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Mediocre Monk: A Stumbling Search for Answers in a Forest Monastery (Paperback)
"I loved--and to a slightly uncomfortable degree related to--this book."
Charles Bethea, staff writer at The New Yorker
Funny, perceptive, and deeply personal, Mediocre Monk follows Grant Lindsley's rocky journey toward spiritual growth--one that ultimately leads him to places he never imagined.
After the sudden death of a friend, Grant Lindsley abandons his corporate job to train as a monk in one of the strictest Buddhist traditions on earth. Lost and bereft, he believes he can find answers in the mountains of Thailand. He shaves his head and eyebrows, eats one bowl of food a day, and lives in a cave, his solitude punctuated by brushes with snakes, scorpions, and drug smugglers.
But Lindsley can't transform himself into the profound guru he envisions--he's hungry, restless, and lacking in the humility that monkhood requires. Eventually, he exhausts himself into moments of genuine growth, but not in the way he expects. Rather than transcending grief and becoming entirely self-reliant, he is surprised to find solace in allowing pain and reopening himself to community.
For anyone who has nurtured a fantasy of dropping out in search of answers, Mediocre Monk suggests a reality that is far more complicated--and rewarding.