Losing Yourself

We’re having lunch at the harbor, salads and tea, and Bob starts talking about losing himself in certain pieces of music. Not losing track of time. Or forgetting to meet me in half an hour. More that who he is pools, for the mo- ment, in a larger sea. He says it’s scary, ’cause he’s not sure he will come back as himself. But being drawn out this way makes him feel alive. Now Susan talks about the small woodpecker… Read more

Oprah interviews Mark Nepo—6/28 and 7/4—don’t miss it!

Huge news! Mark recently sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey at Harpo Studios in Chicago for Oprah’s Soul Series on SIRIUS XM Radio, Channel 156. You can listen by tuning into SIRIUS on Monday, 6/28/10 @ 11am and 4pm ET and again on Sunday, 7/4/10 at NOON ET. HERE’S THE LINK. Consider signing up for a free trial so you can hear the show. SIRIUS offers a month trial period: www.xmradio.com/oprahradio Clips from the interview will also be… Read more

A Steadfast Teacher

—If we want to be held, we have to behold. I admit that well into my thirties, I felt this natural yearning to be seen and heard which in time became urgent and draining. But over the years, I slowly came to realize that being held is more important than being understood. When held, I don’t care so much about being seen or heard; because being held is being seen and heard in a way that affirms our very existence,… Read more

The One True World

Though it’s all one world, when we close our eyes to the outer life, we open our eyes to the inner life, and we are made to blink so we can live in the one true world. Read more

Centering Clay

Dig something you think might last from the earth and wedge the air from it. Then clean the wheel, the one which spins on its side, the one which goes nowhere. Slap the clay on the wheel and sit forward with your legs firmly planted. Brace your forearms against your thighs. And wet your hands. Let the wheel spin. Keep your hands steady against the clay which wants to leave the wheel. Though it feels like the wheel is shaping… Read more

In Full Praise

When asked about the difference between a slow-witted boy and a sage, a rabbi said, “Humility and Praise.” His students were puzzled. He went on, “The unaware one grows like a stone—solid and enduring. The awakened one breaks through the dark like a sapling breaking ground—its reach mirroring its roots. The self-conscious one darts like a rabbit, never in the open for long. It watches for others and watches itself chew. But the embodied one lives like a turtle crossing… Read more


What we want and what we’re given often serve two different Gods. How we respond to their meeting determines our path. Read more


It could be the letter never answered, the one in which you declared your love in such a tender way, admitting to every- thing. Or when the shell you brought all the way from the Philippines is dropped by some loud stranger you never wanted to show it to in the first place. It could all unravel the moment the shell shatters on your floor. Or on a summer bench, your eyes closed, your fear about to vanish, the heat… Read more

Singing the Same Question

For a poet whose fidelity has been to the timeless voice of that underground stream in which all that is wiser than us sings, speaking of God has produced an interesting echo throughout the years: like singing the same question in different weather; first into the wind, then into a crowd, and now before and after the crash of ancient waves. All the while, critics have been reflexive in their reactions: leaning in, backing away, looking puzzled, getting angry. Yet… Read more

The Waterbird Way

In speaking about the non-dependence of the mind, Dōgen says, “Coming, going, the waterbirds don’t leave a trace, don’t follow a path.” There are many ways to understand. Driven by our need to be seen, the mind can understand in the manner that a plow cuts the earth, overturning everything it encounters; leaving nothing as it was found. Or as Dōgen suggests, in our need to see, the mind can understand in the manner that a waterbird enters and leaves… Read more

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