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. In rich, lyrical prose, 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. In the spirit of works by Deepak Chopra and Ram Dass, 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 the art of being alive and providing essential insight into how we can minimize what stands between us and our experience of life. From the Hardcover edition.
The Exquisite Risk of Love : the Chronicle of a Monastic Romance
Author: Robert G. Waldron
Publisher: Darton Longman and Todd
Category: Love poetry, American
While recuperating from an operation on his spine in a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas Merton befriended a female nurse charged with his care. They fell in love. On returning to the Abbey of Gethsemani, where Merton had been living as a Trappist monk, their clandestine romance continued. In his journal Learning to Love and a collection of eighteen poems, Merton chronicled his relationship with ‘M.’, the gentle, kind and mysterious young woman who opened a window to his heart after his life long refusal of women. Here, for the first time, Robert Waldron explores Merton’s rich and full experience of the sacred game of love with reference to Eighteen Poems as well as Merton’s own personal account, and how it made it possible for him to attain a spiritual and psychological wholeness he had never known before. Indeed, the book wonderfully illustrates the value in daring to live for the love of another.
St John of the Cross was a 16th century Spanish mystic who wanted to reform Catholicism and encourage the integration of meditative practices by its followers. Because of this, he was locked up by other monks and during his imprisonment he wrote one of the world's most famous spiritual poems Dark Night of the Soul. After his escape, he then wrote a commentary to the poem to explain how to deal with any period when one feels completely cut off from God, and totally uninspired by anything. This is the first time the poem and its commentary have been translated by anyone outside the Catholic Church, and the language is exceptionally contemporary and relevant to our everyday concerns, no matter whether the reader is a Catholic, Buddhist or Muslim - or just having a hard time.
While imprisoned in a tiny prison cell for his attempts to reform the Church, sixteenth-century Spanish mystic John of the Cross composed many of his now classic poems of the soul’s longing for God. Written on a scroll smuggled to him by one of his guards, his songs are the ultimate expression of the spiritual seeker’s journey from estranged despair to blissful union with the divine After escaping his captors, John fell into a state of profound ecstasy and wrote Dark Night of the Soul. Later, he added an important commentary to his poem to guide other searching souls along the arduous path to communion with God. Here, for the first time, a scholar unaffiliated with the Catholic Church has translated this timeless work. Mirabai Starr, who has studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, lends the seeker’s sensibility to John’s powerful text and brings this classic work to the twenty-first century in a brilliant and beautiful rendering
"I’ve always said that the best teachers are storytellers, and Jamie George is one of the best storytellers I know. I’ve been blessed by hearing him tell his stories in person for years. Now it’s your turn!” Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio show host “Jamie has invited us into his life through this book. Love Well is a peek into a preferred future. You will be drawn in and challenged to live life in a way that glorifies God and brings you deep joy.” Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey, vice president of Acts 29, and author of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood “When I heard Jamie was writing this book, my first thought was, at last! He’s been one of my favorite storytellers for years, and as soon as you read Love Well, he’ll be one of yours too.” Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Start and Stuff Christians Like “In Love Well, George offers us a spiritual harvest of connection—with God, ourselves, and others—so we can wade through our stuck places and start moving again. The poignant story of his marriage will move you. His superb writing will inspire you. His insights will challenge you.” Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker Do you feel like you’re stuck? Do you feel alone? Do you live in fear that your struggles might push others away? Do you wonder if your faith is a fraud because of the emptiness in your soul? Are you weary of trying to play by the rules and pretend that everything is okay? In Love Well, Jamie George confronts the popular heresy that God’s children are meant to live a life absent of pain, sorrow, or conflict. On the contrary, Jamie passionately describes brokenness as a divine gift and a necessary God-ordained path to experiencing true joy and genuine redemption. With surprising transparency, Jamie shares his personal journey of getting unstuck and provides reassuring comfort for those looking to move beyond their pain toward a life of connection and grace.
In Lost but Making Excellent Time, Jody Seymour reminds readers that the ways and pace of our fast-track world lead to a place where we discover that we are traveling at breakneck speed but that our spirits are being left behind. Seymour uses prose and poetry to reclaim the ancient cycle of the Christian year as a new way to slow down and discover who we really are. The Christian year becomes a kind of compass to be used so that travelers through our rat-race existence can become aware that we are really fashioned by a Master Hand not to be tourists but pilgrims. The words of this book can become a kind of pilgrim's guide to keep readers from being lost while making excellent time.
Poet, philosopher, and cancer survivor Mark Nepo has been breaking a path of spiritual inquiry for more than forty years. In his latest book, the #1 New York Times bestselling author “writes reflectively and poetically about the lifelong spiritual journey” (Publishers Weekly). Called one of the finest spiritual guides of our time, Nepo explores what it means to become our truest self as we face life’s challenges—as well as its joys. Navigating some of the soul’s deepest, most ancient questions, he asks: How do we stay vital and buoyant amid the storms of life? What is the secret to coming alive? The soul’s journey is inevitable, and no matter where we go we can’t escape this foundational truth: What’s in the way is the way. As Nepo writes, “The point of experience is not to escape life but to live it.” Featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday program, and a key presenter in Oprah’s nationwide The Life You Want Weekend Tour, Nepo inspires each of us to discover who we were born to be. Like his bestselling The Book of Awakening, The Endless Practice is filled with insights and stories, guidance and practice that will bring you closer to living life to the fullest.
Stories carry the seeds of our humanness. They help us, teach us, heal us, and connect us to what matters. As Far As the Heart Can See is an invitation to be in relationship with deep and life-giving material. Many spiritual gurus present dense metaphysical theses with an intellectual approach for "working" a spiritual path; poet and philosopher Mark Nepo reaches people through their hearts, bringing something fresh and new to the field by stimulating change through reflection of thoughts and feelings. The stories he shares in As Far As the Heart Can See come from many places—from Nepo's personal history to dreams to the myths of our ancestors. Each one is an invitation to awaken an aspect of living in relationship with the sacred. Following each of the forty-five stories are three forms of an invitation to further the conversation: journal questions, table questions, and meditations. The questions, whether reflected upon in a journal or discussed in deeper conversation with friends or family, are meant to lead the seeker down unimagined paths and back into life; the meditations are meant to ground the learning. These stories and parables about universal concepts and themes offer a poet's sensuality and a philosopher's sensibility to personalizing the journey of the human experience in the world.
As in his other books, "Walking with Thomas Merton" and "Walking with Henri Nouwen," Waldron has devoted three seasons to reading the prose and poetry of Kathleen Norris in order to present the first full-length commentary on her work.
Mark Nepo has been interviewed by Oprah on her Soul Series radio network and his The Book of the Awakening has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and on the Oprah TV show. In this book, Mark invites readers to explore their own inner core through the stories of ordinary people, political activists, artists, spiritual teachers from a variety of traditions. These are people who have faced themselves, their warts and weaknesses. They have stood by the courage of their convictions in all kinds of moments, great and small. Nepo’s insights and commentary are spot on, and help readers relate the stories of others to their own lives. The book is divided into three sections--finding our inner core, standing by our inner core, and sustaining the practice of living from that place. Each of the nearly 60 brief essays and stories elucidates and inspires. Nepo’s broad range of stories and people, of traditions and insights, offers myriad ways for readers to relate to their own search for courage. The late Howard Zinn said of this book, “A poetic, profoundly thoughtful rumination on how we might live.” *This book was originally published by Conari Press in 2007 under the title Facing the Lion, Being the Lion.