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Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred [Kindle Edition]

Mark Nepo
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

MARK NEPO MOVED AND INSPIRED millions of people with his #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening, a spiritual daybook that draws on his awakening through cancer to offer life lessons from all the spiritual traditions. In his continuing exploration of the human journey, Nepo has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time,” “a consummate storyteller,” and “an eloquent spiritual teacher.” In his latest book, he inquires into the endless ways we are asked to listen. Experiencing hearing loss himself, Nepo affirms that listening is one of the most mysterious, luminous, and challenging art forms on Earth: “Whatever difficulty you face, there are time-tried ways you can listen your way through. Because listening is the doorway to everything that matters. It enlivens the heart the way breathing enlivens the lungs. We listen to awaken our heart. We do this to stay vital and alive.”

In Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, Nepo offers ancient and contemporary practices to help us stay close to what is sacred. In this beautifully written spiritual memoir, Nepo explores the transformational journey with his characteristic insight and grace. He unfolds the many gifts and challenges of deep listening as we are asked to reflect on the life we are given. A moving exploration of self and our relationship to others and the world around us, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen unpacks the many ways we are called to redefine ourselves and to name what is meaningful as we move through the changes that come from experience and aging and the challenge of surviving loss.

Filled with questions to reflect on and discuss with others and meditations on how to return to what matters throughout the day, this enlightening book teaches us how to act wholeheartedly so we can inhabit the gifts we are born with and find the language of our own wisdom. Seven Thousand Ways to Listen weaves a tapestry of deep reflection, memoir, and meditation to create a remarkable guide on how to listen to life and live more fully.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Poet and self-help-heavy Nepo follows up his previous book of stories and musings, 2011’s As Far as the Heart Can See, with an equally thought-provoking exploration of the art of listening. This is a dense subject, and those familiar with Nepo’s style of writing will be glad that he revisits the familiar format of the short, intense chapter followed by meditation points and questions for reflection. Nepo divides the book into three major sections, “The Work of Being,” “The Work of Being Human,” and “The Work of Love,” each corresponding to a particular type of relationship with the world around us, and thus a different type of listening. These sections, along with further “pauses” between groups of chapters, encourage readers to work their way through the book in whatever sequence they find most interesting. Nepo’s background as a poet shines through in his writing, which can be truly beautiful, if sometimes cumbersome. Given the subject matter though, a little complexity is to be expected and, in this case, enriches the reader’s experience. --Taina Lagodzinski


“If you live the questions, life will move you into the answers. Mark Nepo offers you a map to explore the sacred in your own being.” (Deepak Chopra, author of Spiritual Solutions)

“Ninety percent of writing is listening. To receive the world and to receive ourselves. In this book Nepo has generously taught us how to listen. Do the reflective exercises he suggests to lead you deeply down the path.” (Natalie Goldberg, author of Old Friend From Far Away and Writing Down the Bones)

“Nepo has mastered a unique way of inviting the reader into a meditative state while reading his sublime wisdom about everyday life. I found his work a comfort—and that's a rare find these days.” (Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Defy Gravity)

“Mark Nepo is a master of listening deeply to life’s experiences where essential messages for the soul can be found. In Seven Thousand Ways to Listen he shares his wisdom with us. Mark gives us hope that we can live more vital lives through our own careful listening to our depths. Pain excavates those depths where life is trying to awaken our authentic self. Visiting the pain in our lives is made more meaningful when we can do so with a spiritual master like Mark Nepo. I find myself wanting to keep this book near me for frequent consultation and meditation.” (Rev. Ed Bacon, author, 8 Habits of Love; rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, CA)

““Listening is the doorway to everything that matters,” claims Mark Nepo. In a world where we try to make ourselves known by making noise, that's a revolutionary claim. Revolutionary but true. Read this beautiful book and learn to listen anew—to those closest to you, to strangers, to nature, to your own heart, and to the great silence. Everything that matters is found on the other side of the noise, and this book, written by a master listener, can help us find our way to it.” -- Parker J. Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness

“This profound and lyrical book teaches us the lost art of listening. And as we learn to listen, we open to the myriad voices of life and the silent mysteries of the soul and begin to sense the truth of being alive. Mark Nepo’s words are always like choice wine for the soul, to be sipped slowly, allowing their flavor into all the secret places of our being. Beneath and between his words we can hear this greatest wonder we call life. This is the real gift of this wonderful book.” —Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Sufi teacher and author, Prayer of the Heart

