’re Given is a finalist for the 2017 Books for a Better Life Award. This is the fourth time I’ve been blessed to be a finalist: with The Book of Awakening in 2001, Inside the Miracle in 2016, and winning with Seven Thousand Ways to Listen in 2013. BBLA is such a fine group of giving people that this means all the more. Also, my good friend Elizabeth Lesser is also a finalist with her moving memoir, Marrow.
The One Life We’re Given and The Way Under The Way are cited by Spirituality & Practice as two of the best spiritual books of 2016
The wisdom presented on the shining pages of this holy book (The One Life We’re Given) is another luminous gift from a gallant, grateful and imaginative spiritual master.
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice (see full review)
“A spiritual teacher’s conversation with the Universe through tough and tender poems, The Way Under The Way is the first large collection of Mark Nepo’s poetry. It is a robust and spiritually revelatory volume of 217 poems. What touches us most about these poems is the way they testify simply and humbly to Nepo’s experience of the Divine.”
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice (see full review)
Mark will be in New York City, Albuquerque, Vancouver, Chicago, San Francisco, Southern CA, and Charleston in March-May 2017
I’m looking forward to teaching again in the spring, and will be offering workshops and retreats around the country and in Canada, focusing on my latest books, The One Life We’re Given, and my collection of poems, The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting. I hope you can join me. —Mark
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.
MARCH 10-11, 2017: Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living
Friday night, 7-9:30PM, Reading & Conversation, The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting
Saturday workshop, 9:00AM-5:00PM, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart, 2801 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque NM 87106, or call 505-881-4311. Details here.
MARCH 24-26, 2017: Unity Spiritual Center, Vancouver, BC
Friday Reading and Conversation, The Way Under The Way, 7:30-9:30PM, and Saturday Workshop, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart, 9:30AM-5:30PM, accompanied by storyteller Margo McLoughlin, Unity Spiritual Center, 5840 Oak St, Vancouver British Columbia. Details here.
APRIL 7-9, 2017: Pine Manor Retreat Center, Southern California
The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart, Weekend Retreat. Friday-Sunday at Pine Manor. Details here, or contact Gail Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org, 949-552-1633.
APRIL 20: Wellness House, Chicago
Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, Reading & Conversation, 131 N County Line Rd, Hinsdale, IL 60521. Details here, or contact (630) 323-5150.
APRIL 28: Keynote, The New Living Expo
San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA 94403. Details here.
MAY 5, 2017: New York Open Center
As Far As the Heart Can See: The Gift and Power of Story, A Reading-Workshop, 7:00-9:30PM, 22 E 30 St, New York City. Details here.
MAY 6, 2017: New York Open Center
Journey With No End: Writing and Spiritual Growth, A daylong Workshop, 10:00AM-5:30PM, 22 E 30 St, New York City. Details here.
MAY 19-21, 2017: The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC
Friday Night, Publication Reading for The Way Under the Way, and Weekend Retreat (Sat and Sun), The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting, The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC, or call 843-720-8528. Details here.
THE ONE LIFE WE’RE GIVEN: FINDING THE WISDOM THAT WAITS IN YOUR HEART (ATRIA, JULY 19, 2016)
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.”
A MAJOR COLLECTION OF MARK’S POETRY, THE WAY UNDER THE WAY: THE PLACE OF TRUE MEETING, IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM SOUNDS TRUE
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
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
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 two 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)