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Being a Spiritual Person

Recently I was listening to my friend Satish Kumar being interviewed on the BBC. Satish is a former Jain monk who defined his life by walking for world peace. With no financial resources of his own, he founded two successful schools in England. The interviewer asked him about life as a Jain and then offered a question that made my ears prick up: “In what way are you a spiritual person?”I was interested in Satish’s answer because I’ve been writing a spiritual autobiography in which I describe how my original traditional Catholicism has seeped invisibly into my life, so that it’s difficult to separate the spirituality from the secular life.As usual, Satish was calm and comfortable as he responded without any hesitation to the question. He said that he devotes his life to service, and he takes care of the world, especially nature and animals. These values are deeply set in the Jain religion, and he has made them his own.When I heard Satish’s response, I thought about my own spirituality. I, too, spent my youth in a mostly monastic religious community. I, too, shed the outer signs of that life and have trie …

Thomas Moore is the New York Times best-selling author of Care of the Soul, as well as many other books on deepening soul and cultivating a mature spiritual life, three of which have received the Books for a Better Life Award. At turns he has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, a psychotherapist, and an S&H columnist. 

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