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Real Life Spirituality with Mark Matousek

Posted October 30 2014

Today we have an excerpt from Real Life Spirituality with Mark Matousek.  He will focus on what it means to be a practicing spiritual person in the world, how we bring sacred values into our daily lives and how it challenges us.

I came up against this challenge first when I came back from India, after having spent time over there in ashrams and monasteries and my head was, you know, sort of full of all these spiritual ideas.  It wasn’t long after I came back that I realized I needed to learn to incorporate these ideas into the real world. I would talk to people about enlightenment and Satori and Nirvana and all these grand ideas.  They would look at me, not quite believing me, not quite understanding what I was talking about, until a friend finally said to me, “Do you mean kindness?” And when he said that, it was like a light went off, and I realized how diluted I was to think that spirituality was this grand thing, separate from the world. I was actually angry, feeling like nobody was understanding what I was trying to say until I got that, the truth is that I was misinterpreting what spirituality was about and separating it from everyday life.

So I realized that until I could understand that kindness was the essence of everything I had learned and leave behind all of this mystical language and these grand ideas, I wasn’t actually going to be able to live an integrated and balanced life as a spiritual person in the world. I didn’t really know what that would look like and what I came to realize is that being a householder is actually much harder than being a monastic, when it comes to bringing your spiritual values into day to day living. You know, it’s easy to have love for humanity when you’re sitting on a cushion in an ashram or in a monastery, but when you come out into the world and you start dealing with things like money and relationships and sex and career and ambition, all of a sudden it gets a lot more complicated, it gets a lot more challenging.


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