Mark Nepo is a poet, healing arts instructor, cancer survivor, and spiritual counselor with over 30 years of experience teaching poetry and spirituality.

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Best Mark Nepo Quotes

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I would rather be fooled than not believe. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Truth is a seed hidden in the days until watered by what life brings us. ~ Mark Nepo.

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The broken door lets in the light. The broken heart lets in the world. ~ Mark Nepo.

Our job is not to expose the mystery but to participate in it. ~ Mark Nepo.

Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Birds learn how to fly, never knowing where flight will take them. ~ Mark Nepo.

A love astounds us or a pain consumes us and we forget that we glow on our own. ~ Mark Nepo.

If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective. ~ Mark Nepo.

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No amount of thinking can stop thinking. ~ Mark Nepo.

We think that accomplishing things will complete us, when it is experiencing life that will. ~ Mark Nepo.

All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can’t see. ~ Mark Nepo.

To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim. ~ Mark Nepo.

The simplest and bravest way to counter the plight of disheartenment is to move toward what is precious. ~ Mark Nepo.

Whatever our path, whatever the color or grain of our days, whatever riddles we must solve to stay alive, the secret of life somehow always has to do with the awakening and freeing of what has been asleep. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Every human has an unfathomable gift that only meeting life head on will reveal. ~ Mark Nepo.

We can never be prepared for everything. No one person can anticipate all of life. In fact, overpreparation is yet another way to wall ourselves in from life. ~ Mark Nepo.

I started out wanting to write great poems, then wanting to discover true poems. Now, I want to be the poem. ~ Mark Nepo.

The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. ~ Mark Nepo.

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In a world that lives like a fist mercy is not more than waking with your hands open. ~ Mark Nepo.

Being human, we are constantly broken apart by experience. To reconcile our humanness means we are ever learning how to accept our suffering and to restore our Wholeness. ~ Mark Nepo.

We are all continually asked to learn how to ask for what we need, only to practice accepting what we’re given. ~ Mark Nepo.

Listening reminds me how precious it is to be here at all. And so, listening is the first step to peace, both inner peace and the compassion that connects people. ~ Mark Nepo.

Wise Mark Nepo Quotes

Wakefulness is not a destination but a song the human heart keeps singing, the way birds keep singing at the first sign of light. ~ Mark Nepo.

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If I dare to hear you I will feel you like the sun And grow in your direction. ~ Mark Nepo.

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. ~ Mark Nepo.

The fully engaged heart is the antibody for the infection of violence. ~ Mark Nepo.

Who’s to say the effort to be real isn’t the beginning of wings? ~ Mark Nepo.

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Repetition is not failure. Ask the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind. ~ Mark Nepo.

I looked a hundred times and all I saw was dust. The sun broke through and flecks of gold filled the air. ~ Mark Nepo.

In truth, the more we lean into life, the more we authentically interact with the world, the brighter our flame. ~ Mark Nepo.

If we devote ourselves to the life at hand, the rest will follow. For life, it seems, reveals itself through those willing to live. Anything else, no matter how beautiful, is just advertising. ~ Mark Nepo.

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The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased. ~ Mark Nepo.

Memories are not images of loved ones returning to us. They are the spirits of loved ones visiting us. ~ Mark Nepo.

When the sweet ache of being alive, lodged between who you are and who you will be, is awakened, befriend this moment. It will guide you. Its sweetness is what holds you. Its ache is what moves you on. ~ Mark Nepo.

When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. For as the body is only as healthy as its individual cells, the world is only as healthy as its individual souls. ~ Mark Nepo.

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If you truly hold a stone, you can feel the mountain it came from. ~ Mark Nepo.

To be broken is no reason to see all things as broken. ~ Mark Nepo.

Top Mark Nepo Quotes

Intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us. ~ Mark Nepo.

We need to give up what no longer works and find new ways of being that keeps us close to what matters. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Walk long enough and we all trade places. ~ Mark Nepo.

To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, whether we write it down or not. ~ Mark Nepo.

The glassblower knows: while in the heat of beginning, any shape is possible. Once hardened, the only way to change is to break. ~ Mark Nepo.

Even if one glimpses God, there are cuts and splinters and burns along the way. ~ Mark Nepo.

Grief can be a slow ache that never seems to stop rising, yet as we grieve, those we love mysteriously become more and more a part of who we are. ~ Mark Nepo.

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My friends are the beings through whom God loves me. ~ Mark Nepo.

Meditation, in all its forms and traditions, is an invitation to listen, to open, to quietly enlist the courage to be touched and formed by life. ~ Mark Nepo.

The sun doesn’t stop shining because some people are blind. ~ Mark Nepo.

The extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. ~ Mark Nepo.

Each of us is born with an incorruptible spot of grace. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Live loud enough in your heart and there is no need to speak. ~ Mark Nepo.

