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Our Walk in the World: Making Our Way

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 …

About the Author

Mark Nepo moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his No. 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 20 languages.

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