Reduced to Joy: Inviting Life's Essential Gift by Mark NepoReduced to Joy: Inviting Life's Essential Gift by Mark Nepo

Reduced to Joy: Inviting Life's Essential Gift

byMark NepoForeword byWayne Muller

Paperback | August 13, 2013

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Mark Nepo is emerging as one of the truly significant writers and thinkers of today. Nepo has a singular way of distilling great truths down to their essence. Moreover, during his cancer journey, Nepo relied on the power of expression and the writing process to keep him tethered to life. In Reduced to Joy, Mark Nepo explores the places where pain and joy are stitched to resilience, uncovering them with deep wisdom, poetic passages and personal revelations. Nepo reminds us all of the secret and sacred places within, forgotten in the noise and chatter of our busy distracted 21st Century lives. Reduced to Joy is a lesson in stillness, in standing in the mystery and, above all, in the work of love.
Mark Nepo is a poet, philosopher and author of thirteen books including the New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. A highly popular workshop leader, Nepo travels internationally. He lives and writes in southwest Michigan.
Title:Reduced to Joy: Inviting Life's Essential GiftFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.36 × 5.51 × 0.55 inPublished:August 13, 2013Publisher:Cleis PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1936740575

ISBN - 13:9781936740574

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from There Are Diamonds Inside The poems from this collection that resonated most deeply for me were the ones where Nepo examines the relationship between personal growth and external validation. As someone who struggles to hear her own intuition above the opinions of others, I found Nepo’s thoughts on this subject particularly encouraging. In one of my favourite selections, called “The Water Takes Many Forms”, Nepo writes, “Listen for guides, but use their wisdom as you would a lamp to read your own heart. If someone dissuades you from your heart, they are not a guide.” (p.121) Unfortunately, most of the other poems in this collection left me feeling more dissuaded than guided; however, there were a few more selections that allowed me to use Nepo’s writing “as a lamp to read [my] own heart.” In addition to “The Water Takes Many Forms,” I most enjoyed “Early” (p.33); “Behind The Thunder” (p.40) and “Repeatedly We Are Asked” (p.116), which includes one of my favourite stanzas in the entire collection: All this leaves us needing to know: whether to better the song through practice or to better ourselves through singing *** So while I wouldn’t say I was reduced to joy by this collection, I did find a few gems that made me glad I waded into the water in the first place.
Date published: 2018-02-22

