Teaching

Speaking-Teaching Topics

Those who wake are the students.
Those who stay awake are the teachers.
— Mark Nepo


Below is a list of topics and questions Mark has explored in various settings, as keynote addresses, as daylong workshops, and as three-day or week-long retreats. Mark has been a speaker and teacher in more than 100 events throughout North America and abroad.


Spirituality Topics

THIS PRECIOUS HUMAN BIRTH: BLOSSOMING IN THE LIFE YOU HAVE
The unavoidable fall into life; the embodied journey of being a spirit in the world

THE EXQUISITE RISK: DARING TO LIVE AN AUTHENTIC LIFE
The exquisite risk to stay present to what is before us; the risk to find the extraordinary in the ordinary

FINDING INNER COURAGE AND WHERE IT LIVES
How to find our way to our core, to stand by our core, and to then sustain the practice of living from our core

STAYING CLOSE TO WHAT IS SACRED: THE STORY OF OUR LIVES
Uncovering the story we are in over the story we tell, and giving up what no longer works in order to stay close to what is sacred

THE POWER OF WISDOM
An exploration of the nature of wisdom and its power, embodied wisdom, and the practice of knowing where we are

SEVEN THOUSAND WAYS TO LISTEN: THE WORK OF REVERENCE
Uncovering the work of reverence, awakening the conscious heart

MORE TOGETHER THAN ALONE: SERVICE AND COMPASSION
Moments of community and how they work

SPIRIT & FRIENDSHIP: THE WORK OF LOVE
What does lasting friendship mean; cultivating the place of high safety and authenticity through which life reveals its meaning

REDUCED TO JOY
The art of acceptance and working with what we’re given, and the gift of vulnerability

UNLEARNING BACK TO GOD
Whether brought about by suffering or love, uncovering our original spot of grace is how we unlearn our way back to God

HOLDING NOTHING BACK
The intimate pilgrimage to the heart of where we are; the effort to continually restore our directness of living

STAYING AWAKE
The ordinary art that keeps us alive; the personalized practice of entering our days

HOW TO BECOME CENTERED
The paradox and journey of being and belonging, and the gifts of solitude and community

BEFRIENDING THE WHOLE: THE EFFORT TO STAY CONNECTED
Animating and sustaining our friendship with Source, self, other, nature, and all that is larger than us

THE PROMISE OF THE INNER WORLD
How to live fully in the face of death and to love fully in the face of life

THE ROAD TO INNER FREEDOM
The place of true meeting that is always near; how to sense it and inhabit it

THE STRUGGLE TO BE REAL: THE JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION
The unfolding life of integrity; staying true to the spirit within though the person who carries it keeps evolving


Creativity Topics

THE GIFT OF VISION AND THE ART OF PERCEPTION
To listen, reflect, and express is a lifelong process that keeps us close to the rhythm of spirit that lives beneath all poetry and art

EFFORT AND GRACE: THE MAGIC OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
The paradox of will and surrender as oars that steer the soul and as gifts that return us to the heart of what matters

UNRAVELING THE SELF: WRITING OUR WAY INTO OUR LIVES
How bearing witness to the truth of the living and to the mysteries of life reveals the dynamics of our own growth and learning

BECOMING THE POEM
The artist’s journey and struggle between giving attention and getting attention, and between recording life and living life


Health Topics

INSIDE THE MIRACLE: ENDURING ILLNESS, APPROACHING WHOLENESS
The felt journey of being worn open, and the untapped resources that wait within

THE EXPRESSIVE JOURNEY OF HEALING
What is not ex-pressed is de-pressed; understanding perceiving, feeling, and expressing as spiritual forms of breathing necessary to health and well-being, and the skillful means that each invokes

CANCER & OTHER STRANGERS: MAKING SPACE FOR THE UNWANTED GUEST
The journey of illness; what it means in the life of a human being to be touched by a life-threatening situation and what it asks of us

THE BRIDGE OF WELL-BEING: WHY WE NEED EACH OTHER
We are born whole but need each other to be complete; how the efforts of healthy caregiving help to complete us

GOD, SELF, AND MEDICINE
All the spiritual traditions define disease as being separated from the whole and wellness as being aligned with the whole—and so, a great mystery of wellness centers on the effort to find and refind our steady place in the Universal stream

CREATING & SURVIVING: LIVING AT THE CENTER
How the direct gifts of living invoked by life-threatening events are the very gifts we need to enliven the everyday

PSYCHOLOGY & SPIRIT: TWIN OARS IN THE SEA
How psychology and spirit work together to enable a full life

SELF-CARE FOR THE CAREGIVER: WHO IS HEALING WHO
How to negotiate the heartening and disheartening forces of being a healer

THE HEALER’S CALL
The call, art, dangers, and rewards of integrating the medicine of what we know with the medicine of who we are

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