323. Adam Bucko

Adam BuckoAdam Bucko is an activist, spiritual director to many of New York City’s homeless youth, and co-author of a new award-winning book called “Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (Sacred Activism)“.

He grew up in Poland during the totalitarian regime and spent his early years exploring the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. At the age of 17, Adam immigrated to America where his desire to find his path towards a meaningful life led him to monasteries in the US and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where on his way to a Himalayan hermitage, he met a homeless child who lived on the streets of Delhi. This brief encounter led him to the “Ashram of the Poor” where he began his work with homeless youth. After returning to the US, he worked on the streets of various American cities with young people struggling against homelessness and prostitution. He eventually co-founded The Reciprocity Foundation, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless youth.

In addition to his work with homeless youth, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual “new monastic” fellowship for young people which offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism.

He collaborates with spiritual leaders across religious traditions and mentors young people, helping them discover a spiritual life in the 21st century and how to live deeply from the heart in service of compassion and justice.

Adam is a recipient of several awards and his work has been featured by ABC News, CBS, NBC, New York Daily News, National Catholic Reporter, Ode Magazine, Yoga International Magazine and Sojourner Magazine.

Huffington Post Articles by Adam

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded 10/23/2015 at the Science and Nonduality Conference.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump interview
  • 00:02:20 – Spiritual Activism and the “Gandhis” of Poland
  • 00:04:08 – Building an Altar at Home
  • 00:05:50 – The Peaceful Revolution in Poland
  • 00:07:54 – Finding Solace in an Ashram
  • 00:09:24 – Spiritual Practice in India
  • 00:10:41 – Combining Contemplative Practice with Social Justice
  • 00:12:29 – Falling in Love with Life for Spiritual Awakening
  • 00:14:04 – The Illusion of the World
  • 00:15:33 – The Framework of the Spiritual Journey
  • 00:17:07 – Responsibility to Help the World
  • 00:18:45 – The value of service and surrender
  • 00:20:45 – The Benefit of Serving Others
  • 00:22:33 – Being an Instrument of the Divine in Helping the Poor
  • 00:24:25 – Being Present in a State of Curious Not-Knowing
  • 00:26:19 – Restructuring Life and Developing a Rule of Life
  • 00:28:12 – Remembering True Nature and Creating a Loving Space
  • 00:29:43 – “Church” and the Transformation of Homelessness
  • 00:31:41 – The Starfish Story
  • 00:32:40 – Letting go of the Need for Results
  • 00:34:30 – The Teachings on Service
  • 00:36:04 – The Center as a Family
  • 00:37:44 – The Plight of Homeless Youth and Funding Challenges
  • 00:39:23 – Praying and the Metamorphosis
  • 00:41:47 – Seeing God in Others
  • 00:43:59 – Serving as an instrument of the Divine
  • 00:45:28 – Working with Homeless Kids and the New Monasticism
  • 00:47:20 – The Primary Spiritual Question for Young People
  • 00:48:53 – Hope and Movement
  • 00:50:13 – Rescheduling due to a power outage caused by a squirrel
  • 00:51:35 – Next Interview and Donation Button