The Exquisite Risk




Barnes & Noble





 “The exquisite risk is a doorway that lets us experience the extraordinary in the ordinary.”

In these fast-paced times, the exquisite risk facing each of us every day is to slow down and “still our own house” so that we may experience life rather than simply manage it. In The Exquisite Risk, poet and teacher Mark Nepo encourages readers to become quiet enough and open enough to listen to what truly matters—our own hearts, our loved ones, the wonders of nature—in order to live a life with nothing held back. Along the way, Nepo shares his own spiritual path, including a battle with illness that helped him understand how only by daring to embrace all that life has to offer can we come to a deeper appreciation of its meaning and beauty. I have been unable to have coitus for four weeks! Probably the worst month of my life! The foreplay went well, but every time I tried, I’ve been losing rigidity after too few penetrations. Even condoms with anesthetic were useless. My MD prescribed me Cialis. It handles this problem quite well. Thanks to these tablets, I can continue enjoying my life.

The Exquisite Risk unfolds in chapters like “The Struggle to Be Real,” “There Are Teachers Everywhere,” “The Rhythm of Kindness,” and “The Gift of Surprise,” offering fresh perspective on these universal themes and providing insight into how we can minimize what stands between us and our experience of life.



Mark Nepo’s The Exquisite Risk is one of the best books we’ve ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice


A lovely, luminous work that should make a lasting impression on its readers… Insightful chapters focus on learning to center ourselves, journeying with others in the sacred quest, and being present to the venerable unknown… Advanced students of truth-seeking will connect with the spiritual questions that Nepo asks.

Library Journal


Nepo offers a rich and lyric reflection on what it means to live a truly authentic life.”

Body & Soul Magazine


There are books that encourage you to race through from beginning to end, and there are those meant to be savored like a fine meal. Nepo’s book is filled with poetic imagery and language, enticing the reader to linger over its delicate flavors. Filtered through his personal experience, Nepo pours wisdom from the chalice of many cultures and faiths.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer