The One Life We’re Given

The One Life We’re Given

Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 10:00 to 17:30
Alternatives says: 
Finding the wisdom that waits in your heart

As a poet, philosopher and beloved teacher, Mark Nepo has been breaking a path of spiritual inquiry for more than forty years. Based on several of his books, this workshop affirms how precious this one life is and opens the chance we have to be fully alive and to be of use to each other and the world. 


Drawn from his years of teaching, Nepo explores how our hard work and authenticity ready us for meaning and grace. He unfolds how our sincerity and labor help us to survive and thrive. As Nepo puts it, “We are all challenged to discover the story behind the story, and to find what can last.”




By fully living the one life we’re given, we’re led to the wisdom that waits in our heart. There is no other way. To make the most of being here, we’re required to learn when to try and when to let go. This is our initiation into grace. The gift and practice of being human centers on the effort to restore what matters and, when in trouble, to make good use of our heart. No one quite knows how to do this, but learn it we must. Our path to love and truth depend on this journey.


This workshop will explore how we might truly inhabit the one life we’re given: by getting closer to life, loving what you do, finding what can last, and by being kind and useful. Using ancient and contemporary stories, poetry, journaling and dialogue, Mark will delve into what it means to make our way through pain and sorrow, keeping our eyes open as we work our way into grace. Through conflict and joy, and love and loss, we’re asked to craft and weave our soul and our journey into the one life we’re given. This is how we become instruments of love.


“Working with you as readers and students is a path I am devoted to. This path is a continuous inquiry into what it means to be human, to be here, and to care for each other. My hope is that through this workshop you will deepen your conversation with life. That through your own path of obstacle and surprise, you will be opened to your gifts and become somewhat freed of all you carry. My hope is that this time together will support you in becoming skilled at living with both effort and grace.”

—Mark Nepo


Mark Nepo is a Great Soul. His resonant heart—his frank and astonishing voice—befriend us mightily on this mysterious trail.  Naomi Shihab Nye, author of You and Yours19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, and Red Suitcase


Mark Nepo is one of the finest spiritual guides of our time. Parker J. Palmer, author of A Hidden Wholeness and The Courage to Teach


Mark Nepo joins a long tradition of truth-seeking, wild-hearted poets—Rumi, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver—and deserves a place in the center of the circle with them. 

—Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder, Omega Institute, author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow



10:00 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. Session 1: The Nature of Being Alive 


11:30 a.m. — 11:50 a.m. Break      


11:45 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. Session 2: The One Conversation


1:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m. Lunch    


2:00 p.m. — 3:30 p.m. Session 3: The Wisdom of a Broken Heart


3:30 p.m. — 3:50 p.m. Break      


3:50 p.m. — 5:00 p.m. Session 4: Saying Yes to Life


5:00 p.m. — 5:30 p.m. Session 5: Wandering Authentically


About the speaker, Mark Nepo
Mark Nepo is a bestselling author, poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 40 years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published 19 books and recorded 14 audio projects. 

Mark has been interviewed several times by Oprah Winfrey as part of her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and was interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. Mark’s work is widely accessible and used in spiritual retreats, healing and medical communities, and more. His work has been translated into 20 languages, and he continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats. 

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