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Mark Matousek
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Mark Matousek is the bestselling author of two memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story, The Boy He Left Behind: A Man's Search for his Lost Father, as well as When You're Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living. A former senior editor at Interview Magazine, contributing editor to O, The Oprah Magazine and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, his work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including The New Yorker, Details, Harper's Bazaar, and the Utne Reader. He is the Creative Director of VMen, and international coalition for ending violence against women and girls (with playwright Eve Ensler) He lives in New York City.

Entries by Mark Matousek

How Do You Live?

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 2:06 AM

Two weeks before she killed herself, my older sister Marcia showed up at my house, wanting to ask an important question. She stared at me for a long time, looking haggard and sad after months of depression, till finally Marcia came out with it. "How do you live?" my sister...

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The Art of Surrender

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 12:53 PM

Surrender has long been a dirty word in a culture steeped in do-or-die machismo, in which willfulness is next to godliness, and giving in (even when fighting is useless) is often seen as "giving up."

Even in spiritual circles, surrender is a point of contention. Just the other day, I...

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Age Is What Makes Us Sexy

(9) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 6:39 AM

I know a person who's having a midlife crisis. It isn't a secret; that's part of the crisis. His issue comes down to an excess of sex that he talks about excessively. His best friends don't mind that he's scoring more than LeBron James in a heated playoff -- they...

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Forgive or Forget It

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 5:25 PM

Friendships are the great overlooked love affairs of our lives. On the hierarchy of emotional connections, we place even our dearest friends several rungs beneath lovers and family, and only slightly higher than colleagues, all too often, in the pecking order of who gets attention.

Friendships are affairs of the...

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What's Your Story?

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 2:56 PM

Every life is a work of fiction. That's what I tell my writing students. People come to me wanting to tell their life story, the narrative that sums them up, that captures the essence of who they are. They expect to find this story hiding inside them like a Michelangelo...

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Bringen wir das unseren Kindern bei: Wer du bist, ist bereits genug

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2014 | 11:07 AM

Früher träumte ich davon, ein Nonstop-Leben zu führen, ein erfolgreiches Leben. Ein Leben, das mit so vielen wichtigen Deadlines und Terminen, unablässigen Anforderungen und Pflichten vollgepackt wäre, dass mir kaum Zeit zum Nachdenken blieb. Ich stellte mir vor, wie bedeutend ich mich durch ein solch hektisches Dasein fühlen würde. Ich...

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It Is Sweet to Do Nothing

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 6:19 PM

I used to dream of a non-stop life, a successful life that was crammed to bursting with deadlines, dates, demands, and duties so ceaseless and important I'd barely have time to think. This frantic existence, I imagined, would make me feel like someone who mattered, a person with a big...

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Secrets and Lies

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 12:58 PM

Every life is a patchwork of secrets, half-truths, evasions, shams and disguises. The most authentic among us have hidden compartments, shadowy corners and taboo behaviors we keep under wraps for fear of destroying our public image.

I know a Buddhist teacher who sells pot for extra money, a radical feminist...

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Die Hard

(188) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 6:25 AM


This blog first appeared in Purple Clover.

The night when impotence first crossed my mind announced my fall from grace as a man.

I was 14 years old, a blissful stranger to the histrionics of the male erection. My own was something I took for granted; he was...

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The Mystery of Love

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 4:30 PM

Love is the greatest mystery. It comes when you're least expecting it and disappears when you think it is here to stay. The heat that ignites it at the beginning is doused by the intimacy it creates. Love's a portal, a mirror, a cross to bear, a joy, a heartbreak,...

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Tweet or Die

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 8:29 PM

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the social media age. Had I not been a professional writer, warned by publishers to become my own platform, I would never have issued a tweet, posted on Facebook, sent Constant Contact e-blasts, done audio promos, video promos, podcasts, webinars, teleconferences or Google...

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The Power of Solitude

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 7:23 PM

I went to the woods to be alone. It was at the beginning of my spiritual search. I believed that self-imposed exile in a hunter's cabin, miles up a mountain road with no phone, car, computer, or human distraction, would automatically change me for the better, bestow on me some...

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The Optimist's Manifesto

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 6:41 PM

When you've been hauled back from death's door, it's hard not to be an optimist.

I was supposed to be dead at 30, over two decades ago. The condition didn't kill me but what did get annihilated was the cynic hiding under my cheerful mask -- the clever, dystopian, pessimist...

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You Are a Genius: 5 Steps to Creative Freedom

(1) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 5:35 PM

You are a genius but probably don't know it. Each of is born with a specific gift that exists nowhere else in all of creation. In ancient Rome, it was well understood that everyone had his or her own genius, a spirit whose sole purpose is to inspire our lives...

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In the Realm of the Senses: The SAND 2013 Conference

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 10:33 AM

Ever since prehistoric man first glimpsed, in some primordial pool, his own perplexing reflection, our ancestors have asked themselves the same question: "Who am I?"

In a forested conference center in the Dutch countryside, several hundred scientists, sages, and seekers gathered earlier this month for the annual Science and Non-Duality...

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Gotham Salon: "The East," An Eco Thriller

(3) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 4:31 PM

What is the appropriate moral response to grave injustice? When do ends justify means, and when, if ever, is violence the right solution for addressing social wrongs? These are the compelling questions addressed in Zal Batmanglij's riveting new film, "The East," about corporate-environmental crime and an eco-activist group that fights...

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Gotham Salon: Eve Ensler's New Book

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 9:07 AM

Eve Ensler is a triple threat. An artist who is also a performer, who is also an activist, she is the founder of V-Day, her movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than $90 million in the past fifteen years. In addition to opening safe...

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Dharma Salon: Leonard Cohen at Radio City Music Hall

(5) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 5:42 PM

Seeing Leonard Cohen at Radio City Music Hall in New York City last week was one of the greatest performance experiences of our lives. Of course, we had been hearing about his legendary concerts since 2008 when he began a series of world tours, which have continued to this day,...

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Sexual Genius: An Interview With Esther Perel

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 4:21 PM

Esther Perel is a triple threat. Visionary, beautiful, and ferociously intelligent, the Belgian-born psychotherapist and author best known for Mating In Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, a landmark book that introduced millions of couples to the conflict between intimacy and sex and how to be married and hot at the same...

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Dharma Salon: How to Survive a Plague

(3) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 2:20 PM

New York was Ground Zero in the 1980s for the activist AIDS movement known as ACT UP, and David France's wrenching documentary, How to Survive a Plague, captures that time as never before with footage he has gathered going 30 years back. The heroism, heartbreak and raw commitment of a...

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