The Occupy Wall Street movement and protest movements around the world are evidence of a new era of intergenerational activists seeking deeper spiritual meaning in their quest for peace and justice.
This book is a call to action for a new era of spirituality-infused activism. Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems--economic, political, educational, and religious--discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world.
Incorporating the words of young activist leaders culled from interviews and surveys, the book provides a framework that is deliberately interfaith and speaks to our profound yearning for a life with spiritual purpose and for a better world. Each chapter is construed as a dialogue between Fox, a 72-year-old theologian, and Bucko, a 37-year-old spiritual activist and mentor to homeless youth. As we listen in on these familiar yet profound conversations, we learn about Fox and Bucko's own spiritual journeys and discover a radical spirituality that is inclusive, democratic, and relevant to the world we live in today.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Mona Eltahawy
Foreword by Andrew Harvey
Introduction: Invitation to Occupy Your Conscience
1. Is It Time to Replace the God of Religion with the God of Life?
2. Radical Spirituality for a Radical Generation
3. Adam's Story
4. Matthew's Story
5. What's Your Calling? Are You Living in Service of Compassion and Justice?
6. Spiritual Practice: Touch Life and Be Changed by It
7. No Generation Has All the Answers: Elders and Youth Working Together
8. Birthing New Economics, New Communities, and New Monasticism
Conclusion: Occupy Generation and the Practice of Spiritual Democracy
Afterword by Lama Surya Das
“Occupy Spirituality is a powerful, inspiring, and vital call to embodied awareness and enlightened actions. ‘Spiritual democracy,’ as it is called in this book, is necessary … if we are not only to survive as a species on this beautiful, sacred planet, but also to cocreate through our conscious, committed actions a world and planet where all beings thrive together. Thank you Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko for such a wonderful book.”
—Julia Butterfly Hill, environmental activist and author of The Legacy of Luna: The
Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods
“The dialogue between these two visionary men comes as a fresh, exhilarating wind. It swings wide the doors of our minds and reveals what is surely the most heartening phenomenon of our time. Illumined and honored here are the moral clarity and courage of young activists the world over, as they unmask the deadening abuses of an exhausted civilization. Matthew and Adam help us hear these voices and catch the spiritual power moving through them.”
—Joanna Macy, author of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy
“A beautiful book with a simple, clear, and profound message for our time.”
—David Korten, board chair, YES! Magazine; author of Agenda for a New Economy
"A rollicking ride, a pointed and energetic exchange in which love and mutual esteem is evident on every page. ...this volume is a heart-felt and potent wake-up call for the churches to re-engage in the radical and revolutionary task that has been theirs from the outset: to produce prophets and mystics for the world."
—National Catholic Reporter
“In Occupy Spirituality, our friends Adam Bucko and the Rev. Matthew Fox have begun a multigenerational conversation that is becoming critical to accomplishing the kind of change we want to see in spirituality today. Being deeply connected to the two ends of the spectrum of adult life, and looking together at the growing edge of spirituality and modern culture, they are helping all of us to find our way.”
—Netanel Miles-Yepez and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, coauthors of A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters
“The monologue of the Religious Right is over. And a new dialogue has begun. This book is a sign of that dialogue. You may not agree with everything on these pages (I didn’t), but you can’t help but be stirred to join the conversation—and to dive into a movement that is reimagining the world. Matthew and Adam refuse to see faith as just a ticket into heaven, and they invite you to join them—and to join God—in bringing heaven down to earth.”
—Shane Claiborne, activist, lover of Jesus, and author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical and Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?
“Occupy Spirituality brings to the forefront the need for spirituality in our lives and through us in the lives of nations around the world. Materialism and morality, Gandhi said, have an inverse relationship. When one increases the other decreases. The decay in our ‘civilization’ today is caused by material greed. This may just be the blueprint for the survival of humanity. Everyone must read this book.”
—Arun Gandhi, author of Legacy of Love and The Forgotten Woman; President, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute
"This book gives heartfelt expression to the marriage of inner and outer activism that has the potential to transform our world."
—Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics and The Ascent of Humanity
“Occupy Spirituality is a careful, thoughtful, and inspiring reminder that we don't have to choose between spiritual fulfillment and political engagement. Fox and Bucko's dialogues enable us to spy the Promised Land of social justice through fresh eyes. This book will challenge your mind, complicate your politics, and re-energize your spirit!”
—Marc Lamont Hill, social critic, activist, and author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity and The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America
“Thank you, Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox, for nurturing the radical spiritual activism and moral imagination which is growing all our souls and changing our world.”
—Grace Lee Boggs, activist and author of The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
“One can hope that the next great social transformation will include not just political freedom and social justice, but a transformation of the human soul as well. One can hope that the activists of this era will be spiritual visionaries. One can hope that the contemplatives of this era will speak truth to power and take it to the streets. With this book, Matthew and Adam increase the possibility that it will be so.”
—Kabir Helminski, activist and Sufi, author of Living Presence, The Knowing Heart, and Love's Ripening
“These fresh and buoyant original voices summon us to radical habit change and life-giving compassion in action guided by wisdom’s insightful eye. That is the mission of bodhisattva leaders and awakeners like Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox, dedicated ‘servant leaders’ who are fomenting a beloved community committed to witnessing and working towards social justice, peace and harmony, and higher consciousness.”
—Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within and Buddha Standard Time
“Occupy Spirituality powerfully applies the interfaith vision globally known as ‘interspirituality’ to the activist and transformative movement for positive worldwide social change. It is a further step in our planet’s evolution toward a global civilization based on the Heart.”
—Kurt Johnson, co-author of The Coming Interspiritual Age
“The Occupy movement moves us from self-centeredness to other-centeredness. The most courageous act that any of us can do is to dare to care about others. Since our destinies are metaphysical we should start now and Occupy Spirituality. Let this book be our manual.”
—Sharon Gannon, co-creator of Jivamukti Yoga, author of Yoga and Vegetarianism: The Diet of Enlightenment
“In Occupy Spirituality, Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox remind us that authentic spirituality is action. Spirituality without engagement is empty. Activism without spiritual roots is dissipative and fragmenting. Spirituality needs to empower and inspire us to action. Sadhna (meditation) and seva (service) are complementary. Spirituality and Action need to reunite. In this time of corporate rule and greed, we need to heed the message of Occupy Spirituality.”
—Dr. Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, author of Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, and Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis
“Enlightened and resilient social change requires a change in the insight, compassion, and wisdom of individuals—people who occupy their spirituality, live it daily in their work, their families, and their struggles. This amazing and surprising book addresses what it means to live a life of sacred activism amidst the chaos of the 21rst century from the perspectives of a dynamic young activist and a wise elder. Everyone should read it!”
—Mirabai Bush, co-author of Compassion in Action and co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
"Occupy Spirituality is a consciousness-raising, prophetic, and bridge-building book... In their quest for peace, justice and freedom these two radicals map out where we have been and what must be done in our times to reunite contemplation and action..."
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice
"I was struck by [the] description of 'spiritual warriorship.' This is particularly resonant with Shambhala."
—Amanda Hester, Shambhala Times
"A fresh breeze for all concerned with conscious, committed action."
—Light of Consciousness