Reduced to Joy

Reduced to Joy

by Mark Nepo


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936740574
Publisher: Start Publishing LLC
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 559,936
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Recent work includes: Reduced to Joy (2013), Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award, Staying Awake (2012), Holding Nothing Back (2012), As Far As the Heart Can See (2011), Finding Inner Courage (2011), and Surviving Has Made Me Crazy (2007), as well as audio books of The Book of Awakening, Finding Inner Courage, and As Far As the Heart Can See (2011). As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship.Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has been interviewed by Oprah as part of her SIRIUS XM Radio show, Soul Series. He has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about his New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. The Exquisite Risk was cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it "one of the best books we've ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life." Mark's collected essays appear in Unlearning Back to God: Essays on Inwardness. Other books of poetry include Suite for the Living (2004), Inhabiting Wonder (2004), Acre of Light (1994), Fire Without Witness (1988), and God, the Maker of the Bed, and the Painter (1988).His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. In leading spiritual retreats, in working with healing and medical communities, and in his teaching as a poet, Mark's work is widely accessible and used by many. He continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats. Please visit Mark at:, and

Read an Excerpt

From the book:
"Often, what keeps us from joy is the menacing assumption that life is happening other than where we are. So we are always leaving, running from or running to. All the while, joy rises like summer wind, waiting for us to grow in the open, large as willows it can sing through. Yet failing to grow in the open, we can be worn to it. Though working with what we’re given till it wears us through seems to be the grace we resist. Like everyone, I have spent so much of my life fearing pain that I have seldom felt things all the way through. And falling through more than working through, I’ve learned that if we can stay true to our experience and to each other, and face the spirit that experience and love carry, we will eventually be reduced to joy. Like cliffs worn to their beauty by the pounding of the sea, if we can hold each other up, all that will be left will be wonder and joy.”

Table of Contents

Foreword Wayne Muller xvii

About Joy xix

Left in the Open 1

Three Faces 3

Feeling the Oar 5

Is There Any Other Question? 7

The Art of Facing Things 9

Heartwood 11

Coming Out 12

To Know By Heart 13

Way of the Dolphin 15

One String 17

Near the Light 19

On the Way to Windsor 21

Under Birdsong 23

In Getting There 24

Behind the Thunder 27

So Much Is Carried 29

Lost in Our Ways 31

Early 33

Kiss Everything on Fire 35

Come To Life 37

Staying Warm 39

Behind the Thunder 40

On Every Corner 41

For the Moment 42

Made from Bone 44

The Sublime Disturbance 46

Years from It All 47

For Joel at 94 49

Sent on My Way 51

Till We Know Each Other 55

The Industry of No 57

To Speak of Storms 59

Pike Place Market 61

How Spirit Works on Earth 62

Running the Table 65

Rumi Goes to Washington 67

Transformation 69

Her Name Meant Light 71

Without Knowing 74

What Others Have Touched 76

We've Come to This 78

Leaving 80

Between the City and the Sea 82

The Throat of Dawn 84

From Now to Now 87

Over Time 89

Caught in Time 91

One More Time 93

The Story of Heat 95

Birds in Air, Fish in Water 97

After 99

On the Ridge 100

The Eleventh Commandment 101

Animal Being 102

The Thing About Fear 104

Ahyo-Oh'-Oh-Ni 105

For Nine-Week-Old Mira Too Excited to Sleep 107

Discernment 108

Quiet, Quiet, the Small Creatures are Talking 110

Written While Running 112

Another Patience 113

Till We Know Each Other 114

Holding the Gun 115

Repeatedly We Are Asked 116

At the End of the Field 117

Exposed 118

Inside Why 120

The Water Takes Many Forms 121

Falling in Love with the World 123

Falling 125

Saturated 127

Breaking Trance 128

Restoring Confidence 129

Falling In 131

Walking Together 133

The Promise of the Inner World 135

Braveries 137

What Sustains 139

Falling in the World 141

Where Is God? 143

Staying Close 144

Reduced to Joy 146

Gratitudes 149

Notes 151

About the Author 155

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