I am a “life monk” — my life is my dedication, my belief; a synonym for my personal philosophy.
I encourage living by personal standards– being an individual and sticking up for one’s own interests, talents, and dreams. I believe in creating your own philosophy for life rather than being molded by society. I adore uniqueness in people and wish everyone could let out their weirdness unabashedly.
I believe in the power of creating a unique and personalized set of practices to better myself and the world around me by learning to open my mind and my heart.
The state of our lives and the world are directly connected. I am just one small person, and I have no grandiose plans in this life other than to do what I can to help myself and others make the changes to better their lives and their world.
It’s all about balance and inner peace while living a fully involved life of pursuing my dreams, new experiences, and learning from everyone I meet.
I began this site to voice my own personal philosophy and decided to take it a step further and speak out to all the other amazing creative rebels that are out there in the world. I feel like many of us identify with being a bit of a misfit with a curious mind and creative soul, and in a world where particular sets of qualities are emphasized and idolized I wanted to create a place that celebrated the kinds of people I always were drawn to; and how I want to help them become even more extraordinary.
Why I admire monks:
They’re doing it. They’re not just labeling themselves and observing occasional rituals while slacking off the rest of the time — they’re fully involved. They’re practicing what they’re preaching, and they’re doing it entirely for the benefit of their own personal growth as well as to help guide others.
There’s no ego involved. They’re not out for recognition. They’re definitely not in it for materialist benefits. They’re purely, solely dedicated to bettering themselves in a selfless way.
They’re down to earth and can see things from an unaffected perspective. They can call bullshit on our petty problems and whiny “wrongs”. They know what’s truly important because they themselves are practicing it as a lifestyle. They’re living by example, and give us inspiration by demonstrating that happiness lies beyond what we think will bring us happiness.
They know the facts of life and practice accepting it daily. You can be yourself with them. You don’t have to try. You can put down your defenses. They are taking fully responsibility for themselves, and that is a beautiful and rare thing.
Most traditional monks are disconnected from the experience of the majority — they are not in the fray of modern life like the rest of us. They are also beholden to preset dogmas and ritual that they did not create for themselves.
While this allows them to have a refreshing perspective, it also causes them to be somewhat out of touch. They are entrenched in centuries old tradition and ritual. If they’re not required to make customized decisions for themselves, this stifles the possibility of new ideas and creative thinking. While monastic life has it’s many challenges and can be surprisingly hectic, it is a very specialized and limiting.
I don’t want to have to give up the excitement and connection and possibilities of modern living. I don’t want to have requirements for a remote lifestyle in order to keep my cool. I want to be involved. I want to be tested. I want all the normal challenges of everyday life. I love technology and modern luxury and fun! I don’t want to label human urges and aspirations as sinful distractions. I want both the reality of our society and the passionate pursuit of inner growth. I feel that that would be the true test for one’s practice.
That’s why I am a life monk:
I’ve always wanted to be better. Not in test scores or competitive ability, but as myself. I want to take responsibility for who I am.
I crave and welcome the dark with the light, the beautiful and ugly, the contrasts and paradoxes of life.
But above all, I want to be happy. And I really want to help people to be happy.
Genuinely happy, not distractedly happy.
And I have to start with myself.
That’s my mission:
To better myself and to help others do the same, while still being a full participant in life. I don’t want to escape or shun. I don’t want it easy (despite what I may believe some days). I want to learn and grow in my own personally imperfect way, while helping others do so. My mission is to practice and embody everything that I admire about monks, while balancing it with an integrated, involved life.
I am a monk of life.
And if you made it this far, you are too.
It’s not an ideal or a title, it’s simply a label for my approach to life. And if you deem your own life worthy of such study, you can formulate your own practice with me.
Yes. That is what I love.
My life is my study, my teacher.
Send me questions and comments at: thelifemonk [at] gmail [dot] com