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Philosopherpoet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo opens a new season of freedom and joyan escape from deadening, asleepatthe wheel samenessthat is both profound and clarifying His spiritual daybook is a summons to reclaim aliveness, liberate the self, take each day one at a time, and to savor the beauty offered by life's unfolding Reading his poetic prose is like being given second sight, exposing the reader to life's multiple dimensions, each one drawn with awe and affection The Book of Awakening is the result of his journey of the soul and will inspire others to embark on their own Nepo speaks of spirit and friendship, urging readers to stay vital and in love with this life, no matter the hardships Encompassing many traditions and voices, Nepo's words offer insight on pain, wonder, and love Each entry is accompanied by an exercise that will surprise and delight the reader in its mindwaking ability

10 thoughts on “The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

  1. Linda Linda says:

    When was the last time that you were totally awed by a particular book? Well, I'd like to hand off a copy of Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening because awakened you will be. Your search for daily meditations is over. This is truly the one! I own stacks of books that I page through to speak to me of matters that touch my spirit. I no longer need the stack. Each day Mark provides you with something to ponder indepth. He has a profound gift for leaving loveprints upon your soul with language that touches your very being. I've highlighted, circled, underlined, and have left my copy well-worn and totally embraced. Mark knows the uncertainties of life and he shares and shares with a dialog found nowhere else in time. Highly, highly recommend.

  2. Renee Amberg Renee Amberg says:

    This book was kinda hard to get through. Overall it had really impactful messages but you have to really dig to find them. Nepo explains simple life lessons with the use of many metaphors, which I didn't really enjoy. It seemed that every single thing he experienced he had to somehow dissect, symbolically. I prefer to take in life as it is and not try to make it anything more than what it needs to be. Overall, I'm a more simple, straight to the point kinda gal as this books has a lot of fluff. But, if you like poetry and symbolism I feel like you would enjoy this read.

  3. Mary Schumann Mary Schumann says:

    I really like this book. I am reviewing a copy from the library, but will make a purchase. It's a daily meditation, the author gives a short quote or thought, then a deeper exploration of the meaning of that quote, and follows it with an exercise to do on your own, if you wish. My perception of it so far is that it simply changes the angle at which you see things and opens your eyes to a new way of approaching your life or your thoughts. It doesn't INSTRUCT you to think in any particular way, but rather poses a question or gives an example that you can apply to your particular situation. It helps guide mindfulness. I hesitated to put that in as a description because it may turn some people off, but it's a practical tool to being aware of your life. Sometimes we just need a different perspective on things. I can see that this book would not lose it's usefulness after 1 year because as your life changes the exercises and meditations naturally will follow.

  4. Susan Susan says:

    I found each daily entry thought provoking and inspiring. Mark Nepo's book is balanced and creatively written with great reflective questions. He gently nudges you to become more aware, awake and present. His book touched me deeply by his simple storytelling awakening a sense of longing for better living and connection within me.

    Daily reads take 2-3 minutes, are filled with great quotes, subtle humor and a touch of mysticism. Wholesome soul food at its best.

  5. Doubledf99.99 Doubledf99.99 says:

    This book was giving to me upon my release from the hospital, was bedridden for months, the book really came in handy going through that and the chemo phases, definitely helped me through some trying times and just coping with what was going on.
    And still read it from time to time.

  6. Debbie "DJ" Debbie "DJ" says:

    This is by far the best daily reader I have ever read. I no longer have a stack of meditation books, as this surpasses them all. So far each daily read has left me with a sense of WOW! His writing is deeply profound and the messages go straight to my heart. He also includes a short meditation after each read which carry the message even further. You will be amazed...I love this book!

  7. Amy Amy says:

    Note added on 2/22/13: I want to add a word of caution to my previous remarks. The entry for February 20 in this book, titled, Nicodemus and the Truth is not what I would consider anti-Semitic writing, but as a Jew it really bothers me to read it in a book that seemed to be more openminded about different cultures and religious faiths. In the story Nicodemus is a Pharisee who secretly visits and believes in Jesus, but doesn't acknowledge it in public. So it says Nicodemus was traumatically thwarted and plagued for the rest of his days. The author of this daybook goes on to use the story of Nicodemus to illustrate how we create pain for ourselves when we don't honor what we know to be true. I agree with the general point that we need to honor what we know to be true, but it's offensive to make that point in a context that singles out a Jew publicly denying Jesus. These are the kinds of stories that have been used historically to try to convert Jews to Christianity and/or to promote anti-Semitism and fuel the persecution and murder of many Jews, whether they were religious or not. There are other days in this book where the author uses fine quotes from Jewish sources, as well as other sources, to illustrate a focus for that day, so I don't think the author intended to exclude Jews from those he considers to be people who honor truth. At the same time I am disappointed and very put off by the apparent lack of historical awareness about the suffering caused by this kind of storytelling. This is in serious conflict with the purpose of the book, to promote awakening and being present to life.

    I did find many of the other entries helpful to read, day by day, over the course of an entire year. Sometimes I tired of the writing style, when it began to sound like too many self-help books, but that was outweighed by the spiritual insights the author shared from his own personal struggles and growth.


    [original review follows]

    Ha ha or ah ha! I like the entry for Jan. 2 near the beginning of the Google preview for this book. It tells about a friend who stubbornly tried to carry so much house painting gear through a door that he fell down covered in paint.

    I have put 1217 books onto various shelves of my imaginary GoodReads library, and counting. I need to put down many things, so I can get through the threshold of the here and now.

    Perhaps reviewing a lifetime of reading is a way of setting books down, to be able to walk through a door. Only a few things need to be carried through the door of the present moment. I was thinking of it as more like a road that passed certain books on the way, as if those books were places on a map. And maybe it's useful to leave a map that shows ditches and dead ends as well as good routes. Why read if we don't communicate about it with others?

    I love libraries, but I wouldn't like them if I was not free to go in and out of the doors there. And I wouldn't want my own library to crowd out all the living space in my home. I was drawn to this virtual library because I prefer to get most of my books at the public library - and not keep too many at home. On the other hand, I love to check out tons of books and I love remembering and shelving them on this virtual list where I can see them and the patterns between them. Is it hoarding? It can be a form of hoarding. On the other hand, the urge to make libraries and share reading with other people is a wonderful door.

  8. Kim Stalling Kim Stalling says:

    Some days, the message is exactly what I need. Earlier this week, I was feeling very insecure about some career issues and wishing I were a bit like others. There was a story about a man (Akiba - I believe) who was sorry he wasn't living his life like Moses. The message reminded us, God wants us to live our lives as ourselves, not as someone else. It was exactly what I needed to remember at that moment.

  9. Anne Anne says:

    This was a miss for me and is headed to the little library. While I absolutely love the format, a daily spiritual devotion with calendar dates, the musings of Marc Nepo did not resonate with me at all.

    Take for example June 12. “To count by touching” where it states we need to count by touching, not by adding and subtracting. When we count with our eyes, we stall the heart.

    WTF!???!!! What are we counting? Why can’t we use math? I truly do not get how this is spiritual. “To count with Hands brings us deeper than all counting…” What drivel!

    If this resonates with you, congratulations I highly recommend this beautiful and nicely packaged book. If this makes zero sense to you, leave it like I did, in the little library.

  10. John Girard John Girard says:

    An exquisite book of daily meditations. One of my very favorites.