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The Book Of Awakening
Designed as a companion and soul-friend, this is “a book of awakenings” woven from the author’s own story (cancer survivor, poet, and philosopher: this man has allowed life to flow through him), stories of others’ struggles with their humanness, and truths from the great wisdom traditions. A series of daily reflections covering a whole year (an inviting New Year’s gift), The Book of Awakening is a summons to reclaim life from dead-at-the-wheel sameness, and to savour the beauty offered by life’s unfolding.
I was drawn to this form because as a poet, I was longing for a manner of expression that could be as useful as a spoon, and as a cancer survivor, daybooks have become inner food... All I can ask of this work is that it comes over you the way the ocean covers a stone stuck in the open, that it surprises and refreshes, that it makes you or me glisten, and leaves us scoured as we are, just softer for the moment and more clear.
Each entry is a work of art, accompanied by a practice that will surprise and delight the reader in its mind-waking ability. Here’s one:
Center yourself and recall a time when you were healing from either a physical or emotional injury.
Breathe deeply and ask yourself if, once the pain subsided, you were able to re-experience the world freshly.
When you can, describe all this to a loved one, noting what this injury cost you and what this injury opened you to.
Each entry in this capacious and tender “thinking person’s daybook” widens both the eyes and the heart.
“Mark Nepo gives us the chance to re-examine our lives and find a depth, significance, and beauty that we may not have noticed before. A year’s supply of wise and shining thoughts to be taken, one a day, like vitamins for the soul.” —Rachel Naomi Remen, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom