Think Like A Monk is a book that takes you on a personal journey of Jay Shetty and simplifies the monk’s mindset.
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The book aims to make the reader discover their purpose, overcome negativity, reduce overthinking, and find happiness amongst other life-enhancing thought processes and activities.
It’s easy to read, incredibly interesting in the writing style, and valuable to anyone looking to explore the lives of monks and how they navigate life with peace and happiness.
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Living in your dharma is a certain route to fulfillment.Jay Shetty
Think Like a Monk: Book Structure and Format
The book is divided into three parts; each part includes 3-4 chapters and its own meditation. From the introduction, Shetty starts to describe the beginning of his journey as a monk. The book moves on with anecdotes from his years at the ashram.
In each chapter, Shetty notes a relevant quote from philosophers or spiritual books that pass on wisdom and also enhance the reading experience by serving as an appetizer.
Part one is named ‘Let Go’, wherein the reader will understand the importance of having an identity of self and dealing with negativity and fear. This part ends with an introduction to the importance of intention and how to live an intentional life.
Several stories throughout the chapters enhance the reading experience and make the lesson memorable. The meditation at the end of the first part is about breathwork. The activities throughout the chapters help practically implement and audit your own life.
Part two, called ‘Grow’, focuses on finding a purpose and a routine to fulfill that purpose, along with a strong understanding of how the mind and the ego work in our day-to-day lives. In this part, Shetty introduces the word ‘dharma’ and explains it in the simplest forms.
The core of this book is to understand this concept and how the monks live based on their dharma. This part ends with a visualization meditation.
Part three is titled ‘Give’ and sums up the end goal. This part has three chapters revolving around gratitude, relationships, and service. It takes an in-depth look at how we can give without depleting ourselves and ensuring our giving is always in line with our dharma. The meditation for this part is focused on chanting, and various chants with their translations and effects are explained.
Throughout the book, several quotes can be found to support the concept Shetty is trying to unpack. The chapters also come with exercise boxes, infographics, and doodles. In the appendix, Shetty adds a Vedic personality test with an answer key for the reader to conclude the test themselves. At the end of the book is also a comprehensive index of all the books Shetty has referenced.
Think Like a Monk: Notable Positive Features
For those who have been curious about monks from both Buddhist and Hindu religions, this book is the easiest and most basic it can get. Shetty has not just first-hand experience but lives in the world while practicing these principles.
What makes this book special is, first, the story of his own experience in becoming a monk. The descriptions are raw, and you can fully empathize with him during the course of the book. Shetty is able to make an instant connection with the reader because of how honest he is about his internal thoughts while he was new and trying to navigate a life that was nothing like his life back home in the UK.
Secondly, the book comes with multiple practical ways to not just implement but understand. The doodles help build memory on the concept, and the short stories and quotes help you reflect more and understand the concept better. Shetty also shares his coaching experience, which improves the reliability factor.
Thirdly, the meditations are first explained, followed by baby steps to integrate them into your life. For anyone who has been struggling with meditation, Think Like A Monk brings you to the point of readiness because of all the knowledge that has been shared prior to the meditation itself.
Think Like a Monk: Negatives of the book
The only drawback of the book would be the reader’s initial interest. The word ‘monk’ would bring about different reactions in different people, so for someone to purchase this book or want to read it, they have to have an initial inclination or curiosity towards a lifestyle that is very different from our own.
Taking that forward, tolerance and interest in various spiritual people and religions would also be important. One who doesn’t have that basic openness may find the book intolerable even though it’s written in a phenomenal, realistic, and approachable manner. It would be helpful for the reader to have some understanding of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Jay Shetty does due diligence as a former monk, simplifying it for regular people who may not want to choose the monk life (due to various reasons) but want a piece of it to enhance their everyday living. A monk mindset is a powerful tool, and Shetty has used his intelligence, knowledge, and his sense of understanding of others to bring this book to readers.
This book can serve as a great book for gifting loved ones, and definitely, one that you would want to keep in your personal library and revisit every year to see how much you have grown.
About the author: Jey Shetty
Jay Shetty is a former Hindu monk, author, podcast host (On Purpose), and life coach of British-Indian descent. He is well known for speaking about his experience of becoming a monk, contrasting the lifestyle of a regular person navigating life with its many challenges and the life of a monk.
His social media presence has made him reach out to younger audiences. Shetty provides courses and coaching on his website. And also has his second book coming in 2023 titled “8 Rules of Love”.
Image source: ThinkLikeAMonkBook