I just had the honor of officiating at the funeral of a gentleman who lived for 94 years and truly lived a full life. Firstly, I’m so grateful that I was able to perform the ceremony and give back to a man who gave to so many. Not only was this gentleman a veteran of the Navy and a professional Jewish boxer, he also adopted and raised 3 children as his own, to such an extent that I didn’t know they were adopted until today. Above all else, this man was extremely charitable.

I was contemplating– as one does after a funeral– on the importance of life and my choices during my lifetime and what is important to me. What is, and what will be my legacy?

I’m reminded of my teacher Ted’s lesson about the tree. He explains that for many years, we were focused on the trunk, which is our ego: who and what we are in this world, where we belong, how much we have, how important we are, etc. At some point, that stops working and we focus upwards on the branches, which are various forms of spirituality, meditation, prayer, etc. Ultimately, that isn’t enough by itself, and that’s when we focus on the roots, which is our soul.

Today, my reflection took me to my soul, and I asked the question: if I lived in accordance primarily with my soul, what would that look like? I can’t entirely do so, as I wouldn’t eat or drink, yet I can still be guided by it. I know that money wouldn’t be the most important and status wouldn’t either—rather, impact would. I would ask myself—and many times I do—will this bring me eternal life, or will it stay here when I pass?

Materialism is a huge challenge for me, and please know there is nothing wrong with wealth, with nice things, and with enjoying life to the fullest, yet it becomes a problem when it’s the primary focus. I know for myself, when it’s my primary focus, I forget how to be a good parent, how to be a good friend, and how to be a good partner, as materialism by its nature is a selfish pursuit.

How do you live a soul-centric life? And if you don’t, how would it look if you did?

What is remarkable about this gentleman was when I was 7 or 8 years old, 40 years ago he had a Lamborghini, and what I remember is how he shared it by offering all the kids in the neighborhood a ride. I guess what I’m saying is that elevating the material to be a custodian of it, to share it instead of hoarding or possessing it just for its own sake, is a great way for me to live soul-centric.

This week, my goal isn’t to be a monk and it isn’t to give up all material delights. That’s an incredible virtue, it’s just not mine. This week, I choose to elevate the material by sharing, by being charitable, and by recognizing it’s not mine—I’m just the trustee.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love


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