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 twenty books and recorded fourteen 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, and was also chosen as one of OWN's SuperSoul 100, a group of inspired leaders using their gifts and voices to elevate humanity.  In 2017 Mark became a regular columnist for Spirituality & Health Magazine. More

Between Troubles

fishingbarn Between Troubles

The old painter tells me that he loves to drive through small towns, so he can sketch the light and strike up conversations with the young woman who pumps his gas and the lobster fisherman who lets him bait his traps. He loves to meet life as it bubbles up between troubles. Last summer, he wanted to meet that poet from Nebraska, the one who speaks so simply of all that matters. He didn’t want to bother him, just to say how grateful he is for what his poems open. Eight hundred miles later, he was asking for the poet in the old bookstore. Then he drifted into the antique store in Garland where he bought four lanterns. It’s there the owner said, “Oh Ted, he lives in Dwight.” So the painter took his lanterns and drove the back road to Dwight where he left a note on Ted’s window that read, “Your poems matter.” Once home, he set up the lanterns and confessed that he needs more light as he talks to death. The next day, he painted a barn he saw in Dwight and sent it to Ted. In telling me this, he’s all aglow, a lantern himself. He takes my hand and wells up, “I love this life.”

Continue reading
4

Listening

listening Listening

In many ways, writing is listening and simply taking notes. One of the reasons I love the process of writing is that it enables me to listen until my loneliness opens into a blessed sense of aloneness. The gift of deep silence is that it allows us to let go of what we want so we can receive what we have.

I’ve always been a learner of the heart, not a specialist of the mind. I can dissect and hone and prune away the excess. But the shimmer of Wholeness and the dynamics of Oneness show themselves when we can absorb and integrate rather than sort and choose.

As a young writer, I would try so hard to be a mirror, to reflect back to everything its color and verve. But as a more experienced writer, I try to be a window now, to open a threshold between people and the inner world.

Being still and listening allows us to behold what is before us. The deepest form of bearing witness is to behold another in all their innocence. This is the key to love. To listen until the noise of the world subsides. To listen until the noise of the mind subsides. To listen until the noise of our wounds subsides. To listen until we only hear the life before us.

Continue reading
4

Carrying the Water

*photo credit: Dazzle Jam Carrying the Water
When overwhelmed by the suffering,bring water to the first you find.When you can’t grasp, embody.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when you have been caretaker and when you have been a gatekeeper and what led you to each position. How do you understand the difference in what led you to each position?All life depends on water. As such, access to water has become a universal right in the world, regardless of faith, country, privilege, or poverty. Throughout the world, in a legal and common law way, people, corporations, and countries have access to water, but no one owns the water. What this means is that if a river passes through your land, you can use it, but not divert it, dam it, stop its flow, or damage its purity as it passes through your land to another.

This says a great deal about our responsibility as guardians of what passes through our care. It says that the deepest resources are not ownable, but shared and passed on. As such, we can easily equate water with Spirit, wisdom, and the communal ways of being. We can also call that deeper stream which no one owns, the common good. For all life depends on the common good, which passes like a river through the land of our care. Just like water, we can use each other and honor each other, but not divert one another, dam one another up, stop each other’s flow, or pollute the common good as it passes through our hands to another.

Continue reading
3