Mark Nepo the Sophia Institute

Mark Nepo – The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters

Based on the new book by Mark Nepo, The Book of Soul, this retreat will explore our struggle to inhabit the soul on Earth through a messy human life, and how underneath our differences, we can be who we are everywhere and create a path to what matters.

After being born physically, we unfold within a second womb, meant to incubate our better angel. The second womb is an experiential one that, through the labor of a lifetime, births the soul on Earth. This retreat delves into that process of transformation in its mystery, difficulty, and inevitability. Topics will include “The Fire of Aliveness,” “The Art of Being Sensitive,” “Being Wholehearted,” “Helping Each Other Stay Awake,” “Chasing Paradise,“ and “Lessening Fear.”

Our journey from innocence to experience is how we emerge from the second womb. In this retreat, Mark will open a heart space through which participants can discover their own gifts and wisdom. Through poetry, stories, and metaphors, and reflection, journaling, and dialogue, each participant will have the chance to discover the reliable truths we can return to and how to widen our circle in the world.

“It seems the purpose of suffering is to exhaust us of our differences, and the purpose of love is to awaken us to how we’re at heart the same. Then, we discover that the temple is the world. Still, every life, every generation, every age takes its turn at pushing each other away, only to be loved and worn back to the one tribe we belong to. This seems even more relevant in our tense, modern world. For there is no they. We are they. We are each other. And there’s a Unity that always waits below our righteousness and insistence that we know the way.”—MN

Bring a journal.

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 Yours, 19 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

Nepo is a consummate storyteller with a rare gift for making the invisible visible.
—Publishers Weekly

Click here to for the complete Sophia Institute Calendar of Events.

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Hourly Schedule

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday Night Program
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday Workshop
9:30 am - 12:30
Sunday Workshop


May 15 2020 - May 17 2020


Friday Night Program (in advance) $25
Friday Night Program (Day of event) $35
Full Retreat including Friday Night Program - Early Bird (before April 8) $250
Full Retreat Including Friday Night Program $295

Visitor Planning

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Lance Hall


Lance Hall
150 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401, United States
Mark Nepo

Presenting Faculty:

Mark Nepo