Review of Jay Shetty's book "Think Like a Monk", and how to read this book for getting the maximum benefit. SoThink Like a Monk... overall I liked it. I have read a lot of books in this genre like a book of joy, the joy on-demand, and lots of other books about spirituality and Buddhism by Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, and so on. So it's not like I found some new earth-shattering concepts in this book, which was to be expected. In fact, to be completely honest, when I was deciding whether to purchase this book or not, How a person likes a book depends very much on what books they have read before and what season of life they are currently in.
If this book was the first book in this genre that I had read, I would be shouting from the rooftops urging everyone to read it! But I'm still learning a lot and growing a lot and enjoying reading this book because of the following six reasons:
Six reasons why this book is worth reading:
reason number one: even though some of the concepts that jay talks about in the book like getting clear about your values, dealing with negativity, dealing with fear, forgiveness - even though these concepts are not new for me but even I need to be reminded of them again and again. it's one thing to know about concepts and another thing to actually implement them. so this book gave me the push and the reminders that I needed.
reason number two: it feels good to know that some of the things that I'm already doing are being recommended by jay Shetty as well. for example, forgiving someone when they haven't even apologized to you.forgiving is a great thing to do for your mental and your physical health. I highly highly recommend it! when you forgive someone, you're not doing them a favor but you're doing yourself a huge favor because when you hold a grudge, it's very bad for you. so forgiving someone.. when you forgive someone, you get such a sense of freedom and relief. and forgiving someone doesn't mean that you have to become best friends with them you can forgive them and still want to keep a distance.
reason number three: I am enjoying reading jay's personal stories that he shares in this book which I wouldn't have found in any other book! stories of how and why he became a monk, what was life like in the Mumbai ashram that he stayed at when he was a monk, and so on. some of the stories I found very interesting, for example, when waiting outside the communal shower in a line with the other monks, if the monk that was showering took more than four minutes which was the average time, jay would find it very hard to resist the urge to criticize that monk with the other monks that were standing in line with him. and then there was the story of how the monks would laugh if they saw a new monk fall asleep or snore during a meditation session. these monks were also supposed to be meditating but instead, they are laughing! so it was nice to see the human side of monks. monks are actually quite fun people. they laugh, they don't take life too seriously. you've probably seen the DalaiLama laughing a lot... and this is one of the less talked about side effects of meditation.
The fourth reason why I like this book is that jay shares a lot of practical wisdom and exercises including meditations in this book. so he's not just talking in abstract terms and these exercises are highlighted in boxes so they are easy to find. for example, there is an exercise on how to practice forgiveness - because it's not just a switch that you can turn on. then there's an exercise to determine what are your values and are the people that you spend your time with aligned with those values or not.if you're reading this book I want to encourage you to actually do these exercises. take out your pen and paper and pause your reading and actually spend some time doing these exercises if you really want to benefit from this book. you don't have to do all of them. maybe just pick one or two that you think you need the most. because knowledge is not power. knowledge plus action equals power. Only reading the book is not going to change your life.
reason number five: there are lots of quotes from other people in this book, usually at the beginning of each chapter. for example, "Fear does not prevent death. it prevents life." by Buddha. and then there is a quote by Pema Chodron which made me chuckle. There are lots of stories from the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad-gita. I love stories. stories make any book more fun to read, don't they? I love stories. I love quotes. in fact, I'm collecting all the quotes in this book and share with you after I finish reading this book.
reason number six: there were some points in the book where I found myself disagreeing with jay.for example, he says that even though you feel better after venting or complaining about someone or something, you should not do it. that's the monk's way, right? I can see where he's coming from and I don't entirely disagree with him. In fact, I myself try to stay away from chronic complainers and I try my best to not complain. however, once in a while I think it's okay to vent to someone if something is something or someone is bothering you.without the intention of gossip or without the intention of bringing someone down. because I think that's a good way of processing your emotions. and I am all for processing your emotions, especially the negative ones and taking the time to feel the pain and feel that emotion instead of rushing towards replacing that negative emotion with a positive one. because if you don't process your emotions, unprocessed emotions, repressed emotions can cause mental health problems.
so as I'm reading that part of the book and shaking my head in disagreement, what happens next? I continue reading and then I read these words. that it's good to complain.. wait for it.. mindfully. wow, that was an aha moment for me! I have never heard of the word "complain mindfully" before. and how he suggests is a good way of complaining mindfully, is through journaling. so when something is bothering you or someone is bothering you, write down and reflect on why it's bothering you and take some time to go deep and dig deep on exactly why something or someone is bothering you.and that I think is a great way of self-reflection and improving your self-awareness and actually dealing with the issue that's bothering you. this book is divided into three parts part one is let go, part two grows and part three is given. in the part that I'm yet to read, jay is going to talk about things like purpose, relationships, and ego among other things. you read a certain portion of the book, let yourself marinate in those ideas fora bit. let them sink in before you rush to the next chapter. in my opinion, that's how you will get the most benefit from this book. not just only this book but any self-help book. if you have any questions at all please write them in the comments I will be happy to answer them.