Poet and philosopher Mark Nepo in his famous book “The Book of Awakening” gives us a chance to re-examine life and discover the colors of life. We have put together for you beautiful Mark Nepo Poems And Quotes that you will enjoy reading.
Table of Contents
Mark Nepo Favorite Poems
Written While Running
Sometimes I move so fast it hurts.
Though the things coming at me
are not moving at all.
They are soft and inviting. It’s
approaching them as if they will
vanish that makes them sharp.
Running into any point
makes it a knife.
— Mark Nepo
Way of the Dolphin
Standing in the harbor, these slick
wonders slip their fins in and out
of early sun. I close my eyes and re-
member being wheeled into surgery
all those years ago; believing my job
was to meet my surgeon at the sur-
face, so the rib he had to remove
would slip out, like a dolphin of
bone, as soon as he would cut me.
I’ve learned that everything that
matters goes the way of the dolphin:
drifting most of the time out of
view, breaking surface when
we least expect it.
And our job—in finding God, in
being God; in finding truth, in
being truth; in finding love, in
being love—is to meet the world
at the surface where Spirit slips
out through every cut.
— Mark Nepo
On the Ridge
We can grow by simply lis-
tening, the way the tree on
that ridge listens its branches
to the sky, the way blood
listens its flow to the site
of a wound, the way you
listen like a basin when
my head so full of grief
can’t look you in the eye.
We can listen our way out
of anger, if we let the heart
soften the wolf we keep in-
side. We can last by listening
deeply, the way roots reach for
the next inch of earth, the way
an old turtle listens all he hears
into the pattern of his shell.
— Mark Nepo
On the Way to Windsor
By what road did you come?
I can tell by your eyes
you lost something along the way.
Were you hurt or did you do the hurting?
Did you drop anything willingly?
I know. That’s a hard one.
I seem to have lost everything
that identifies me.
My heart’s become a knapsack
with torn little holes.
I knew we’d meet like this.
Oh, there are those who keep to themselves.
When the wind sounds like a loved one,
they come out and squint.
But tell me, what does it mean
to dream on this side of suffering?
That we can rest more?
That we can hear small birds
unlace the dawn?
It seems very simple now.
We can finally talk when there isn’t
much to say. It’s quite beautiful,
— Mark Nepo
Behind the Thunder
I keep looking for one more teacher,
only to find that fish learn from water
and birds learn from sky.
If you want to learn about the sea,
it helps to be at sea.
If you want to learn about compassion,
it helps to be in love.
If you want to learn about healing,
it helps to know of suffering.
The strong live in the storm
without worshipping the storm.
— Mark Nepo
Reduced to Joy
I was sipping coffee on the way to work,
the back road under a canopy of maples
turning orange. In the dip of woods, a small
doe gently leaping. I pulled over, for there
was no where else to go. She paused as if
she knew I was watching. A few orange
leaves fell around her like blessings no
one can seem to find. I sipped some
coffee, completely at peace, knowing
it wouldn’t last. But that’s alright.
We never know when we will blossom
into what we’re supposed to be. It might
be early. It might be late. It might be after
thirty years of failing at a misguided way.
Or the very first time we dare to shed
our mental skin and touch the world.
They say, if real enough, some see God
at the moment of their death. But isn’t
every fall and letting go a death? Isn’t God
waiting right now in the chill between the
small doe’s hoof and those fallen leaves?
— Mark Nepo
Mark Nepo Quotes “The Book of Awakening”
1. “What it really comes down to is the clearness of heart to stop defining who I am by those who have hurt me and to take up the risk to love myself, to validate my own existence, pain and all, from the center out.”
2. “Sometimes the simplest and best use of our will is to drop it all and just walk out from under everything that is covering us, even if only for an hour or so—just walk out from under the webs we’ve spun, the tasks we’ve assumed, the problems we have to solve. They’ll be there when we get back, and maybe some of them will fall apart without our worry to hold them up.”
3. “But today you are precious and rare and awake. It ushers us into grateful living. It makes hesitation useless.”
4. “Memories are not images of loved ones returning to us. They are the spirits of loved ones visiting us.”
5. “We tend to make the thing in the way the way.”
6. “When we need it most, it is nearly impossible to see ourselves with compassion from the slit of a narrowed mind all tensed for battle.”
7. “It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real.”
8. “Those who truly love us will never knowingly ask us to be other than we are”
9. “Who’s to say the effort to be real isn’t the beginning of wings?”
10. “The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary.”
11. “Even if one glimpses God, there are cuts and splinters and burns along the way.”
12. “Regardless of subject matter, this is the only thing worth teaching: how to uncover that original center and how to live there once it is restored. We call the filming over a deadening of heart, and the process of return, whether brought about through suffering or love, is how we unlearn our way back to God”
13. “When we deny what comes through us, it defines us. When we honestly face what comes through us, then who we are grows.”
14. “The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.”
15. “To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, whether we write it down or not.”
16. “So, if you can, give up the want of another and be who you are, and more often than not, love will come at the precise moment you are simply loving yourself.”
17. “Intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us.”
18. “If you try to comprehend air before breathing it, you will die.”
19. “We need experience to release what matters.”
20. “Doing small things with love is the atom of bravery.”
21. “Part of the blessing and challenge of being human is that we must discover our own true nature.”
22. “The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”
23. “Just as a vine or shrub—no matter how often it is cut back—will keep growing to the light, the human heart—no matter how often it is cut—can reassert its impulse to love.”
24. “Breathe like a fallen leaf and think of nothing. Just breathe and let your heart and mind be carried, however briefly, by the spirit you can’t quite see.”
25. “The practice of listening is one of the most mysterious, luminous, and challenging art forms on Earth.”
26. “If we are to access the resources of life, we must listen with our common heart to the cries of the world.”
27. “We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens.”
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