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Our Walk in the World: Making Our Way

Heal
California Coast

Photo Credit: Thinkstock/emyu

When we find each other stranded, the exercise of compassion demands that we interrupt our lives to return each other to our own true nature

Eighteen years ago, I encountered a teaching moment while driving the coast of California. And yesterday, I encountered a twin teaching moment, less directly, through the news, all the way from Australia. Today, I see how they go together. One was waiting like a seed in my consciousness for the other to arrive, once I’d tumbled through years of slow living. The first teaching startled me while I was driving north of Monterey on California Highway 1 in late October 1998. I was aching and vulnerable, feeling far from home, when, through the harsh onshore wind, I saw a large rock surrounded by the rough, churned-up sea. The rock was covered with all kinds of animals: willets, gulls, cormorants, sea lions, seals, pelicans, otters. All had found refuge from the hammering of the sea: climbing, winging, hauling themselves onto the rock; leaning into each other, lying on each other; finding this rock-oasis of wind and sun; too tired once on the rock to fight or be territorial; each having been wrung out by the pounding of the wet hours. I realized this is how we make our way, how we find each other. Every sur …

Mark Nepo moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark has been called "one of the finest spiritual guides of our time. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

In May and June, Mark Nepo will be poet-in-residence for Choral Arts Northwest while teaching at Harmony Hill Retreat Center (both in Seattle); at the Sophia Institute in Charleston, South Carolina; at 1440 Multiversity near Santa Cruz, California; and at Copper Beech Institute in Hartford, Connecticut. See MarkNepo.comfor details.


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