Friday, September 28, 2012

Books: SEVEN THOUSAND WAYS TO LISTEN by Mark Nepo (NYT best selling author)

"I hope the journey of this book will enable readers to discover and enliven their own personal practice of staying close to the aliveness we are each born with, and so inhabit the durable and precious gift of life." Mark Nepo on his new book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.
Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
Staying Close to What Is Sacred
This edition: Hardcover, 288 pages

ISBN-10: 145167466X
ISBN-13: 9781451674668

When I review a book I normally read it because I am obligated. I am sent a copy before the book is released and I read...from cover to cover. So I began reading Mark Nepo's new book SEVEN THOUSAND WAYS TO LISTEN: Staying Close to What is Sacred in the evening because it was the time I could snatch from a busy day. My vision was blurred and the words began to swim. Then the sound of the words in my head stopped me dead. "Stop! Stop now! Listen" my heart said. I don't know why but my being was listening even if I wasn't.

Have your ever read a book with such beautiful prose that you wanted to cry? That is the way that Mark Nepo's words hit me. See I am an older person and my time is precious to me. I am not inclined to read bad books or watch awful movies. This book made me pause and...well...listen.

There are seven thousand or more languages on this earth he tells his readers in the first sentences of the book. Seven thousand ways to hear or experience the word listen. The title reflects that number but it is so much more. Nepo is renowned for his spiritual writings and was at the top of the New York Time best seller list with a earlier book called The Book of Awakening. He is a cancer survivor and suffers from a severe hearing loss as a result of chemo therapy. He says that it was when he began losing his hearing that he became aware that listening was not all about our ears. Even though the book was being formulated before he discovered how little he was hearing, I think the book was enriched by the disability. He says he wrote this book as a way to get a better understanding of the what was in his heart.

A fellow reviewer said it better that I ever could:
"Nepo has mastered a unique way of inviting the reader into a meditative state while reading his sublime wisdom about everyday life. I found his work a comfort--and that's a rare find these days.”
-- Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Defy Gravity
The words of Associate Publicist for Simon and Schuster, Kristin Matzen, struck at the core of why this book is not only inspiring but also relevant in today's political climate.
"In this elections season," she said, "now more than ever, listening takes on a vital importance.....With so much at stake at this time, we all have to and stop and listen more. As Nepo explains...listening is the first step to peace."
But in the end it struck me that this book does not have religious doctrinal boundaries. It is relevant in the Middle or Far East as much as it is here at home. No matter their religious stance, everyone could benefit from a book that guides us through the labyrinth of listening to the other's voices so that we might understand. After all isn't that the problem? We just don't understand the other's position because we have quit listening? We have even quit listening to our own inner voices and that is the one that Mark Nepo speaks to with such eloquence.


Note: This book is designed in such a way that it can be used as a pathway to meditation. You will find notes for reflection, topics for dinner conversations and guides to help you write about what you are thinking.

Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred will be available on Amazon
on October 9, 2012.  It will be available in hard back and on your Kindle.

Other places to find Mark Nepo:

Three Intentions Blog
Mark Nepo
Huffington Post: Mark Nepo 

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