Friday, June 3, 2022

Think Like a Monk - Jay Shetty

Something about Jay Shetty put me off - maybe the fact that he put himself on the cover - and I put off reading the book. Too many monks in my life I thought. Then I found it on Milind's bookshelf and could not resist a read. I found it to be authentic and a genuine attempt to share his experiences and what he knows.

Jay is a regular guy living in London and doing things youngsters do - partying, girls, drink and maybe some drugs - until he happens upon a monk and his life changes. He comes to Mumbai to live in an ashram like a monk and gives up - much of his book is about how we can all benefit from living like a monk.

The book is split into three parts - Let go (Identity, Negativity, Fear, Intention), Grow (Purpose, Routine, The Mind, Ego) and Give (Gratitude, Relationships and Service). I picked up stray things here and there. Like the exercise to let go of negativity - if you speak negatively about someone or something, say ten good things about them. Liked that (I will be doing a lot of good things about other people looks like) In Fear, he says, accept fear, dive into it and find patterns. Learn to detach from your attachments. Then he gives the breathing exercise to get over fear 

- inhale and count to 4, hold for 4 and exhale while counting to 4! Expand the moment he says to get over the fear.

In intention he says find your motivation - fear, duty, love  and dig to the deepest why. Live your intention he says.

There are some breathing techniques he explains in detail. Let me put it down here

- Sit, Close your eyes, lower your gaze, roll back shoulders

- Bring mind to calm/balance/ease/stillness/peace

- Place one hand on stomach and another on chest 

- Breathe in through your nose, out through mouth, feel stomach expand on inhaling and contract on exhaling (Inhale uplifting energy and exhale negative energy)

- Lower your left ear to left shoulder - breathe in, back to centre, lower right ear to right shoulder, breathe in, out and back

Breathing to calm yourself
Breathe in 1234, hold 1234, exhale 1234

For energy
Breathe in 1234, exhale powerfully through nose, breathe in 4

For sleep
Breathe in 1234, exhale for longer


Jay says that Passion+Expertise+Usefulness = Dharma (I feel whatever you do is your dharma)

Align with your passion he says. Keep an activity journal. Embrace your dharma (makes sense)

Dharma he says is of the body - it is alive, of flow, comfort and growth


Location has energy and time has memory he says. Wake up one hour earlier. Practice thankfulness, meditate, exercise, gain an insight

Evenings are for sleep and to visualise tomorrow. Transform the mundane. Do things the same time, same place, and do one task at a time

The Mind

He talks of the monkey mind which is like a child. Reframe subconscious negative stuff. Practice self-compassion. Stay present.


He says the ego is a mask, it isolates. Practice humility. Build confidence and not ego. Look for small wins. Get feedback. Use visualisation.


He says maintain a gratitude journal. Serve. Set expectations in relationships

On Trust - to build and reinforce trust he says practice the following

- Make and fulfill promises

give sincere compliments, support, stop criticism

- stand by someone who is going through a bad phase

I liked the 6 Loving Exchanges

- Gifts 1) Giving with intention 2) receiving with gratitude

- Conversation 1) listening without judgment 2) speaking with vulnerability

  - Food- 1) prepare without agenda 2) receive with pleasure      

Make your conversation a gift. Ask for what you want.


The highest purpose is to live in service

Selflessness heals the soul

Extend the radius of your care

He says chant these three times to stay present

Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya

Om Tat Sat

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavanthu

Nicely done. Heard most but its the honesty and good intent that comes through. Good one Jay!  

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