Artist's Statement

Mark Nepo with Oprah on Superbowl Sunday

Welcome and thanks for all your interest and support during this past year.  2014 is coming to a close after much travel and teaching, and much learning.  It's a gift to keep learning.  The Life You Want Tour with Oprah was a remarkable journey and I was honored to be a small part of it.  Oprah opened an enormous heart space that we all moved in and out of.  This kind of authenticity in public was groundbreaking and the arenas, filled with thousands, actually felt intimate.  And my experience as part of the documentary The Power of the Heart was equally moving.  The film doesn't just speak to the heart, but touches the heart.  Now I'm opening to the stillness again, the listen to the voices inside.  So the winter months are quiet ones for me, time to renew, recharge, time to go inward, time to listen and retrieve as I begin to shape two new books.  The first project I'll be finishing this winter is a new, expanded edition of Inside the Miracle (originally published in 1994).  I'm excited to gather poems, stories, and lessons on suffering, healing, and wholeness from twenty-eight years of my writing and teaching.  A third of this book will be new work not yet published.  Inside the Miracle will be published in fall 2015 by Sounds True.  The second project I'll be exploring is the next ground of my own learning, which is an inquiry into the forces of effort and grace and how they shape us and help us to survive and thrive.  This book, yet to be titled, will be published in August 2016 by Atria.  I hope the winter holds you well, giving you time to renew and gestate into your next best self.  Come April 2015, I'll be traveling again extensively to be with you, to learn together, and to share the journey.  Until then, I hope that time will open and let its blessings meet you.

MARK HAS A NEW BOOK AND A NEW BOX SET OF TEACHING CONVERSATIONS COMING OUT, FALL 2014

THE ENDLESS PRACTICE: BECOMING THE PERSON YOU WERE BORN TO BE (ATRIA BOOKS)

As a poet, philosopher and beloved teacher, Mark Nepo has been breaking a path of spiritual inquiry for more than thirty years.  This new book explores how the soul works in the world, and how by engaging our soul in the world, we are shaped by the endless practice of becoming the person we were born to be.  To bring who we are out and to let the world in is a brave and endless practice that clarifies and solidifies the gifts we are born with.

REDUCED TO JOY: THE JOURNEY FROM OUR HEAD TO OUR HEART (SOUNDS TRUE)

Based on his latest book of poems, Reduced to Joy, cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2013, Mark explores how the inner life of the soul meets the ever-changing teacher of experience.  In this six CD journey, Mark shares for the first time the genesis of fifty-one of his poems, reading them and unfolding the lessons he has found in each.  The poems serve as doorways to teaching conversations, in which Mark looks closely at the lifelong practice of working with what we're given till it wears us through to joy.

SUPER SOUL SUNDAY INTERVIEWS

Watch Mark on Super Soul Sunday

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 twenty-six 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.

WATCH THESE CLIPS!

First Look: Mark Nepo and Oprah Continue Their Conversation

Oprah's conversation with New York Times best-selling author Mark Nepo continues at her home in Hawaii. Mark discusses his book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen and shares why he believes listening with an open heart is the key to living a vibrant and meaningful life.

First Look: Why Poet Mark Nepo Says There Are 7,000 Ways to Listen

Poet and best-selling author Mark Nepo's latest book is called Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. Watch as Mark reveals the inspiration for the title.

Mark Nepo: "Everyone Is a Poet"

Poet and best-selling author Mark Nepo says poetry is the "unexpected utterance of the soul." Find out why he says a poem is more than just words on a page. Plus, hear why he thinks we all have a poet inside of us.

Mark's most moving quotes from his two-part interview with Oprah

In a two-part interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, Mark Nepo shares his thoughts on embracing the moment, the power of listening and more. Read 9 of his most moving quotes.

Oprah Reads Mark's Poem in This Beautiful Video

On my way to Maui to meet Oprah, I wrote this poem about our 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 the poem. This formed the close of part 2 of my interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. Oprah reads Mark's poem in this beautiful video      Read Mark's poem

The Bigger Picture—Super Soul Sunday (web link)

In May, Mark was also featured on Super Soul Sunday alongside Reverend Ed Bacon and Elizabeth Lesser, with Oprah moderating. The show explored contemporary issues from a spiritual perspective.

Also read Mark's blog post, "The Life of Obstacles," on Oprah.com.

Reduced to Joy - A New Book of Poems

CITED BY SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE AS ONE OF THE BEST SPIRITUAL BOOKS OF 2013

In 2013, Viva Editions published Mark's seventh book of poems, 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.

"Reduced to Joy has many different kinds of poems, all of them clear, wise, beautifully put, spare.  Mark Nepo has a great heart.  His poems are good company."
Coleman Barks, translator of The Essential Rumi

"Mark Nepo's poems in his new book, Reduced to Joy, reduce me first to grateful silence, and then to tears, and then to laughter, and then to praise.  He joins a long tradition of truth-seeking, wild-hearted poets—Rumi, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver—and deserves a place in the center of the circle with them."
Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder, Omega Institute, author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

WINNER OF THE 2012 BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD, FOR SPIRITUALITY

Better Life Award

Praise for Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

A consummate master of telling stories and parables about people's hopes, dreams, yearnings, fears, sorrows and triumphs… Nepo has written a masterwork on the spiritual practice of listening which plays such a predominant role in our private and public lives.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice (full review)

This masterpiece on listening comes at a vital time when divisions in American run rampant around politics, race, and religion.
Debra Moffitt, BeliefNet, author of Awake in the World (full review)


Mark discusses his new book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen


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Oprah Shares a Favorite Passage from The Book of Awakening

Oprah shares one of her favorite passages from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Plus, Mark gives an example of how he used the wisdom of the passage in his own life.

Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening is one of
Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things!
(web link)

The Book of Awakening The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo is a year’s supply of inspirational stories and beautifully written essays that the reader can reflect on in daily doses. “Mark Nepo is a poet,” Oprah says. “He’s an author and a philosopher and has been through two different cancers. So when he writes, he writes purely from the heart.”

Oprah was given The Book of Awakening as a birthday gift and says she does one lesson from the book every morning. “If we all do it together, we can begin to open our hearts, change the world and begin to have the life you want by being present to the life you have now,” Oprah says.


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Listen to Mark Nepo in conversation with Oprah on her Soul Series radio program.

For years, I’ve been trying to explore and understand: How can we, being forgetfully human, remember we are of one human family? How can we stay awake and authentic when our wounds make us numb and hidden? How can we minimize what stands between us and our experience of life? How can we make a practice of wearing down what thickens around our mind and heart? How can this practice of staying authentic serve and draw strength from the Universal Whole while we are ever immersed and entangled in the moment of our lives?

As a cancer survivor, I have found myself like Lazarus, awake again, in the same earthly place but different. Everything has changed and nothing has changed. This wakefulness has led me to be a student of that vibrant edge where our inner life meets the world. Being a poet and philosopher, I find myself there with a particular set of tools to search with.

But we all live on this shore between the depths of being and the dangers of experience. My work has become a journal of the challenges and gifts of being a spirit in the world. And now, after dying and coming back, it’s really not about my books, but about the voice beneath my name keeping the song going. These books and the voices that inhabit them remain teachers and intimates. They’ve helped to uncover sketchy maps into the quandaries of being alive. When struggling through my illness, I was bereft at how many of the books I owned were useless. Ever since, I have been committed to finding and creating books that can help us live. It is my devout hope that the work you find here can be of use, can help.

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