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Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred Hardcover – October 9, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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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

Review

“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
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Product Details

  • Series: The Duchess Diaries
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 9.9.2012 edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145167466X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451674668
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Louden on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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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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By Lolo on December 11, 2012
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I meet a therapist who said she was reading this book and wasn't too thrilled with it. But she said I should give it a read and form my own opinion. So I did. I love it. I've been reading this book for five months now and only halfway through it. It is a book where you should read a page, then think about it, mediate on it, and let the words and ideas float inside your mind for a day or two, maybe re-read several times. Then read another page and do the same. After each section there are questions and little projects for you to do. It is filled with inspiration, motivation, and idea provoking thoughts. I think maybe the therapist was just speed-reading and flipping through the pages. I have read hundreds of inspirational books, and this is one of my top 5 books. It is difficult to classify this book as I would not say it's not self-help nor new age, it is more like 'real' life and sharing of wisdom and insights. I don't think this book is for everyone as you need to get to a stage or part of your life where you can combined and incorporate your own personal wisdom and experiences with Mark Nepo words. Read it slow and take time to think. It will serve you well, bring forth more love, appreciation, and compassion into your daily life. I don't know Mr. Nepo but I want to thank him for writing this book.
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There’s no way I can do justice to this beautifully written book. Reading it made me think, feel, and LISTEN more deeply and conscientiously.

Nepo reminds his readers that the work of reverence is to stay vital and alive by listening deeply, and I think he’s on to something. Many people think they listen, but do they really? Do they listen to themselves, to their loved ones, to strangers on the street, to the stars, to the ocean? Since reading Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, I’ve learned that the sound of wind in the trees actually has a name for it, psithurism, a term that has increased my listening pleasure.

I was intrigued by the title and wondered how the author came up with the number 7,000. It’s not a secret number, he says, but rather a way of pointing to a path that has no end. Nepo tells the story of dining with a friend who was marveling that there are 7,000 living languages on Earth that we know of. If there are that many ways to speak, then there are at least that many ways to listen…and more. And we don't even have to use our ears.

In addition to the thought-provoking nature of the book, there are several elements that make it a joy to read and ponder.
*There are journal questions at the end of each chapter that involve the reader. An example is, “Is there a feeling you are currently running from? Why? What would happen if you let that feeling touch you?”
*There are also table questions to be asked among friends and loved ones, and I’ve experimented with a couple of them. It didn’t take but once to realize the wisdom of Nepo’s reminder to try listening to everyone’s response before discussing the question. Here’s an example of a table question that grabbed my attention right away.
Read more ›
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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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