Whatever truth we feel compelled to withhold, no matter how unthinkable it is to imagine ourselves telling it, not to is a way of spiritually holding our breath. You can only do it for so long. ~ Mark Nepo.

Popular Mark Nepo Quotes

As soon as we are born, we are part of an endless search that really goes nowhere. ~ Mark Nepo.

In a world where the great technologies enable us to record, replay, cut and paste, zoom in, and delete, listening is the crucial commitment to keep the heart touchable. ~ Mark Nepo.

The greedy one gathered all the cherries, while the simple one tasted all the cherries in one. ~ Mark Nepo.

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When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. ~ Mark Nepo.

Part of the blessing and challenge of being human is that we must discover our own true nature. ~ Mark Nepo.

Even when clouds grow thick, the sun still pours its light earthward. ~ Mark Nepo.

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There are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths. ~ Mark Nepo.

We are so unused to emotion that we mistake any depth of feeling for sadness, any sense of the unknown for fear, and any sense of peace for boredom. ~ Mark Nepo.

I had tried so hard to please that I never realized no one was watching. ~ Mark Nepo.

Once waking into the realization that eternity is waiting in every moment, I discovered that wealth is time, not money. ~ Mark Nepo.

Like roots finding water, we always wind up moving towards what sustains us. ~ Mark Nepo.

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The humility of wonder opens everything. ~ Mark Nepo.

To love by admitting our connection to everything is how we stay well. ~ Mark Nepo.

Living is the original art. As a young man I wanted to be a poet and I learned along the way that I already was a poet. ~ Mark Nepo.

If we are to access the resources of life, we must listen with our common heart to the cries of the world. ~ Mark Nepo.

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We are born with only one obligation – to be completely who we are. ~ Mark Nepo.

Keep the colors wet. ~ Mark Nepo.

When we keep choosing between right and wrong. We spend our energy sorting life rather than living it. ~ Mark Nepo.

Tragedy stays alive by feeling what’s been done to us, while peace comes alive by living with the results. ~ Mark Nepo.

Keeping a commitment to listening has led me to my own growth, beyond any imagined dreams I may have had throughout the years. ~ Mark Nepo.

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The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes. ~ Mark Nepo.

The life of expression is the tuning fork by which we find our way to the sacred. ~ Mark Nepo.

When wiggling through a hole the world looks different than when scrubbed clean by the wiggle and looking back. ~ Mark Nepo.

Famous Mark Nepo Quotes

We’re quietly aching for something to celebrate. ~ Mark Nepo.

The mystery is that whoever shows up when we dare to give has exactly what we need hidden in their trouble. ~ Mark Nepo.

A successful creative expression is one in which the person who has expressed it was transformed for having encountered it. ~ Mark Nepo.

Accepting what we’re given is a practice in being present to everything beyond us that lets us become intimate with the nature of life. ~ Mark Nepo.

Rather than finding heaven on earth, we are asked to release heaven by living on earth. ~ Mark Nepo.

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We are broken open, or we willfully shed. ~ Mark Nepo.

To listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. ~ Mark Nepo.

Breathe like a fallen leaf and think of nothing. Just breathe and let your heart and mind be carried, however briefly, by the spirit you can’t quite see. ~ Mark Nepo.

Perhaps the hardest thing I’ve learned, and still struggle with, is that I don’t have to be finished in order to be whole. ~ Mark Nepo.

No matter where we dig or climb, we come upon the fire we left untended. ~ Mark Nepo.

Anything or anyone that asks you to be other than yourself is not holy, but is trying only to fill its own need. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Those who truly love us will never knowingly ask us to be other than we are. ~ Mark Nepo.

No bird can fly without opening its wings, and no one can love without exposing their hearts. ~ Mark Nepo.

It has always amazed and humbled me to how the risk to bloom can seem so insurmountable beforehand and so inevitably freeing once the threshold of suffering is crossed. ~ Mark Nepo.

In daily terms, the work of listening is to be constantly worn free of our preconceptions and preferences so that nothing stands in the way of our direct experience of life. ~ Mark Nepo.

Let’s be in awe which doesn’t mean anything but the courage to gape like fish at the surface breaking around our mouths as we meet the air. ~ Mark Nepo.

I am more than I have shown you and more than you are willing to see. Let’s work our love and know each other more fully. ~ Mark Nepo.

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Doing small things with love is the atom of bravery. ~ Mark Nepo.

Love and grief enable us to feel how we’re all at heart the same. In love and grief, which is always very personal, the distinctions that separate us melt away. ~ Mark Nepo.

Whatever opens us is not as important as what it opens. ~ Mark Nepo.

What we reach for may be different, but what makes us reach is the same. ~ Mark Nepo.


So these were the top 95 Mark Nepo quotes on life, gratitude, listening and success.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Norman Cousins quotes and Twyla Tharp quotes.