The Monk

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Riwoche Monks in the Taklung Kagyu Monasery in Tinchuli, Kathmandu, Nepal[i].

For millenniums we have had people taking the holy stand in life. They are concerned with higher meaning in life and less interested in the daily life and its petty activities .

There are stories in the Holy Bible about the people giving their blessings and offering others salvation, and most religions have their own versions of the Holy Men focusing on the meaning of life.

After millenniums of civilization mankind has not learnt to live peacefully with each other.  Abominable actions such as killing your neighbor because of faith/language/ politics/natural resources/race still exist and are ruthlessly justified. World Wars are fought and no one is spared. Except Monks. Why? That is because our own image of inner contentment and peace is mirrored by the image the Monks portray. Their blessing is important for our soul at every time, even in the most cruel times.

The Monks were trying to reach God and wanted to be closer to him and the idea is to separate themselves from the human life which is driven by needs and deeds.

We can easily incorporate the idea of the Monk into our live. Whenever we are in contact with others, whether that is family, friends or colleagues, we can step out of each and every situation. Instead of being occupied by people’s interests and needs we can go for the option of blessing both or all parties and look for the higher meaning of the situation.

Try to go for the blessing element that is so meaningful for the Monks and their interest free relations with people. Saying something nice to your fellow worker or a family member can make a world of difference for them in their daily activities. They remember who was the great giver of good will and the warmth will flow to everyone to reap the benefits from. The Monk is not expecting something back.

Somehow everybody was there for the kill in the World Wars – except the Monks. Where do you want to be in your Daily Wars? In the middle of the battlefield, fighting for your survival? Or in a safe haven, observing instead of being a slave to the fight?

If you can master this exercise, then you have one more tool in the task of improving your relationships with other people and at the same time one more tool to soothe your own feelings.

Be a bit of monk whenever you can throughout the day.

Bjorn Vernhardsson psychologist

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