During the interview, Rubin revealed his spiritual background:
“For me, a spiritual person believes in certain thoughts or parameters of how you want to live life. Without necessarily being locked into one group’s set of interpretations. So I do believe in God. I’m Jewish. But I believe much more that I’m spiritual than I am clearly religious. I do go to synagogue every now and then. I go to Shabbat dinners often.
“To me, my equivalent of meditiation is freeing your mind from the overthinking of everyday. To me, medition is going to the schvitz, which is the bathhouses in the East Village, where there’s no windows, no outside stimulation, no excitement. It’s a little bit more of a physical experience. That’s my meditation. Removing myself from all the things that excite you.”
Noting how his spiritual beliefs help him with his leadership role, Slava explained:
“I guess it’s all kind of like building blocks. You get raised by your parents and your parents instill certain kinds of ideology and ways of treating people. I then when to Hebrew day school, and learned a lot about religion. Then I went to public high school and learned a lot about a more diverse set of people. I then went to the University of Pennsylvania and was a corporate consultant. The reason I give you that background is that all shapes the person I am and the experiences I’ve had.
“In terms of it being directly connected to being a spiritual person, I try to take moments to decompress. I love silence. I am actually different from most people in that I don’t listen to music, ever. I like silence. I love nature. Letting the silence in my mind let my mind wander.
“The entrepreneurial life is super hectic. Super unknown. Lots of crazy ups and downs. I think it’s helpful to find some grounding. So that while your startup, while every startup has its roller coaster experience, you’re able to stay grounded.
“So one of the main things probably that helped to make me what I am today is this: My dad died when I was a kid. He got cancer when I was 12 and died when I was 15. Navigating that gave me a lot of perspective in terms of what I think is important and what is a little more of a blip or hiccup in life.I think there was a lot of exploration at that time just to think to myself: what does this all mean? How does this all affect me?
“I think I probably created some mental muscles at that time, like how my brain thinks about certain things. The ideas of how do you navigate setbacks like this. I don’t know what muscles those are, but I’m calling those ‘mental muscles.’ That’s kind of foundational to the DNA of my spiritual practice, I would say.”
In regards to if there’s any openness to spirituality in the tech field, Rubin added:
“I think that tech or entrepreneurial life is super chaotic. It’s super crazy. I think that it’s an endless roller coaster of emotional and analytical and management and chaos. So what is needed is some ability to ground yourself, and how one does that will vary by their personality and the assets they have available to them.
“Some will ground themselves with their family. Others will try to find it through this thing called meditation and yoga and those sorts of practices. Others will look to religion. You can’t have your life, all parts of it, in endless chaos. I’m not surprised that with the rise of entrepreneurship that there is also a rise of this counterbalance of finding stability through religion, spirituality or family.
“I don’t have enough of a view to speak broadly for the whole tech scene, but, I would say, in the circles I’m exposed to, I would say surprisingly spirituality is an accepted part of the culture. Meaning that I think the generalization is that there’s no spirituality, but I would disagree. Again, just based on my own experiences and the people I happen to know.
“There’s probably lot of [entrepreneurs that believe] in God. Not 100 percent. I would say there’s probably a decent amount of belief in God, but not deep religious practice. But a lot of spirituality. Especially if you include things like yoga, meditation and breathing.”