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The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  3,113 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
Philosopher-poet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo opens a new season of freedom and joy--an escape from deadening, asleep-at-the wheel sameness--that is both profound and clarifying. His spiritual daybook is a summons to reclaim aliveness, liberate the self, take each day one at a time, and to savor the beauty offered by life's unfolding. Reading his poetic prose is like bei ...more
ebook, 449 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Conari Press (first published May 31st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mary Schumann
Aug 03, 2012 Mary Schumann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for higher awareness, more satisfaction with where they actually are in life
Recommended to Mary by: friend
I really like this book. I am reviewing a copy from the library, but will make a purchase. It's a daily meditation, the author gives a short quote or thought, then a deeper exploration of the meaning of that quote, and follows it with an exercise to do on your own, if you wish. My perception of it so far is that it simply changes the angle at which you see things and opens your eyes to a new way of approaching your life or your thoughts. It doesn't INSTRUCT you to think in any particular way, bu ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found each daily entry thought provoking and inspiring. Mark Nepo's book is balanced and creatively written with great reflective questions. He gently nudges you to become more aware, awake and present. His book touched me deeply by his simple storytelling "awakening" a sense of longing for better living and connection within me.

Daily reads take 2-3 minutes, are filled with great quotes, subtle humor and a touch of mysticism. Wholesome soul food at its best.
Debbie "DJ"
May 03, 2014 Debbie "DJ" rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the best daily reader I have ever read. I no longer have a stack of meditation books, as this surpasses them all. So far each daily read has left me with a sense of "WOW!" His writing is deeply profound and the messages go straight to my heart. He also includes a short meditation after each read which carry the message even further. You will be amazed...I love this book!
Kim Stalling
Jul 18, 2015 Kim Stalling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some days, the message is exactly what I need. Earlier this week, I was feeling very insecure about some career issues and wishing I were a bit like others. There was a story about a man (Akiba - I believe) who was sorry he wasn't living his life like Moses. The message reminded us, God wants us to live our lives as ourselves, not as someone else. It was exactly what I needed to remember at that moment.
Note added on 2/22/13: I want to add a word of caution to my previous remarks. The entry for February 20 in this book, titled, "Nicodemus and the Truth" is not what I would consider anti-Semitic writing, but as a Jew it really bothers me to read it in a book that seemed to be more openminded about different cultures and religious faiths. In the story Nicodemus is a Pharisee who secretly visits and believes in Jesus, but doesn't acknowledge it in public. So it says Nicodemus was "traumatically th ...more
Roman Stadtler
Nepo is a wonderful poet and storyteller, so don't let the "self-help" title turn you off. These short vignettes of his experiences of loss, of his own cancer, and lighter moments, contain all sorts of wisdom and surprising little moments of self recognition. I've given this book as a gift many times, and keep returning to it myself. One of those books I'd want on the proverbial deserted isle.

Merged review:

Nepo is a wonderful poet and storyteller, so don't let the "self-help" title turn you off
Linda O'Donnell F.
When was the last time that you were totally awed by a particular book? Well, I'd like to hand off a copy of Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening because "awakened" you will be. Your search for daily meditations is over. This is truly the one! I own stacks of books that I page through to speak to me of matters that touch my spirit. I no longer need the stack. Each day Mark provides you with something to ponder indepth. He has a profound gift for leaving loveprints upon your soul with language that ...more
This book was giving to me upon my release from the hospital, was bedridden for months, the book really came in handy going through that and the chemo phases, definitely helped me through some trying times and just coping with what was going on.
And still read it from time to time.
Nov 18, 2013 Effie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this daily. Each reading gives such a window to a deeper, richer, examined life. Nepo is a gifted writer who has really taken this journey. Grateful for his insight which helps
Improve mine.
Kate  Powell
The book is formatted into a daily meditation guide whose purpose is to awaken you, using quotes, and many spiritual precepts as the jumping off points. Day-books have been the rage in the last decade, and frankly, most are a bit like FaceBook, allowing you to feel like you are having a brief respite when in fact, like the thousand friends you've collected, real friends need to be cultivated and spent time with, listening and understanding and celebrating. I postulate that while they may be nice ...more
Yelania Nightwalker
A mí me gusta, de vez en cuando, leer algún libro de meditación o temas parecidos. Cuando vi que la editorial anunciaba éste, decidí darle una oportunidad, aunque no había leído a Mark Nepo antes. Un libro para renacer cada día es una especie de diario, hay una entrada para cada día de año, donde el autor nos da una reflexión o un pensamiento sobre ese día y entonces nos pide que hagamos algún ejercicio, algo sencillo, que tenga que ver con lo que estamos leyendo en ese pensamiento.

No es un lib
Aug 09, 2016 Karen111 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Although I have not read this fully (there's a piece for every day of the year), I love what I've read so far. Each day has a short poem, guidance for the day and finally an exercise you can do during the day. Each section is short and sweet, therefore easy to slot into already busy lives.
Dec 16, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For someone like me who struggles with acknowledging and exploring my feelings, I appreciate how Nepo concentrates on mindfulness and self-awareness. I was curious about him and looked into his life. It's nice to know a bit more about someone if you are considering taking their advice...maybe it's the librarian in me? Nepo and his former wife were diagnosed with cancer around the same time in midlife. It seems this was a catalyst for them to diverge from one another eventually. Nepo is now marri ...more
Kenneth Ferber
Aug 14, 2012 Kenneth Ferber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a kind of daily reflection 'Bible' for me and almost always 'primes the pump' when it comes to personal reflection as well as an incentive for my own writing. Mark Nepo is a cancer survivor which was his 'hitting bottom' so to speak and part of his transformational experience. Nepo is also able to effectively combine the spirituality of the world, embracing so many branches, from Christianity to Buddhism, Hinduism and much more in his personal and thoughtful year of daily reflections. Th ...more
Nov 13, 2015 Rita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
a beautifully written book of daily meditations. Set up to coincide with the calendar. thought-provoking, calming, insightful

