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Issue: July 1, 2011
As Far as the Heart Can See: Stories to Illuminate the Soul.
Nepo, Mark (Author)
Sep 2011. 246 p. Health Communications, paperback, $15.95. (9780757315718). 204.
Much like his previous work, The Book of Awakening (2000), poet and teacher Nepo takes another turn at helping readers practice the art of being mindful, or, in his words, being present. But rather than give readers another daybook with pithy instructions on mindfulness and compassion, Nepo instead turns to storytelling to provide a framework for internal investigation. There are more than 40 stories, each presented with its own set of journal questions, table questions (to inspire conversation), and meditation points, and readers can choose to work straight through or pick and choose stories based on specific areas of interest. To that end, Nepo has grouped the stories into four sections:'Living on the Spiritual Path,' 'Handling Life's Obstacles,' 'Dealing with Suffering,' and 'Dealing with Personal Growth.' The stories are short and accessible, and Nepo's work as a poet shines through in his writing. Those who prefer their spiritual examinations to be soothing as well as thought provoking will be right at home with this volume.
― Taina Lagodzinski(Taina Lagodzinski Booklist)
Nepo uses a similar format to his last book–but rather than short entries for each day of the year, this book is comprised of short (spiritual) stories. What differentiates the book from the many short story collections out there is the time and thought he has given to how readers can use each story to inspire deeper insight and awareness.
Each story ends with a series of Journal Questions, Table Questions and A Meditation. In my reading of the book, I used the Meditations when I was reading alone and the Table Questions when I was with one or two friends.
The stories themselves are an interesting collection of new and re-told stories that read like fables. They are short, dense and rich with meaning. With fall coming, the book seems like a good one to have in the house for the long winter nights when you want to do something more than watch a DVD or read a fictional novel.
Recommended for: This book will be a wonderful gift for families looking for ways to enliven the dinner table discussion or for couples or groups who want to explore spiritual topics through conversation.Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/aliteraryspirit/2011/09/new-release-as-far-as-the-heart-can-see-by-mark-nepo.html#ixzz1ag2CEGO9
"Mark Nepo is a poet, philosopher, New York Times bestseller (The Book of Awakening), and master of metaphor. In this book he has assembled a collection of soulful stories about 'staying awake and staying close to what is sacred' that go straight to the heart. Drawing from his musings, dreams, or an abiding wisdom tale, he draws readers into the 'marrow of the story' with a rare gift for making the invisible visible. Questions and a meditation conclude each vignette, deepening mindful reflections into the complex interiority of being alive that each story has already loosened. Poignant and poetic, As Far as the Heart Can See illuminates the soul so that we can find our find home. Highly recommended."
(reviewed by Anna Jedrziewski)(New Age Retailer)
"Part poetry, part spiritual narrative, As Far as the Heart Can See offers us a grounded experience of life seen through a spiritual lens. Mark Nepo invites us into a sheesh mahal--a palace of mirrors--where the soul sits on its immortal throne, sparkling like the Kohinoor diamond. Each narrative touches a unique facet of life and draws the reader into reflection--oh soul, look into the mirror of your heart and see with love. See the whole being, the visible and the invisible; the image and the reality; the shadow and the light. This precious book places truth in the core of the heart and shows how pure feelings set it free."
―Gayatri Naraine, author of Something Beyond Greatness(Gayatri Naraine)|
"As Far As the Heart Can See is filled with stories and guided reflections that not only make us think about life but feel more connected to it. This book can help you access your inner wisdom and caring heart."
―James Baraz, coauthor of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness and cofounder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
"What happens when a poet writes a book of stories about how to live, how to love, how to heal and grow and find our distinct purpose? Here's what happened for me when I read Mark Nepo's As Far As the Heart Can See: Each word became a stepping stone on a path through the woods. And not only that: a host of helpers, teachers, cheerleaders, and friends popped off the pages of this charming and wise book to lead me out of the stuck places and into freedom."
―Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega Institute and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow(Elizabeth Lesser,)|
"As Far as the Heart Can See is a tonic for the spirit, a series of revelations by way of a series of far-ranging stories as told by Mark Nepo, as only he can tell them: heartfully, honestly, and humbly. Read this book and see how much farther you can see."
―Phil Cousineau, author of The Art of Pilgrimage and The Oldest Story in the World(Phil Cousineau)|
"This book is like a door that opens only one way. When you open it, you become more than you were, and there is no going back. These stories will free you to move closer to your own dream of yourself and live more authentically, more joyfully, and more passionately than before. More than just a book, As Far As the Heart Can See is an exquisitely written invitation to live your real life."
―Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings(Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.)
I also bought this book as a gift. As far as I know, it's Mark Nepo's only book of short stories, and his fiction has strengths and limitations similar to his poetry. Read morePublished 1 month ago by NRL
Maybe the most real-life novel I've read for a long time. The writing is as top-notch as the plot.Published 9 months ago by Margaret R. Davis
Mark Nepo's books always cut to the core of the most fundamental, most important principles of life and living that we should all focus on instead of all this unimportant... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Patricia G. Kober
Lovely inspirational book. I've read some of his others. Reading Nepo starts my day off right. I highly recommend it.Published 21 months ago by Marlene Thomasson
Mark Nepo is a wonderful writer. I love all his book and this one is a great one to pick up and start reading anywhere!Published 21 months ago by Sharon C McDonnall
I would give this book to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of themselves on
a spiritual level, to better sever humanity, and just be a better person. Read more