65 Mark Nepo Quotes On Success In Life

Mark Nepo is a poet and spiritual adviser who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 30 years. Nepo is best known for his New York Times #1 bestseller, The Book of Awakening. He has published 12 books and recorded six audio projects. A cancer survivor, Nepo writes and teaches about the journey of inner transformation and the life of the relationship. These Mark Nepo quotes will motivate you.

Best Mark Nepo Quotes

  1. “To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” ~ Mark Nepo
  2. “What will you do today, knowing that you are one of the rarest forms of life to ever walk the Earth? How will you carry yourself? What will you do with your hands? Tomorrow you could die, but today you are precious and rare and awake. Grateful and awake, ask what you need to know now. Say what you feel now. Love what you love now.” ~ Mark Nepo
  3. “There are many ways that we grow, but there are two major ways: We shed what no longer works, or we’re broken open. If we’re unwilling to shed, then we will be broken open. Through shedding, we are worn down, just as nature is eroded to its beauty. I think that through suffering, human beings are eroded to our beauty.” ~ Mark Nepo
  4. “To listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” ~ Mark Nepo

  5. “Water reflects everything it encounters. This is so commonplace that we think water is blue, when in fact it has no color…. But the water, the glorious water everywhere, has taught me that we are more than what we reflect or love. This is the work of compassion: to embrace everything clearly without imposing who we are and without losing who we are.” ~ Mark Nepo
  6. “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. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.” ~ Mark Nepo
  7. “The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.” ~ Mark Nepo

  8. “My own time on earth has led me to believe in two powerful instruments that turn experience into love: holding and listening. For every time I have held or been held, every time I have listened or been listened to, experience burns like wood in that eternal fire, and I find myself in the presence of love. This has always been so.” ~ Mark Nepo
  9. “I’ve learned that loving your self requires a courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world – our own self worth.” ~ Mark Nepo
  10. “To journey without being changed, is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim.” ~ Mark Nepo
  11. “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

  12. “We work so hard to get somewhere, to realize a dream, to arrive at some destination, that we often forget that though some satisfaction may be waiting at the end of our endurance and effort, there is great and irreplaceable aliveness in the steps along the way.” ~ Mark Nepo
  13. “Through the opened heart, the world comes rushing in, the way oceans fill the smallest hole along the shore. It is the quietest sort of miracle: by simply being who we are, the world will come to fill us, to cleanse us, to baptize us, again and again.” ~ Mark Nepo
  14. “Sometimes the simplest and best use of our will is to drop it all and just walk out from under everything that is covering us, even if only for an hour or so—just walk out from under the webs we’ve spun, the tasks we’ve assumed, the problems we have to solve. They’ll be there when we get back, and maybe some of them will fall apart without our worry to hold them up.” ~ Mark Nepo
  15. “We are born with only one obligation – to be completely who we are.” ~ Mark Nepo
  16. “We think that accomplishing things will complete us, when it is experiencing life that will.” ~ Mark Nepo

  17. “Everything in life opens and closes, sheds and renews. We are no different. Listening in its endless forms is the way we stay open, the way we stay in relationship, the way we refresh who we are and what we’re doing here.” ~ Mark Nepo
  18. “The broken door lets in the light. The broken heart lets in the world.” ~ Mark Nepo
  19. “Repetition is not failure. Ask the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind.” ~ Mark Nepo
  20. “…I keep looking for one more teacher, only to find that fish learn from the water and birds learn from the sky.” (p.275)” ~ Mark Nepo
  21. “All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can’t see.” ~ Mark Nepo
  22. “The real & lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so we can be who we are.” ~ Mark Nepo
  23. “…there are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths.” ~ Mark Nepo
  24. “When we heal ourselves, we heal the world.” ~ Mark Nepo

  25. “I don’t personally believe in an arrived state of enlightenment. I feel that being human is a constant practice of return. We have moments of clarity, and then we’re confused. We have incredibly sensitive periods of being awake, and then we’re numb. Being human is a very universal and a very personal practice of learning how to return when we can’t get access to what we know.” ~ Mark Nepo
  26. “Each of us carries some wisdom waiting to be discovered at the center of our experience. Everything we meet, if faced and held, reveals a part of that wisdom.” ~ Mark Nepo
  27. “When we don’t get what we want, there’s a legitimate grieving, and then the spiritual journey truly begins, because not getting what we want breaks our self-reference; and once that is broken, we are aware that we are a part of a larger whole. It changes everything.” ~ Mark Nepo
  28. “Pursue the obstacle. It will set you free” ~ Mark Nepo
  29. “The extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary.” ~ Mark Nepo

