Mark Matousek is an award-winning author of five books, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story, The Boy He Left Behind, When You’re Falling, Dive, Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life, and Ethical Wisdom for Friends. He writes regularly for Psychology Today, Purple Clover, The Huffington Post, and Contemplative Journal, and has contributed to numerous national magazines and literary anthologies.
Born in Los Angeles on February 5, 1957, Mark graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979, and received a fellowship to Worcester College, Oxford, after being awarded an M.A. in English Literature from UCLA in 1981. After graduation, he moved to New York, worked as a stringer for Reuters International, then in Newsweek Magazine’s letter department, before being hired as a proofreader at Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, where he became the magazine’s first staff writer and then senior editor the following year. Between 1982 – 1985, he conducted hundreds of interviews with well-known figures in film, television, books, fine art, politics, design and science.
Mark left publishing in 1985 and spent most of following decade as an itinerant dharma bum and freelance journalist in Europe, India, and the United States. Shifting professional gears from pop culture to psychology, philosophy and spiritual exploration, he was a contributing editor to Common Boundary Magazine, where his column “The Naked Eye” appeared from 1994-1999, and where “America’s Darkest Secret,” his exposé about incest in the United States, was nominated for a National Magazine Award. During these peripatetic years, he published essays in Harper’s Bazaar, Details, Tricycle, The Utne Reader, Yoga Journal, and The Chicago Tribune; and later in The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine, Out, Modern Maturity, Good Housekeeping, and The Saturday Evening Post.
Mark worked with Sogyal Rimpoche on The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and collaborated with Anglo-English writer Andrew Harvey on Dialogues with a Modern Mystic (and the British documentary of the same name). His first book published in 1996, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story (Riverhead Trade) became an international bestseller published in 10 countries and was nominated for two Books for a Better Life Awards. Mark was co-editor on Still Here, by Ram Dass, and published his second memoir in 2000, The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search for His Lost Father (Los Angeles Times Discovery Book). 2008 brought When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living (Bloomsbury) and two years later, Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life, (Doubleday), described by Daniel Goleman as a “a riveting, fun, and insightful tour of life’s meaning and purpose, essential reading for anyone drawn to the query, “How ought we to live?” He contributed essays to anthologies including Wrestling with the Angel, Voices of the Millennium, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer, and Oprah’s Best Life. He is currently a contributing editor at Tricycle, The Buddhist Review, and he blogs regularly for The Huffington Post, Purple Clover, and Psychology Today.
Mark began teaching in 2006 at Manhattanville College and is now on the faculty at The New York Open Center and The Omega Institute, as well as a regular teacher at Miriam’s Well, Old Stone Farm, and The Mandala Center. His introspective writing courses have helped thousands of people transform their lives through self-inquiry, which is the mission of his company Mark Matousek Media LLC. He is the Creative Director of V-Men, the male arm of V-Day, Eve Ensler’s movement to end violence against women and girls. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and PEN International, he lives in New York City.