Product Details

  • File Size: 2825 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 145167466X
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007EE4WX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Transmission of Lyrical Truth October 16, 2012
I love Mark as a person and writer. I love his poetry and his true humble heart. This book is so magnificent. It feels like a direct transmission of mystery when you read it. I have felt healed, expanded, and inspired reading it. I love that it goes into more width than The Book of Awakening - longer pieces, more flexible structure. My copy is underlined and dog eared, and will stay by my side for a long time. A keeper you will want to buy!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars deeply moving November 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being unfamiliar with the author's style of writing, I was pleasantly surprised to see methods for achieving deeper listening. Each section has a reflective pause with practical ways to apply the simple truths in your own life, independently or with others.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the depths November 24, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book will lead you on a journey into your own heart, and will teach you new ways to listen to what you discover there. It will challenge you to go about your everyday tasks more fully, with more attention and more intention. I highly recommend to those who seek a deeper, more mindful path.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peotic and profound January 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many times I'll reread passages just to take in the beauty of what is being said, and the rich message of the author's intention. Highly recommend this book for those wanting to connect deeply with their inner life and how to embrace each moment with a fresh presence of listening.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Fluff - No Knew Ideas January 21, 2013
The message of the book is great, but sifting through all the dramatic prose wore me out. I can appreciate that Mark is a poet, but it seemed like every sentence contained a metaphor for something. Sometimes it is just better to write it simply, and not try to make every single sentence poetry.

There was way too much fluff for me. You get the impression that Mark likes to hear his own words, and thinks less about other listeners, as he used elaborate metaphors and prose to describe something that should be simple. It was rough for me to get through this book, but I did take away some insights. I would definitely not say that there is anything in this book that is unique, and cannot be found in books with less diluted context. The ideas and awakening concepts of this book, is common place to other books.

I preferred reading "The Art of Happiness" or the "Power of Intention" much more than this work. There are many, many other books that contain the message presented in "Seven Thousand Ways to Listen", but with less unnecessary wordiness.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book December 11, 2012
By Lolo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mark Nepo is so good at diving deep with lovely, poetic words that take you to wonderful places in yourself. I am so loving this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound March 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wanted to underline almost every sentence. It's very deep. It touches a part of the soul not many books touch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Work with this book as slowly as possible! January 4, 2013
By Cameron
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mark Nepo's hard-won wisdom is lyrically transmitted in this book, and I am determined to linger over it for years to come. There is much here I will use with the teachers I work with in addition to the women in my practice. I am deeply thankful I begin the New Year in this time of transition in the company of this writer, with this book in my bag.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book to read and 're read
A wonderful book to read and 're read. I really love that it in my Kindle so it goes where I go.
Published 6 days ago by Nancy Beckenhauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A wonder-filled book, which embraces the mystery of what it means to be human. Thank you Mark.
Published 18 days ago by Alf Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Nepo is a Gift to us all
Mark Nepo is a deep and endearing gift to us all. I cannot start the day without reading his Awakening essay. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Kris Barbezat
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly relevant
I've read this twice. Each time I found new insights that seemed particularly relevant to my life. I would recommend this to anyone looking for the next signposts on their journey.
Published 1 month ago by Jane Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars More Nepo
His name spelled backward is 'Open'... and I've never read poetry/prose from someone who is so open about his own life. Every chapter has gems of wisdom for the human walk.
Published 1 month ago by Ronald E. Reaves
5.0 out of 5 stars Just slow down, center and breathe
This book and its suggested approaches to life are a sure way to overcome the "slings and arrows" of today's living. Read more
Published 1 month ago by G. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, and again I say say
This is the invitation to, and encouragement of, further interior work by one who has opened his heart to the world through his words.
Published 1 month ago by hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
I read this book over a long period of time, usually in the evening. It's a beautiful conversation and well worth participating in.
Published 1 month ago by Sandy L. Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for all searching for a deeper meaning in life.
One of the most relevant books I have read. Mark's words resonated within my soul, confirming so many of my own thoughts. An eloquent seeker.
Published 1 month ago by mary lababidi
1.0 out of 5 stars Goes on and on about the same stuff
The book could have been about 1/4 of the length. He talked a lot about his own struggle in a poetic way but I'm not sure he came up with any solutions. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Digger
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More About the Author

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry, health, and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mark keynotes regularly for conferences and corporations, works with healing and medical communities, including chaplains and therapists, speaks and offers workshops for colleges and universities, and leads spiritual retreats.

In 1987, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work. Ever since, he has been a student of all paths and his work has explored the common center and unity of all spiritual traditions, focusing on how we can experience that unity when we can lean into life and hold nothing back. Ultimately, he explores with others how to live wholeheartedly, so we can inhabit the gifts we are born with and find the language of our own wisdom.

Please visit Mark at:, and


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