What would you ask if you had the chance? Would you trade that asking for what opens on the top of a hill when no one’s looking and the clouds give up and the light makes you and I remember all that we were born with? What would you have if you could have anything? Would you give that away to feel the peace drifting in the center? What would you say to those yet to come? Would you say,… Read more

It seems we are asked by love or forced by experience to sit with what it means to be alive until we deepen into what holds us. At first we might feel the self like a rock packed in the earth after a long rain. Then we might deepen into the heart of the Universe like a star shedding its watery light in the night sea. Even this might give way till we seem to flutter like a baby bird… Read more

I tried to think about my problem but the wind from behind the cloud turned the umbrella and brushed the thought from my face and my worry entered the crow on the roof who started to caw. Then the crow having coughed up my worry began to fly. We can’t caw and fly at the same time. I never noticed this. It’s worth remembering. Look. The tall grass bows to show its beauty. How do I remember this? Read more

Her sister was dying of cancer, a thousand miles away. She had no way of getting there and time was short. Feeling helpless, she took a bus to the clinic in her town. She’d never been. She volunteered; lifting strangers out of bed, cleaning their bedpans. At lunch she rubbed their arms in the courtyard; helping where she could. She did this for days and one of those days, while she slept on the ride home, a stranger visiting someone… Read more

In the exhibit of scrolls from China, I am lost in a river scene when a heavy man with a beard leads a young woman by the hand. Maybe his daughter. She is blind. They stand before a scroll called Clearing After Rain. In a soft whisper, he says “The trees are swaying. The river is moving. The wind is picking up from the east.” She paints the scene for herself somewhere inside. His voice is a bird that darts… Read more

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo is a year’s supply of inspirational stories and beautifully written essays that the reader can reflect on in daily doses. “Mark Nepo is a poet,” Oprah says. “He’s an author and a philosopher and has been through two different cancers. So when he writes, he writes purely from the heart.” Oprah was given The Book of Awakening as a birthday gift and says she does one lesson from the book every morning. “If… Read more

Two deer, fur thickening for winter, nibble at the pines. The taller tugs at some needles and the branch drops snow on its face. It looks old and wise. Were it that easy. Yet this is how it happens. Though the drop of wisdom on our face can take years. The smaller deer licks snow from the larger one’s ear. This is how wisdom is passed: drop of snow, lick of ear. This too can take years. Read more

Everyone keeps stopping me with their urgency. As if the secret of life was written in a corner of their mind and before they could read it, it burst aflame. The first hundred times, I rushed to do their bidding. Then one day, exhausted by my own secrets burning, I stopped running and kissed everything on fire. And yes, it scarred my lip and now I have trouble saying anything complicated, but wind no longer gets trapped in my head…. Read more

Each storm has, like a navel, a hole in its middle through which a gull can fly in silence… —Anonymous, 14th century Japan Who uttered this? What lead them to it? Were they broken in some war, left useless as a cart stripped of its wheels? Did they feel the silence while everyone fought above them? Or did they actually see a gull fly out of a storm and mirror it to life? Were they tumbling through some grief? Trying… Read more

Listen to Mark in conversation with Jennifer Louden of Teach Now. This is yet another wonderful interview, complete with Mark’s deep authenticity and profound insights. Click here to hear the interview. Read more

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