"Wakefulness is not a destination but a song the human heart keeps singing, the way birds keep singing at the first sign of light." Are you ready to let your heart sing its own special song? Are you prepared for the coming of the light and the breaking of a new day?

Mark Nepo's The Endless Practice is the kind of spiritual book you will want to read slowly so that the wisdom and the epiphanies can simmer in your consciousness. As he has done in the past, Nepo provides "A Reflective Pause" at the end of each chapter to give us time to mark and make fresh meanings in our journals or in conversations with others.

The author is a poet, philosopher, and author of fifteen books including The New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. He is profiled as one of Spirituality & Practice's Living Spiritual Teachers and has received four S&P Book Awards.

It does not take Nepo very long to get to the Great Work of our time which is to do six spiritual practices which can "work the light" and change everything:

1. The Practice of Uncertainty (patience)
2. The Practice of Opportunity (following our heart)
3. The Practice of Courage (doing small things with love)
4. The Practice of Connection (holding and listening)
5. The Practice of Exploration, Mastery, and Abandonment (beginning again)
6. The Practice of [removed]finding our way to the Sacred)

One of the many marvels of life is when we have the energy and the imagination to move toward what is precious. Nepo explains: "This is the original meaning of the word appreciate. Repeatedly, a life of appreciation uncovers the freeing truth that life itself is one miracle after another passing through us."

Are you opening yourself to be touched and changed by life? Nepo hopes that we will be energized and "say yes to all the majestic currents of life. Saying yes is the filament that connects us to everything." It's so easy to respond with a strong "no" to the petty irritations and general disputes in our days. Nepo challenges us to see the "yes" even in major setbacks, illnesses, and disappointments. Those who trust life and see the world as a playground for God say "yes." This is the melody that sings in our soul and sustains us during hard times.

The philosopher in Nepo comes out in his discussion of coping with emptiness, heartache, and loss. The poet in Nepo surfaces in his defense of the art of befriending life and his celebration of the unity of life. Both are fed by the streams of tender, resilient, and intimate relationships. Both are fueled by never-ending practice which grounds and centers us.

We have been assembling a book of spiritual quotations we call The Book of Little Spirituality. The quotes come from a wide variety of teachers from all traditions and have the word "little" in them. We were gratified to find ourselves in sync with Nepo's chapter titled "Little by Little." In a thousand different ways, we practice our spirituality through little acts of human empathy, kindness, and compassion. Adds Nepo: "The work of everyday life is to let go of what gets in the way of loving."

Mark Nepo begins with a tribute to the special song the heart sings and ends with a call for us to open our hearts and do what we can to make meanings, day by day.

"Work of the eyes is done. Now go and do heart work."
— Rainer Maria Rilke