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First Congregational Church, Washington, D.C., Reading and Workshop

March 21, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - March 22, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

Friday, March 21, 2014, 7:00 to 9:00 PM, $25
Saturday, March 22, 2014, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, $75

If you cannot attend Mark Nepo’s Friday night presentation in person, you can still participate in this program by signing up for the LiveStreaming of Friday night’s program.  See below for registration.

Program Description

Friday Evening—Reduced to Joy, An Evening Mark Nepo

Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark Nepo, the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awakening, has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time,” “a consummate storyteller,” and “an eloquent spiritual teacher.” His many books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Now in his sixties, he has recently published Reduced to Joy, a book of seventy-three poems, retrieved and shaped over the last thirteen years, about the nature of working with what we’re given till it wears us through to joy.

About joy, Nepo says, “Often, what keeps us from joy is the menacing assumption that life is happening other than where we are.” Of the book, he says, “Poetry is the well from which all my books rise. It’s where I always go to listen, always stunned by what arrives. It’s how I know the inner world. I bring these poems back from the deep like shells from the sea that we can look at together.”

Mark will read from Reduced to Joy and other books, followed by a conversation. While the evening stands as an experience unto itself, it also serves as a threshold to the workshop being held the next day.

As the wind makes a different song
through the same tree as its branches
break, God makes finer and finer music
through the wearing down of our will.
Mark Nepo

Saturday—Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: A Workshop Guided by Mark Nepo

This workshop is based on Mark’s recent book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award.

We spend much of our time on earth listening and waking. When awake, we come upon the risk to be authentic. And taking that risk, we are faced with the need to stand by our core in order to live life fully. If we get this far, we are returned, quite humbly, to the simple fate of being here. And after all this way, it appears that a devotion to deep listening remains the simple and sacred work of being here.

Yet how do we inhabit these connections and find our way in the world? By listening our way into lifelong friendships with everything larger than us, with our life of experience, and with each other. Our friendship with everything larger than us opens us to the wisdom of Source. This is the work of being. Our friendship with experience opens us to the wisdom of life on earth. This is the work of being human. And our friendship with each other opens us to the wisdom of care. This is the work of love. These eternal friendships are intertwined and inseparable. We need to listen for their wisdom if we have any hope of living an awakened life. These three friendships—the work of being, the work of being human, and the work of love—frame the journey of this workshop.

Using ancient and contemporary stories, poetry, journaling and dialogue, Mark will open the work of listening on these levels and invite participants to befriend their own stories and listen for their own wisdom in this reflective and transformational gathering.

This workshop is an invitation to engage with profound and life-giving material that will deepen the way you perceive and relate to the world.

Bring a journal.


March 21, 2014 @ 7:00 pm
March 22, 2014 @ 4:00 pm


Shalem Institute
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First Congregational Church
945 G Street, NW
Washington DC, DC United States
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