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Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  375 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The New York Times #1 bestselling author of The Book of Awakening weaves a tapestry of deep reflection, memoir, and meditation to create a remarkable guide on how to listen to life and live more fully.

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
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Aug 17, 2013 Yahu rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to finish it because it is just one of those books you need to read absorbing every word, every idea and really make it your own.... Quite amazing! Loved every bit of it! Highly recommended it!
Aug 02, 2013 Sherry rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. It took me 2 months to read it for I used it as my morning meditation guide, one lesson/reflection/inspiration at a time. It led me to soon going to a spirituality/writing workshop in Estes Park, Colorado led my Mark Nepo. I love his metaphor at the end that listening is watering the heart and the meditation he suggests to share with a friend is one I plan to share for the rest of my lifetime...and maybe even in the next too :).
Jan 03, 2016 Yaaresse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned-dnf
This was recommended by an acquaintance who raved about it using words like "beautiful" and "thought-provoking." I'd never heard of the author, so I didn't realize until just now that he's got a sort of New Age Pop Star following from frequent exposure on Oprah and Huffington Press.

I honestly tried to give the book a fair shake, but just couldn't connect with it. Nepo can craft lovely images and clearly cherishes finding just the right words with which to decorate his sentences, but the pretty
Carolyn Amundson
Nov 02, 2012 Carolyn Amundson rated it it was ok
The concept of this book is fabulous: learning how to open your heart and actually listen to what is going on around you. There's poetry, meditation ideas, and dharma talks.

Unfortunately, the execution didn't resonate with me. I really wasn't interested in the etymology of various words, or willing to read (much less agree with) long discussions that stretched words' historical meanings into soulful discussions of their meanings today. I also got annoyed with the number of times the author said
Mar 05, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
Loved the insight in this book as well as the poetry. He has a way with words that touch me.

Here are some excerpts:

How we can empathize with each other:

"Keep each other company when we're drowning in our experience and awash in our feelings, until it can all right-size, until our experience can once again sustain us."

About dealing with pain:

"We can't avoid pain and loss and we don't have to make Gods of pain and loss either. It is the give-and-take between pain and wonder and the way the weather
Sep 09, 2013 Ruben rated it really liked it
I've known that listening takes much more effort than speaking. It requires more discipline and a higher level of selflessness. Those of us who talk alot rarely realize that between the speaker and the listener, power resides in the listener. Otherwise the speaker has no audience. In 7000 Ways to Listen Mark Nepo eloquently walks us through a journey of deeply engaging our life experience through listening... deep listening. This is an uphill endeavor especially in our anxious and speedy lives. ...more
Feb 04, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Mark Nepo, a poet-philosopher, utilized his experience with cancer to deepen his awareness of the sacred in all life experiences. He speaks the language of writers who have penetrating awareness of the spirit. This is not a sweetly inspirational book--he's clear that "life will break us and burn us at some point on the journey" and this is simply the "geography of being alive." But the book does inspire and uplift with its instruction on the pilgrimage of acceptance and beyond. Writing with pros ...more
Jun 14, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it
Nepo's reflections on loss, challenge, brokenness, wonder, and living open-heartedly lead the reader into space for one's own reflection. Nepo includes journal and conversation questions, which makes this an especially good text for small group study and sharing.
Pam Torres
Dec 18, 2014 Pam Torres rated it it was amazing
Mark Nepo once again delivers a wonderful book chock full of food for thought and reflection. It's definitely one that is sorely needed in the age of technology where we can easily forget the importance of listening and connecting to one another.
Dec 18, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
It has taken me several months to work through all the material in this tome. Mark has written a deep book that to do it justice I can only read one short chapter at a time, then reflect.

