The Way of the Monk

Buddhism is one of the largest, and most influential, religions in the world. What intrigues me most about Buddhism, is the way of the monk. When I hear the word “monk”, I immediately imagine bald men, wearing orange garments and sitting in silence in some temple, hiding in the mountain-tops.

But the way of the monk is much, much more than that. Yoga, Zen and mindfulness have conquered the western world. Their origins stem from the world of Buddha and the monk lifestyle. Today, there are many gurus and self-help leaders that are inspired by the teachings of monks. Heck, even the great Leonard Cohen took some time off, to learn the way of the monk.

So, here are some valuable life lessons that everyone can learn from studying with a monk…

  1. Keep on trying, don’t give up. When trying to succeed with a task, no matter how difficult, simply keep on trying. Try different approaches and angles, but as long as you don’t give up, no task is impossible.
  2. The answer within. Part of the monk’s teachings include understanding that every problem has a solution, all you have to do is search in the right places, from within. As the Chinese proverb goes, “teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself”…
  3. Failures bring out the best. When someone fails, they tend to feel down and can’t get the failure off their mind. What people tend to forget is that failures bring out the best in us. Failure is growth, and learning from our past struggles is wisdom.
  4. Patience is a virtue. Remember that time waits for no one, no matter what you do. So, in situations where you aren’t in control, practice patience, and watch your frustration disappear. For more on this, check out my post on the importance of patience.
  5. You are your worst enemy. All you fears and insecurities come from within. Don’t allow yourselves to succumb to these feeling. Conquer you inner-enemy and success and happiness will easily follow.
  6. Live the moment. Stop re-living the past, or worrying about the future. Spend of all of your energy and thoughts on the present, be here in the moment, be mindful. When you channel your energy to present thoughts only, you will feel much more fulfilled and satisfied with life.
  7. Let others think. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Release the ego. Many times, one feels embarrassed or ashamed because of what others think of him. Forget about your ego, and definitely forget about what others are thinking, or will think, about you. YOU are the only person you need to answer to.

Now that you’re ready to live life the way of the monk, join in on the discussion and let us know of any other monk lessons you’ve learned! Good Karma to all…

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