Facing the Lion, Being the Lion: Finding Inner Courage Where It Lives

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A work from the heart that calls us to look within and grow.

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A work from the heart that calls us to look within and grow.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The word "courage" comes from the Latin cor,Nepo explains in a densely worded, poetic meditation on this essential quality. If to find our way to the core is to face the lion, then to stand by our core is to be the lion, he says. Nepo, a poet, philosopher and teacher, believes there are two paths to manifesting courage: going within and knowing oneself, and turning outward, steadfastly facing life, allowing oneself to be vulnerable to experiences. The cost of not doing so is numbness, or living death, Nepo believes, and he sees courage as an ongoing series of choices. Nepo relates his own experiences surviving cancer and overcoming certain fears. While the book is filled with verbal images, stories and analogies, including the archetypal tale of Jacob wrestling with the angel, some of the extended imagery is vague (for instance, big waves and water in the lungs and inhaling the smoke of burning ropes). What makes the book valuable is Nepo's quiet understanding of the constant interplay of surface and depth in our lives, the need to let go of judgments and exercise compassion as we view our own flaws and the flaws of those around us. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573243155
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Nepo is a poet, philosopher, and teacher. Nepo serves as Program Officer for the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a non-profit foundation devoted to fostering awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in an emerging global community.

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Table of Contents

To My Reader     10
Facing the Lion     15
Wings of the Butterfly     16
Vengeance or Music     20
Wrestling with God     24
Letting the Story Unfold     29
The Boy and the Drum     32
The Swan and the Tailor     36
Loving What You Fear     42
Living within Patterns     48
How We Stumble     54
The Three Dangers     59
Facing Ourselves     64
The Life of the Lion     68
Facing Each Other     74
Sympathetic Fibers     78
The Art of Encouragement     85
Standing by One's Core     91
The Heart of It     97
God of the Broken Tusk     99
The Heart's Blossom     106
A Sacred Becoming     111
Being the Lion     113
Fires Looking for a Sea     114
Aliveness and Woundedness     117
Everything or Nothing     121
The Fall into Life     126
Four in the Morning     132
Between the Tiger and the Dragon     136
What Gets in the Way     140
Near Enemies     147
Tendencies     150
Believing the Guest     155
There Is Something Else There     159
Wholeheartedness     165
Beginner's Heart     169
Trust of This Kind     172
Building on the Past     178
Tensions of Awakening     185
Breaking Patterns     193
In the Middle of the Path     198
Inner Courage and Where It Lives     201
The Interior Blessing     202
The Secret Life of Detail     205
Our Fierce Impulse to Live     208
The Art of Facing Things     213
The Work of Self-Return     218
Burning the Raft     221
Giving Up What No Longer Works     226
Judgment or Compassion     230
Experiments with Love     236
The Gateway: Acceptance     239
Sniffing Out What Is Sacred     243
To Be a Clear Vessel     246
Ways of Living     251
The Beauty of It     256
A Myth of Encouragement     264
What Is Necessary     267
Humility and Awe     273
Beginning Again     275
Gratitudes      278
Notes     280
About the Author     303
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    An Uncustomary Review

    I was expecting an intimate conversation with the writer and his inner self. Instead, I feel more as though I've been sitting in an auditorium, listening to him talk about all the things he's learned. The occasional story makes a positive impression, but the way the book started created a false impression of its potency. At the same time, the book's brought tears to my eyes and encouraged me to continue reexamining myself...

    To read the entire review visit The Uncustomary Book Review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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