Here is one quote "...the closeness uncovered by kindness makes a lamp of the heart. We are returned to the mystical fact that there is no substitute for going through things together. And it is often through an unexpected empathy that we become a conduit for the human struggle until one person's humanity revea
Apr 24, 2014 Penny rated it it was amazing
This collection of little essays about ways of paying attention to your everyday life was very compelling to me. It is a little heavy on "god-talk" and sometimes is ethereal in a way that was hard for me to connect with. I also did not particularly resonate with the journal questions he recommends... That being said, I found the book profound! so many ideas of how to "listen" to life in the broadest sense. Would be a good book for a group to read and discuss I think.
May 02, 2016 Lucy added it
I read this book with a group of friends and we met to discuss our favorite chapters. The author covers various ways we can listen in order to improve ourselves and our relationship with others. Not a quick and easy read, but the questions and reflections throughout the book make it easy to use it as a daily meditation and journal.
Patrick Williams
Mar 16, 2014 Patrick Williams rated it it was amazing
Absolutely one of the most lyrically written books I have ever read. Not only is the message profound, the words sing of the page. You will find yourself rereading sentences, and paragraphs over and over. This book helped my awakened mind take flight! I can't recommend it more to anyone that is awakened and ready to fly!
Nada Loughead
Mar 21, 2014 Nada Loughead rated it liked it
Saw the author on Super Soul Sunday and liked what he had to say...that being said, found the book repetitive and lost interest 1/2 way through.
May 18, 2015 Niya rated it really liked it
Poured over his sentences again and again. Felt his words had symphonic notes to them. Beautiful and wise book.
Annmarie Coleman
Aug 27, 2015 Annmarie Coleman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Book Group is reading this book. Some interesting insights.....
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Even with lovely writing and honesty that drew me in at the start, I found myself losing interest and struggling for engagement around page 56 or 57. I like to think I'm a woman of depth and reflection, but this time not so much. Timing, as ever, matters. This was not my time for the wisdom and insight of Mark Nepo. No hard feelings, Mark.
Time for to cleanse the palate with a bit of fiction.
Apr 25, 2015 Lorraine rated it it was amazing
Nepo is one of my favorite writers, and this will go down as one of my all time favorite books!
Dec 29, 2015 Julie rated it did not like it
Didn't actually finish. Gave up around page 64. Way too meta and flowery for me.
Jan 04, 2014 Jinty rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, because it's unique. There are reflective pauses, table questions, & journal questions following the brief stories.
Many of the stories are surprising, and wonderful food for the soul.
I would recommend this one, and will pass on to my mom.
Sean Goh
Oct 12, 2013 Sean Goh rated it it was ok
Receiving = taking in, taking = taking from

beware hoarding, take in and transmit (conduit, not repository)

do you see things as alive or inert?

its not the familiar that's troublesome, but our adherence to it

often the things I want are compensating for things I'm not ready to face.

"I fear I have been reading the books of astronomers but never really looking at the stars."

I believe -> I give my heart to
Feb 05, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it
I give 3 1/2 stars. This is a really awesome inspirational book but give yourself lots of time to absorb and meditate. This is definitely not a quick read. Will read again.
Sep 13, 2014 Veronique rated it really liked it
I liked this book, and especially the journal and table questions at the end of each story. They forced me to be a more active reader by stopping to reflect those questions in my life.
Jan 10, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing
Love this guy, loved this book.
Oct 24, 2013 Shanna rated it really liked it
Very poetic and beautifully written. Best read slowly over a period of time in order to reflect on the thoughts and ideas presented. If you don't like flowery language and imagery you might want to pass on it but I tend to enjoy this kind of poetic language. Enjoyed the journal questions and the suggested topics of discussion.
Oct 21, 2013 Carol rated it it was ok
I thought that having been a two time cancer survivor that I would have something in common that I could identify with and share in thoughts. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in his presentation I found about nothing that I could truly relate to except his discussion about his treatments, but not much about ways to listen.
Erin Goettsch
Jul 30, 2015 Erin Goettsch rated it it was ok
This wasn't terrible but wasn't great. I kept pushing through because the second and third sections about human interaction looked more promising, and they were indeed better. But there are a lot of hippie-buzzword-cliches and froo froo language to sift through to get to the (sadly limited) real content here.
Ashley Coleman
Mar 29, 2015 Ashley Coleman rated it it was amazing
I've been reading this book for almost 6 moths now - just one of those reads that you want to really absorb and think about every word. This book won't ever sit on the shelf - so many beautiful meditations and passages about life to re-read for years to come. Beautiful, thought-provoking, peace offering read!
May 28, 2013 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality, memoir
Overall a thumbs up from me. Sometimes it strayed a little close to Tuesdays with Morrie territory, but then I'd read something that struck me as profound and that was helpfully thought-provoking. Honest and heartfelt, which I respect.
Apr 23, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing

a wonderful book to read daily for a month or so. I loved the thoughtful readings. I gave this to a friend facing a difficult time in hopes he could find a glimpse of light in the dark.
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“We are broken open, or we willfully shed.” 15 likes
“It seems that intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us.” 4 likes
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