"Every day, think as you wake up,
today I am fortunate to be alive.
I have a precious human life.
I am not going to waste it."
— His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Once we were on a plane that was being held on the runway because of bad weather. As what seemed like hours passed, the passengers got more and more upset. They mumbled and cursed. They started shouting into their cellphones. One person said he was calling the air carrier to tell them he was going to sue.
Sitting in the row with us was a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He was perfectly calm and relaxed. At one point, he remarked, "This is an opportunity to practice patience." We agreed and wished that the other passengers could know peace and happiness in this situation.
Jay Shetty understands this kind of thinking. Think Like a Monk, a best-selling self-help book, reveals what he learned as a young man during three years living as a Hindu monk in India. He brought home the fruits of his daily meditation practice to England and shared them with college friends who were already experiencing a lot of stress in their work. His goal was to make the monk's life practical and relevant to today's world.
In the introduction, he sets the stage for what he is about to convey with a comparison of "monkey mind" with "monk mind." Here are a few examples:
Monkey mind: Overwhelmed by multiple branches
Monk mind: Focused on the root of the issue
Monkey mind: Overthinks and procrastinates
Monk mind: Analyzes and articulates
Monkey mind: Distracted by small things
Monk mind: Disciplined
Monkey mind: Multitasking
Monk mind: Single-tasking
Monkey mind: Looks for pleasure
Monk mind: Looks for meaning
The first chapters of the book deal with such heady matters as identity, negativity, fear, and intention. They are balanced with chapters on routine, the mind, and ego. A third section includes essays on gratitude, relationships, and service. Each part ends with a meditation: Breathe, Visualize, and Chant. These are well explained and offer a variety of approaches, making spiritual practices very accessible to people of all traditions or no tradition. In 2017, Shetty was named in Forbes 30 Under 30 for being a game changer in the world of media. He has created more than 400 viral videos with over 5 billion views and hosts the #1 Health and Wellness podcast in the world, On Purpose.