Mark Nepo the Sophia Institute

The Way Under the Way – The Place of True Meeting

This weekend retreat celebrates the publication of Mark Nepo’s latest book of poetry The Way Under the Way, which gathers 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, the New York Times bestselling author is committed to poetry as a way being and caring more than the manipulation of language. The central theme of Mark’s work is an ongoing inquiry into the inner space of the soul and the journey of being human.

Let no one keep you from your journey.
You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.

This retreat will center on our connection to the depth of life, that place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. Through poetry, story, journaling and dialogue, Mark will guide participants into conversation with their own gifts and their own wisdom.

About poetry and the life of expression, Mark says, “Poems are the moments through which life opens us. In this, the deepest moments of life are our teachers. They arrive with their wisdom and become our guides. What they surface becomes our inner curriculum and by staying in conversation with life, we grow. We’re all drawn to what we need to learn, which if engaged with honesty reveals insights common to us all. My hope is that our time together will support you in living, listening, and beholding each other. Whether you write or not, I offer that the medicine of poetry and expression is that through raw and honest reflection, we deepen our conversation with life. And so, the purpose of poetry and expression is to make life real, to remove everything that gets in the way, and to help us live. My hope is that through this time together, you will become more intimate with your own nature and more engaged in your own journey.”

Please 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

The event is finished.

Hourly Schedule

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


May 30 2020


Friday Night Lecture- $25.00 in advance / $35.00 day of the event Full Retreat (including Friday)- $295
Mark Nepo

Presenting Faculty:

Mark Nepo