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
As a poet, philosopher, and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo has been breaking a path of spiritual inquiry for more than thirty years. In his new book, the #1 New York Times bestselling author explores how the soul works in the world. Called "one of the finest spiritual guides of our time," this beloved teacher explores what it means to become our truest self through the ongoing and timeless journey of awakening to the dynamic wholeness of life, which is messy and unpredictable. Nepo navigates some of the soul's deepest and most ancient questions, such as: What does it mean to inhabit the world? How do we stay vital and buoyant amid the storms of life? What is the secret to coming alive? Nepo affirms that not only is the soul's journey inevitable, it is essential to our survival. The human journey is how the force of life grows us, 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, Nepo's Seven Thousand Ways to Listen has inspired millions of people to redefine themselves in the face of life's challenges. Comforting, moving, and spiritually practical, The Endless Practice is filled with universal insights and stories woven with guidance and practice, which will bring the reader 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.
Having the Life You Want By Being Present in the Life You Have
Author: Mark Nepo
Publisher: Hachette UK
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
The Book of Awakening provides small doses of what really matters: simple truths and stories from everyday lives, plus inspiration from the great wisdom traditions. Each day's entry is accompanied by commonplace yet profound practices, designed to help us live the life we want by being present to the life we have. For, in the words of St Francis of Assisi, 'You are that which you are seeking.' A daily guide for authentic living in hard times, The Book of Awakening is a book to keep your head high, your heart open and your feet on the ground. 'It is true,' Nepo writes, 'If you can't see what you're looking for, see what's there. It's enough.'
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.
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.