Poetry is a portal, a means of perception. All art is. And just as we can see the very energy of existence through a microscope, we can see the vibrancy at the center of all life through our heart or our mind, when we are clear of bias and noise…

I take my time, looking for what [lasts]…
Tao Ch’ien

We are constantly challenged to marry what is with what can be. If we only bear witness to the trials of existence, we will be weighed down by the burdens of time. If we only pine after what is possible…

Imagine a lantern in an open boat,
the light flickering as the boat drifts
in the night lake.

Now imagine it rains and look closely
at how the drops plop in the lake
and thud in the boat and bead on
the sides of the lantern.

Notice how the flame…

Take off your situation

and you are closer.

Take off the story you’ve

been told about yourself

and you are closer still.

Take off your dream of

compliance or rebellion

and you’re almost there.

Take off your name and

put your face in the stream

of all that wants to…

One of the great truths in this life is that if we know love, we will know loss. The more we love, the more the loss will hurt. Yet, if we don’t love, what’s the point in being here? When we can courageously love with all our heart, the reward…

Since stepping out of the first cave, we have made pilgrimage, trying to find where we are going by opening our hearts to where we began. Yet how can any of us tell where the other has been? You, ahead of me in the checkout line, what have you lost…

Once awake, an essential path of learning is the art of being sensitive. No one quite knows how to do this. And once open to the infinite sensations and enlivening encounters that experience brings, we are often overwhelmed by such aliveness. It is a common malady for the sensitive to…

When lost and unable to move,

you came and rubbed my shoulders

till my judgment of myself dispersed.

When too heavy with grief to fold the

laundry, you said, “Forget the dryer”

and hung the clothes on the line and

we watched the shirts and sheets

billow in the wind.

I have always loved the café life where I can sit by the endless river without leaving the river, where I can remove myself from the sweeping current but still drink from life. …

Keith Jarrett is a legendary pianist and composer who is part of the pantheon who have led us into new realms of music. His legendary ability to improvise is astonishing as are his renditions of classical music including Bach, Handel, and Mozart. …

Mark Nepo

New York Times #1 bestselling author, poet, and philosopher. Learn more: live.marknepo.com

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