Work samples

  • Brutus
    "Brutus" appeared in The Peauxdunque Review, Issue 4. It was a finalist for the Midwest Review's Great Midwest Fiction Contest.

About Benjamin

Baltimore County
Benjamin Shalva's poetry and prose has appeared in The Washington Post, Image, Awakenings Review, Peauxdunque Review, Ponder Review, and Spirituality & Health Magazine. He is the author of two books of nonfiction, Spiritual Cross-Training and Ambition Addiction, both published by Grand Harbor Press. He lives in Pikesville with his wife, Sara, and their two children and serves as a wandering rabbi for numerous Jewish institutions and communities in and around the Baltimore… more
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  • Sota
    "Sota" appeared in The Ponder Review, Volume 4, Issue 2.
  • Brutus
    "Brutus" appeared in The Peauxdunque Review, Issue 4. It was a finalist for the Midwest Review's Great Midwest Fiction Contest.


  • Head in the Clouds
    "Head in the Clouds: Navigating Devotion and Dependence in the Digital Age" appeared in daCunha's Anthology 2 (February 2019). It was a finalist for both the New Millennium Awards and the Chattahoochee Review Lamar York Prize.
  • Waiting Out the JCC Bomb Threat
    "Waiting Out the JCC Bomb Threat" appeared in Kveller on March 6, 2017.
  • Protest and Privilege on Pennsylvania Ave.
    "Protest and Privilege on Pennsylvania Ave." appeared in Elephant Journal on February 23, 2017.
  • Gratitude: An Act of Truth Telling
    "Gratitude: An Act of Truth Telling" appeared in Spirituality & Health Magazine on November 13, 2016.
  • The Hidden Power of Song
    "The Hidden Power of Song" appeared in The Washington Post on February 4, 2016.
  • What a Tibetan Monk taught me about Chronic Neck Pain
    "What a Tibetan Monk taught me about Chronic Neck Pain" appeared in The Washington Post on January 6, 2016.

Ambition Addiction

Ambition Addiction: How to Go Slow, Give Thanks, and Discover Joy Within
by Benjamin Shalva

Published by Grand Harbor Press (November 2016)

For many, accomplishment is never enough. In a culture obsessed with fame and celebrity, the burning desire for acclaim, conquest, and domination can be overwhelming—to the detriment of one’s personal life. This is ambition addiction: the all-encompassing yearning for success at any cost.  Self-described ambition addict Benjamin Shalva has written an insightful and illuminating book for anyone who wants to control that destructive strain of ambition and live with integrity. He identifies the signs and symptoms of ambition addiction and profiles iconic achievers to help readers identify unhealthy motivations. Then he reveals the five steps to living a fulfilling life of healthy, productive ambition in which grand but elusive fantasies give way to the true happiness of the here and now

Praise for Ambition Addiction:  How to Go Slow, Give Thanks, and Discover Joy Within

“There’s the life you and I think we want. That’s a sickness, really, and one that AMBITION ADDICTION diagnoses thoroughly yet entertainingly. Then there’s another life, a real, genuine, truly joyful life of service that you and I can lead. It’s right here, right now—all it takes is the knowledge and presence of mind to face some very real facts. Shalva's book is bracing medicine for those of us caught up in the stress and hunger and busy-ness of this fast, fast world.” — Waylon Lewis, founder of ELEPHANT JOURNAL 

“In AMBITION ADDICTION, Benjamin Shalva has written a simple, practical, and often profound guide for all of us struggling to check the oversized fantasies prowling around our heads and re-engage with the real life passing us by below. It's honest, humorous, sincere and, most of all a wonderful tool for self-reflection.” — Benjamin Lorr, author of HELL-BENT: OBSESSION, PAIN AND THE SEARCH FOR SOMETHING LIKE TRANSCENDENCE IN COMPETITIVE YOGA 

“This is a well-written, hard hitting book that will be invaluable for many people. Prescribed reading for those in the fast lane.”  — Rick Jarow, author of CREATING THE WORK YOU LOVE and ALCHEMY OF ABUNDANCE 
  • Ambition Addiction (Front Cover)

Spiritual Cross-Training

Spiritual Cross-Training: Searching through Silence, Stretch, and Song
by Benjamin Shalva

Published by Grand Harbor Press (January 5, 2016)

On a quest for enlightenment, Benjamin Shalva journeyed through the wilds of Tibet and took a pilgrimage to a white-walled monastery in Rhode Island. He wrestled with demons, danced with temptresses, and sang with hundreds of voices under the stars. Now, using the lessons and techniques gained through years of religious exploration and inward reflection, Shalva offers simple and powerful ways to connect with your spiritual self, whether it be in a place of worship or the yoga studio, or even while sitting in traffic, working late at the office, or kneeling in your garden.

In this honest, intimate—sometimes embarrassing and frequently funny—memoir with down-to-earth instruction and guidance, Shalva reveals that you don’t have to be perfect or singularly focused to accomplish deep spiritual work. By cross-training in three simple exercises—silence, stretch, and song—you can strengthen your spiritual muscles and deepen your personal search for meaning.

Inspiring and refreshingly candid, Spiritual Cross-Training encourages you to trust your own path, grow with an open mind and a light heart, and uncover the truth as you search for your place in the universe.

Praise for Spiritual Cross-Training: Searching through Silence, Stretch, and Song 

“A warmly told and deeply honest tale of one man’s spiritual journey, filled with insight and wisdom gained from struggle and refusal to stop growing. This is a guy worth getting to know.” — Arthur Green, author of EHYEH: A KABBALAH FOR TOMORROW 

“Benjamin Shalva’s SPIRITUAL CROSS-TRAINING is a come as you are guidebook for truth seekers of all generations. Honest, entertaining, and illuminating, this is a cool friend to have on the path.”  — Chris Grosso, author of INDIE SPIRITUALIST and EVERYTHING MIND 

“Benjamin Shalva takes us on a powerful journey soaked through and through with authenticity, bare bones honesty, insight, clarity, and humor. This work demystifies some very long-standing and intricately complex practices, making them accessible without sacrificing their core principles and cultural nuances. If you want a glimpse of one of the best possible spiritual futures in Western culture, here it is.”   — Rick Jarow, author of CREATING THE WORK YOU LOVE and ALCHEMY OF ABUNDANCE

  • Spiritual Cross-Training (Front Cover)