Editorial Reviews

Mark Nepo'sReduced to Joy can change how you approach the challenge of any day.""The title of the collection,Reduced to Joy, is a perfect representation of these fine works for there is joy to be found on every page, in every poem, through every word. This is a book worth owning and keeping and visiting and revisiting."-San Francisco Book Review"Mark Nepo's latest poetry collection is about softening the heart, letting go, while also becoming embracing the whole human experience."-ForeWord Reviews"Mark Nepo has a rare quality of writing, one that fills you up even as it drops you into emptiness. Through his sensibilities we touch what is human: he plucks at our heartstrings with naked candor and metaphorical mastery. Brilliant, profound and accessible, the poems in this collection are like precious treasures rising from the deep, glistening reminders of what really matters."-New Consciousness Review"In a new collection of 73 poems, Mark Nepo harvests the meanings and memories of a rich and full life, which has been criss-crossed with pain and elation. In vivid imagery, he captures those connections and epiphanies which illuminate the human condition and give us insights into what's going on inside us and buzzing about in our high tech culture."-Spirituality & Practice"He goes straight to the heart of pain, happiness, adversity, and accomplishment to find the gift that lives within the moment. He retrieves those gifts and expresses the truth of them in words that inspire and uplift in a sustainable way."-Anna Jedrziewski,Retailing Insight"Mark's writings possess the power to immediately move us into connection with a subtle and powerful awareness at the deepest, most soulful level. "-Debra Moffit, author ofAwake in the World"Poems that have the power to transform your life both light up the mind and warm the heart as they strip your self of pretense and the impermanent. Mark Nepo's poems transmit those transfiguring experiences inside words of beauty. Nepo's poems should carry a warning label: 'These poems are dangerous to your false self.'"-Rev. Ed Bacon, author of8 Habits of Love; rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California"Reduced to Joy invites us to open our hearts and accept the beauty that the world holds. At the same time, Nepo's poems urge us to dive deep into our own experiences, to question, to search for the truths that we must accept and embrace. His poems are full of such tremendous love that you can't help being touched by them."-Kate Hopper, author ofReady for Air: A Journey through Premature Motherhood andUse Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers"Nepo makes simple, often overlooked things in life, meaningful and the meaningful, but sometimes overly complex things, simple. This is a beautiful book of poems to deepen and nurture the soul with love and joy, even for those who have never read a poem in their life."-Allen Klein, author ofThe Art of Living Joyfully andAlways Look on the Bright Side"Reduced to Joy has many different kinds of poems, all of them clear, wise, beautifully put, spare.The ones I like best have small stories in them, like the one of his father's four uproarious Russian unclesaround a pool table in the 1950s. (Running the Table) Mark Nepo has a great heart. His poems are good company."-Coleman Barks"The soul is so precious, full of joy and wonder, and the pain that comes from love. These poems touch the soul, reminding each of us what it means to be fully alive, to be surrounded by what is sacred. Allow them to reach under your skin, to where mystery is born into meaning."-Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee Ph.D., Sufi teacher and author of Prayer of the Heart"By having, as he puts it, nothing to say, Mark Nepo says everything in this new book of poems. By showing us again and again what happens when one man is "completely at peace," we witness what is possible when we are "reduced to joy" by an honest life, and by poetry itself."-Phil Cousineau, author ofThe Art of Pilgrimage andThe Painted Word"Mark Nepo's poems in his new book,Reduced to Joy, reduce me first to grateful silence, and then to tears, and then to laughter, and then to praise. He joins a long tradition of truth-seeking, wild-hearted poets - Rumi, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver - and deserves a place in the center of the circle with them."-Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder, Omega Institute, author ofBroken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow"Poems that have the power to transform your life both light up the mind and warm the heart as they strip your self of pretense and the impermanent. Mark Nepo's poems transmit those transfiguring experiences inside words of beauty. Nepo's poems should carry a warning label: 'These poems are dangerous to your false self.'-Rev. Ed Bacon, author of8 Habits of Love, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California"Nepo's voice, clear, resonant and real becomes acts like the pointer on your heart's compass..helping you navigate your most joyful life."-Mary Anne Radmacher, author ofLean Forward Into Your Life andSHE"Some books are so perfectly titled that you get the message without even opening the book. But of course, you still want to open the book because you want more ... more of what the title already gave you. In this case, more joy."-BJ Gallagher, author ofIt's Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been and The Buddha at Work"InReduced to Joy, Mark Nepo has written a love letter that speaks directly to the heart of the reader. He writes from the wisdom of experience - of having journeyed through two cancers. He gets to the essence of happiness, touching readers with his poetic passages and personal AH-HA's. He reminds us that in stillness, in embracing the mystery of life and in embodying our birthright as mighty expressions of love, we are reduced to joy. "-Susyn Reeve, author ofThe Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind's Capacity for Joy"InReduced to Joy, Mark Nepo's powerful and poignant collection of life poems, we are reminded again of what it is to be truly alive. His poems inspire, connect and encourage us to breathe in our own truth so that we can rediscover the peace and joy that is also present in each moment of our lives."-Polly Campbell, author ofImperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People"Oh! What a marvelous book. Mark Nepo's generous, vast poems restore readers to joy even before we finish reading them - musing upon single lines, images, stanzas - we feel it rising up again, that precious sense of YES. And completing them - we feel the rich trove of thinking and living so heartened and restored."-Naomi Shihab Nye, author ofWords Under the Words"Rumi would have described this book of poems as a crystal chandelier - so many jewels, each like a treasure God has placed in the heart of Mark Nepo. If you already know Mark's work, you won't want to miss this collection. And if you have never had the pleasure of experiencing the world through Mark Nepo's eyes, begin withReduced to Joy."-Gayatri Naraine, author of Something Beyond Greatness"I am deeply moved by Mark Nepo's work, especially the healing power of the writing process he brings through to us all. His newReduced to Joy cuts close to the bone with passages of pure beauty and raw honesty. I felt the stillness he wrote of, followed by a sense of peace For this, I am grateful. "-Nina Lesowitz, author ofLiving Life as a Thank You "