Being “Spiritual” Out in the World



I am 25 and torn between being my spiritual self (as at home), and the "mask" I feel forced to wear in the work world. I feel that when I am around others I can’t even think about God because then my demeanor would change, and others would see me as "different" or "being better" and it would be hard to relate to them.

A Kriya monk from another lineage wrote me that he just acted like everyone else during the day, but was spiritual at night. I can’t imagine how he did it! Any thoughts?

—Rush, USA


It’s very unspiritual to put on a false pretense all day, for any reason. I’ve seen that many people are confused about what it means to be spiritual. Pop culture seems to think that it’s spiritual to perform a very public (often ostentatious) display of praying, on a football field for example.

But you don’t need to wear white and carry a japa mala with you at work in order to be spiritual. You don’t need to regularly quote from scripture or greet people by saying, “God bless you my friend,” or anything like that.

Giving to others is much more “spiritual” than any of those things. Be generous to others. Be kind. Smile at people. Encourage them. Offer help when it’s needed. Be yourself. If anyone is bothered by that, it’s their loss, but you at least are still gaining from the practice.

You can do these things in the name of God (without having to tell people that), and as a natural fruit of your daily meditation practice — you’ll soon find that your daily life greatly enhances your inner life, and vice versa.