A Monk's Guide to Happiness Book Summary - A Monk's Guide to Happiness Book explained in key points
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A Monk's Guide to Happiness summary

Gelong Thubten

Meditation in the 21st Century

4.7 (1015 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

A Monk's Guide to Happiness by Gelong Thubten offers practical advice on mindfulness and meditation for a happier life. It explores the power of kindness, calmness, and compassion to reduce stress, improve relationships, and cultivate inner peace.

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    A Monk's Guide to Happiness
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Happiness is a feeling of fullness and freedom in the present moment.

    Before we dive into the details of how to be happy, let’s take a step back and begin with a more fundamental question: What is happiness in the first place? This might seem like a rather philosophical point of inquiry, but it has some very practical implications. After all, if we want to find something, we need to know what we’re looking for!

    So, what does the feeling of happiness consist of? Well, we can break it down into three main components. The first is a sense of fullness. When we’re happy, we don’t feel that we lack anything in our experience of the present moment. Instead, we feel complete, just the way we are – right here, right now. 

    In other words, we feel content. We don’t wish for anything we don’t already have – whether it’s a material object, experience or circumstance. For instance, we wouldn’t think, “If only I had that shiny new device or had a better job, then I’d be happy.” We’re already satisfied, so whatever is happening in the present moment is enough.

    That brings us to the second component of happiness, which is feeling anchored to the present. This means we don’t drift away into thoughts about the past or future, where we tend to get caught up in painful memories and anxiety-provoking uncertainties. For example, “I wish I hadn’t made that comment to my friend” or, “I wonder what she’ll say when I see her next.” Instead, we focus on the moment we’re experiencing.

    In conjunction with all of this, we also feel a sense of freedom. This is the third component of happiness. We don’t become captivated by the negative emotions and disquieting desires that come with dredging up the past, anticipating the future or wishing the present were different. Instead, we feel liberated from all of these sources of unhappiness.

    The nature of this liberation will become clearer in the following blinks, where we’ll map out the mental prison from which we’re trying to break free. Then, with our map in hand, we’ll figure out an escape plan.

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    What is A Monk's Guide to Happiness about?

    A Monk’s Guide to Happiness (2019) provides readers with a philosophically insightful and practically useful manual on how to break free of suffering and achieve inner peace. Drawing from the author’s 25 years of training at Buddhist monasteries and intensive meditation retreats, the book distills more than two decades of hard-won wisdom.

    A Monk's Guide to Happiness Review

    A Monk's Guide to Happiness (2019) by Gelong Thubten is a spiritual guide that offers practical advice on finding happiness and inner peace in our modern lives. Here's why we recommend reading this book:

    • The book provides insightful teachings from a Buddhist monk, offering a fresh perspective on happiness and contentment.
    • Combining ancient wisdom with contemporary examples, it offers practical exercises and meditations to help readers cultivate mindfulness and live more fulfilling lives.
    • The author's authenticity and personal experiences make the book relatable and believable, ensuring that readers stay engaged and inspired throughout.

    Who should read A Monk's Guide to Happiness?

    • People who are sick and tired of the rat race
    • Social media users feeling exhausted by their Facebook and Instagram feeds 
    • Anyone wondering what the mindfulness fuss is all about

    About the Author

    Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk and meditation teacher from the United Kingdom. After receiving an education at Oxford University, he became an actor in London and New York. He led a party-hard lifestyle until suffering burnout at the age of 21. At this point, he joined the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, where he became an ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk. Thubten has practiced and taught mindfulness meditation ever since. This path included 25 years of training, six years of attending intensive meditation retreats and 20 years of teaching mindfulness in settings as diverse as schools, hospitals, prisons, addiction counseling centers and corporate offices.

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    A Monk's Guide to Happiness FAQs 

    What is the main message of A Monk's Guide to Happiness?

    The main message of A Monk's Guide to Happiness is finding inner peace through mindfulness and compassion.

    How long does it take to read A Monk's Guide to Happiness?

    The reading time for A Monk's Guide to Happiness varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is A Monk's Guide to Happiness a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A Monk's Guide to Happiness offers valuable insights on happiness and mindfulness. It is definitely worth reading for anyone seeking a more fulfilling life.

    Who is the author of A Monk's Guide to Happiness?

    Gelong Thubten is the author of A Monk's Guide to Happiness.

    What to read after A Monk's Guide to Happiness?

    If you're wondering what to read next after A Monk's Guide to Happiness, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
    • The Urban Monk by Pedram Shojai
    • Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    • Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo & Alexander Bennett
    • The Art of Stopping Time by Pedram Shojai
    • The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
    • The Art of Clear Thinking by Hasard Lee