Finished thos on Dec. 31st and had a little yearning to start it all over again this year. I think I will move on to something else this year and come back to it next year. Really liked this one. Neop pulls quotes from wellj-known and not so wellj-known authors as well as his own thoughts and expands on one each day to help the reader gain a better knowledge of themselves.
Robin Tierney
Uplifting and illuminating. Some notes (not a review):

The Book of Awakening
Mark Nepo

If get something you don't want, or not get something you want, see it not as a failure but as an opening.
The same wind touches many leaves.
Be comfortable in any position.
You don't need all the cherries to taste one.
Barrier - breathe patiently and look for another way in.
Splinters in life
What aspect of your personality gets in the way? Envy? Distrust? Fear?
For what are we saving?
Express affection
Notice the resurg
P.J. Lazos
Nov 14, 2015 P.J. Lazos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Book of Awakenings, Mark Nepo breaks open the harried existence we call life and folds it into bite-sized nuggets of wisdom that nudge us along toward expansion, a more open mind, a more indulgent spirit, all in service to elevating the soul. Nepo writes like a man who has crossed the desert and made it to the oasis for the revitalizing drink, then decided the oasis was a pretty fine place to be. A poet and philosopher by trade, Nepo is also a cancer survivor. While he fought the disease ...more
Nia Ferrell
May 19, 2015 Nia Ferrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am doing a project for my sophomore English class in which we were to find a topic that we were passionate about, and do research as well as impact the community. There were not very many guidelines for this project, what we call the passion project, however one of the things required was we were to find a book related to our topic. My topic is appreciation, and I actually had a very difficult time coming across a book that showed appreciation the way I want to display it-- in a positive light ...more
Lisa Brummit
Jan 18, 2011 Lisa Brummit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 15, 2011 Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I need to make a shelf for the books that I want to own one day. I might start with this book. I borrowed it from the library but three weeks isn't nearly enough time to delve into all this book could teach me. It's laid out as a daily journal thing with little short stories to help guide you on your journey. If I owned it I'd use it as a daily meditation tool.
Elizabeth Olson
Dec 31, 2012 Elizabeth Olson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, read-2012
Poet Nepo's book of daily readings has definite Buddhist leanings, but doesn't exclusively follow that or any other tradition. Its inspiration is a mix of faith writings from various times and traditions, plus poetry from Nepo and others, and his own introspintrospections on life, love, loss and growth. There is much beauty here, and plenty of wisdom.
Debbie Boucher
Dec 31, 2015 Debbie Boucher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Daybook came across my radar in Trinidad and Tobago. My yoga teacher would often read from it before we would meditate, and I finally got my nerve up to ask her what it was. A kind and gentle soul, she seemed surprised I didn't know about Mark Nepo's Book of Awakening. After all, it had been out since 2000. I am sharing this with you this New Year's Eve (on what the Trinis call Old Year's Night) in case there are others out there like me who haven't come across this book. Do yourself a favo ...more
This is a master piece of living life insights--not so much of a self help book, but one of just think about this concept or ponder on this way of looking at a particular aspect of life. You will especiallt like this if you are a lover of the natural wold and see and experice in the natural order of things.
Kenneth Jr.
Jul 13, 2015 Kenneth Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A year's worth of meditation suggestions

This author speaks in riddles, but riddles that we can understand. His poetry or quote before each chapter, is a unique way of writing a book and I commend him for being so brave to write it this way. You can really feel his passion in every word and his brush with death has really changed his perception on life. The only reason it did not get five stars from me is because the book didn't have much about the awakening process, which is what I was expecting
Jenny Benn
Jul 18, 2015 Jenny Benn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm loving this book. The daily inspirations are simple and profound, and totally accessible to the average person. I find myself remembering the reading thoughout the day. It's the best book of daily inspirations I've ever had.
Marc Byerley
Jan 29, 2012 Marc Byerley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saw the author on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. Had to buy the book. Such great wisdom & insight in what I've read so far. It's a daily devotional.
Simon Vandereecken
Premier audio livre de ma vie que j'ai terminé, rempli d'apprentissage et d'énormément de sagesse. Il permet de vraiment se recentrer sur soi, ses émotions, et ce que l'on veut vraiment. Il m'a appris à me retrouver en partie, me permettant de mieux voir ce que je ressentais vraiment et de pouvoir l'exprimer de façon à me sentir mieux et en paix avec moi même. Un livre à conseiller qui permet vraiment de démarrer un travail important et intéressant sur soi, de façon très paisible. Il rejoint les ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Frankie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best daily meditation book I have ever read. Love it!
John Girard
Nov 19, 2012 John Girard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exquisite book of daily meditations. One of my very favorites.
Minci (Ayurveda) Ahmetovic
There Is no need to seek the truth Just Pay a stop to Ur opinions.

Our minds work very hard to make smth out of nothing. The only release from tensions we weave around nothing Is to remain créature of the heart. Giving Voice to the river of feelings as they flow through we Can stay clear and open. We help each other thrive when checking in comes from a List of inner kindness. As we dust Our belongings from time to time we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart. I want Channel of
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“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”
“…there are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths.” 77 likes
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