Customer Reviews: The Book Of Awakening (Thorndike Press Large Print Inspirational)
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on July 17, 2000
There are very few books in this world which elicit the question `Why have I such an array of books on this subject when this one would suffice?' The entry of Mark Nepo's Book of Awakening into my life not only presented this question but also initiated an immediate removal of the other six inspirational books waiting in a tumbled line by my bed, making space in my overcrowded life for the simplicity of one source of wisdom.
The Book of Awakening, which is beautifully produced by Conari Press, is in the form of a daybook, having an entry of wisdom for every day of the year. This allows us to take a dip into this vast ocean of insight every day or to dive in at random when the spirit moves us. Each page of wisdom is followed by a short and profound meditation on the topic at hand which helps put the reading into the context of one's own life, and is suggested in such a way that even the meditation-shy could be enticed to participate.
In his introduction, Mark describes his book as `a companion and a soul-friend'. I agree that this book can act as a soul friend, which is a different relationship than is possible with most wisdom books. And that is quite a gift to give to yourself or a friend. The key reason for the possibility of this almost human relationship with the book is, I believe, to be found in the divinely human writing style of the author.
Mark is born a poet whose eyes perceive the divine patterning within the everyday experiences of life. He has crafted the art of painting that depth so that others may begin to see into and beyond the mundane. Each new entry seems to invite a deeper friendship of the soul as Mark lays himself bare in his truly personal stories of struggle and revelation. He interweaves his own perception with gems of collected treasures from many spiritual traditions, giving us access to his own spiritual advisers in their many forms.
--- Carmella B'Hahn, Sufi Journal, London
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on February 3, 2001
I start every morning with an inspiration from this book. I take the time I need to reflect on the daily passage and have found it to be a way of learning about the real person I am. I have been searching for inner peace for so long , this book has helped me to meditate on the important things to make my life and my inner self more complete and at peace. I love this book and want to give everyone I know a copy.
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on December 23, 2010
This short series of motivational vignettes address the author's (a poet) experience of life. His love, loss, friendships, fight against cancer, moments of's all there in a lyrical thrust of wisdom and perspective on what's to be valued in this life. It's the kind of book you want to keep by your bedside, thumbing through it as you drift off to sleep and reading passages on those mornings where it's hard to find the motivation to leap out of bed and seize the day.

It may sound too simple at first from afar, but once you experience the book you'll see how much it helps you to appreciate each day that you've been given on this earth.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is the only other book I check in with daily. Leaning on their wisdom makes life that much sweeter.
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on January 22, 2009
I am a life coach for widows.
I suggest to all my clients that they purchase this amazing book. It gently, lovingly and firmly reminds us each day of who we are and that in order to emerge, we need to accept that where we are is where we are supposed to be. Even if it is messy. I am so grateful for this book.
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on December 17, 2003
To be honest, this book caught my eye first because of its beautiful cover of the Lotus. I opened the book read a passage
and felt deeply moved almost to tears. This is a beautifully orchestrated book. Its daily reflections, passages and quotes
are soul food for our journey. This book is definitely a work
of love. You can feel the intent put forth and given to the reader by the author. What a blessed contribution it is. The foreward by Wayne Mueller sums this stellar gem up perfectly.
A difinite addition to your collection, if not the only book you will ever need and keep close to your heart, spirit and soul.
Dear Mark Nepo,
You have written a book that has moved me so, there are
no words to describe it. I thank you for sharing your beautiful offering. I am so happy to have come across it just in a time
when I was so ready and open to its messages.
Christine/Toronto, Ont. Canada
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on April 17, 2000
Mark Nepo's day book is a wonderful way to remember the importance of enjoying the details that make life a mystery and a gift. The book includes inspirational quotes, beautiful poetry, points for mediationsand heart-warming glimpes of life. Although each day's entry is meant to be savored, I gobbled them all up and now will go back to holding them close to my life one day at a time.
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on August 2, 2011
I bought it after Oprah recommended it. I read it for 4 months and finally had to let it go. I gave it 2 stars because about 40% of it was useful. The rest of it mostly just did not make any sense. The passage for the day would start out with one idea and by the end conclude with something else with no connection. I am now reading Tom Walsh's Living Life Fully's Daily Meditations Year One and it is much better in my opinion. Similar organization but much more practical and useful.
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on December 22, 2008
Written by a poet and teacher, this book is organized by date, with 1-2 page offerings for each day of the year. Beautifully written, each entry begins with a quote from another poet, saint (practically every spiritual tradition is represented), or other literary work, followed by the author's musings and a set of questions to contemplate that day. Some random samples: "August 1: The Pain of Becoming - We do ourselves a great disservice by judging where we are in comparison to some final destination." "April 10: At Home in Our Skin - The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin."
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on March 8, 2011
While there are many insightful passages, I find the author stuck in the past. He's always bringing up his cancer & bad relationship with his mother. My heart goes out to him, but I find the book depressing in some ways. I'm sure it would be helpful to others, just not me.
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on December 26, 2012
I have seen two different yoga teachers use this book for final meditations (savasana) in yoga practice. I enjoyed some of these readings, so I decided to check the book out from the library. I'm glad I didn't spend money on this!

There are some truly inspiring entries in the book, but mixed in were way too many personal stories by Mark Nepo about his dysfunctional family and the process of having/treating cancer. So many prosaic and boring stories feel like so much whining when reading them over and over. Nepo is at his best when writing third person narration of philosophical and spiritual truths. When he starts relating anecdotes about his life's day-to-day existence, the book loses its spiritual focus, and becomes a tedious read.

Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderfully inspirational stories in this book. The fact that this book is a collection of meditations for each day of the year wherein some of the meditations are boring and uninspiring undermines its impact. It's worth looking at, but is a disappointment if you are reading it every day for guidance and inspiration.
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