What I’m Reading: The Book of Awakening

Well, I believe it is my third year reading this book. Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening (Red Wheel Press), now in its 22nd year. It’s written as a day book. This means, it has entries for each day of the year. Nepo is a poet, philosopher, cancer survivor, and a kind-hearted guide for how things go. Each year I gain further surprise, delight, and understanding in dipping into and swimming through this book.

I still can remember first getting it, looking at it slightly overwhelmed. Thinking: Should I start at the beginning? Well, that question got me nowhere. The book sat unread for a week or so. Then – abandoning any plan – and jumped in at the month I started reading.

That tale of starting what turned out to be a great book is much like a Mark Nepo story. We make plans, but plans should not prevent living. A person is not the product of some picture-perfect plan. At any stage in life, at best, it’s a mix. Yet, sometimes we cannot let go of our plans.

Maybe though, in the end, it’s not letting go of plans – but one’s grip – that’s the essential next step.

Well, I’m reading Nepo’s Seven Thousand Ways of Listening and open to listening deeper, harder, further.

I was delighted as well to hear him recently via an online presentation say this, below:

Students learn.

Teachers remember.

How we take turns.

–Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening

Best, G. H. Mosson