  30. “Like roots finding water, we always wind up moving towards what sustains us.” ~ Mark Nepo
  31. “The sun doesn’t stop shining because some people are blind.” ~ Mark Nepo
  32. “Part of the blessing and challenge of being human is that we must discover our own true nature.” ~ Mark Nepo
  33. “Our job is not to expose the mystery but to participate in it.” ~ Mark Nepo
  34. “Tragedy stays alive by feeling what’s been done to us, while peace comes alive by living with the results.” ~ Mark Nepo
  35. “Just opening quietly for moments every day can create a path by which life can reach us, the way rain carves a little stream in the earth by which the smallest flowers are watered.” ~ Mark Nepo
  36. “The greedy one gathered all the cherries, while the simple one tasted all the cherries in one.” ~ Mark Nepo
  37. “The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.” ~ Mark Nepo
  38. “Walk long enough and we all trade places.” ~ Mark Nepo

  39. “When we are forced to stop the noise around us and in us, we begin to hear everything that is not us, and this is the beginning of humility and the renewal of our soul’s energy; as only by listening to all that is larger than us can we discover and feel our place in the Universe.” ~ Mark Nepo
  40. “As the seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace. The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way.” ~ Mark Nepo
  41. “But compassion is a deeper thing that waits beyond the tension of choosing sides. Compassion, in practice, does not require us to give up the truth of what we feel or the truth of our reality. Nor does it allow us to minimize the humanity of those who hurt us. Rather, we are asked to know ourselves enough that we can stay open to the truth of others, even when their truth or their inability to live up to their truth has hurt us.” ~ Mark Nepo
  42. “To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, whether we write it down or not.” ~ Mark Nepo
  43. “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
  44. “Let the miracles, even the ones we don’t want or see, unfold.” ~ Mark Nepo

  45. “When we keep choosing between right and wrong. We spend our energy sorting life rather than living it.” ~ Mark Nepo
  46. “Those who truly love us will never knowingly ask us to be other than we are” ~ Mark Nepo
  47. “Intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us.” ~ Mark Nepo
  48. “Four hundred-year-old trees, who draw aliveness from the earth like smoke from the heart of God, we come, not knowing you will hush our little want to be big; we come, not knowing that all the work is so much busyness of mind; all the worry, so much busyness of heart. As the sun warms anything near, being warms everything still and the great still things that outlast us make us crack like leaves of laurel releasing a fragrance that has always been.” ~ Mark Nepo
  49. “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things stop being a glass. Become a lake.” ~ Mark Nepo
  50. “In the same way that we have to clean wax from our ears and dirt from our eyes, we’re all asked to clean out our conclusions and judgments, which block our heart from meeting the world.” ~ Mark Nepo
  51. “Each of us is born with an incorruptible spot of grace.” ~ Mark Nepo

  52. “For being human, we remember and forget. We stray and return, fall down and get up, and cling and let go, again and again. But it is this straying and returning that makes life interesting, this clinging and letting go – damned as it is – that exercises the heart.” ~ Mark Nepo
  53. “I would want to affirm how rare and magnificent and messy it is to be alive, how there is really nothing between us and life, though so many things get in the way, and how our heart is the strongest muscle and resource we have.” ~ Mark Nepo
  54. “Rather than finding heaven on earth, we are asked to release heaven by living on earth.” ~ Mark Nepo
  55. “The paradox is that we have this amazing capacity in our minds and hearts to learn and gain insights and then to build a kind of personal storehouse of knowledge. The underside is that those insights harden and fill the spaces in our hearts and minds. They become assumptions, conclusions, and judgments.” ~ Mark Nepo
  56. “What is not expressed is de-pressed.” ~ Mark Nepo

  57. “Birds learn how to fly, never knowing where flight will take them.” ~ Mark Nepo
  58. “Every human has an unfathomable gift that only meeting life head-on will reveal.” ~ Mark Nepo
  59. “To be broken is no reason to see all things as broken.” ~ Mark Nepo
  60. “Before we can count we are taught to be grateful for what others do. As we are broken open by our experience, we begin to be grateful for what is, and if we live long enough and deep enough and authentically enough, gratitude becomes a way of life.” ~ Mark Nepo
  61. “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

  62. “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
  63. “We tend to make the thing in the way the way.” ~ Mark Nepo
  64. “The mystery is that whoever shows up when we dare to give has exactly what we need hidden in their trouble.” ~ Mark Nepo
  65. “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

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