More than a snippet of truth required

"Meditation books," as they're called in book stores, are feeding millions every day with brief, up beat reflections, one for each day of the year. Some pooh-pooh this trend as no more than a quick, fast-food religious fix. Still, others swear by this self-help program, saying that to get one inspired thought in the morning makes them feel centered, focused to face whatever happens during the day.

Spiritual hunger, that's how many psychologists, religious counselors, and social workers view the new wave of "private piety"—interest in a personal devotional life. Living, as we seem to be, in a sound-bite society and battered by media reports fueling a tabloid taste, are we so starved for something higher and holier, that even a crumb of spirituality satisfies? And if so, for how long?

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Does it take a strong ego?
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