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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

Tempus Non Fugit

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 10:14 AM

Time is a cruel bitch goddess. We measure our lives in coffee spoons and wonder why we feel so crushed by the tick-tock of minutes piling down on us through the burying years. We chop existence into nanoseconds and struggle to fill up every one, fearful of wasting a moment...

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Plaster Saints

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:13 AM

It strikes me as bizarre that while no sane person would think of hiring a surgeon with twitchy hands or a pilot who'd never left the ground, Americans by the busload turn their spiritual lives over to teachers who claim enlightenment but, on close inspection, are just as cracked as...

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The Wound and the Gift

(2) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 11:19 AM

The Sanskrit word guru means "darkness to light." Anything that enlightens us is our guru. As we come to locate the strength in our weak parts, the gifts in our losses, the counterintuitive uplift of even the most difficult changes, we realize as well that our wounds are our teachers;...

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Who Wants to Be Perfect?

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 2:26 AM

The downside of living in a feel-good culture is that we rarely, if ever, feel good enough. Obsessed with living Our Best Life, turning 60 into the new 40, therapy-busting every neurosis, and OM-ing our way to eternal bliss, we forget the importance of imperfection, the value of our limitations,...

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Where Is Home?

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2016 | 11:01 AM

A few years back, I traveled around the United States doing research for an article about the epidemic of homelessness in our country. Like many people who've never slept in the street or been housing deprived, I believed before making this journey that homelessness was a geographical-financial condition, in essence,...

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Releasing the Barriers to Love: An Interview With Tara Brach

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2015 | 7:52 PM

Tara Brach, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, lecturer and popular teacher of Buddhist mindfulness meditation. She is the author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, and True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart. On Dec. 4, Tara will be leading...

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The Dream of the Perfect Marriage

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 8:16 PM

When you've been down the aisle and really bombed, it's hard to believe you'll ever have a happy marriage. When you've put on the tux, chosen the rings, picked out the invites, the flowers, the music, written the vows, made up the guest list, said, "I do," then wound up...

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Begin Again

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 2:17 PM

We live in the Age of Authority where the highest value is placed on expertise, being know-it-alls, and masters of the universe. In this era of achievement obsession, great emphasis is placed on knowledge over wisdom and on information over truth. We look down our noses at amateurs, feel judged...

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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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