Mediocre Monk: A Stumbling Search for Answers in a Forest Monastery

Mediocre Monk: A Stumbling Search for Answers in a Forest Monastery

by Grant Lindsley
Mediocre Monk: A Stumbling Search for Answers in a Forest Monastery

Mediocre Monk: A Stumbling Search for Answers in a Forest Monastery

by Grant Lindsley

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Overview

"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.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781954854987
Publisher: Girl Friday Books
Publication date: 04/11/2023
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,097,882
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Grant Lindsley is a writer in Brooklyn, New York. He encountered his first Buddhist monk as an undergraduate at Carleton College, where he majored in psychology and minored in neuroscience, because he was majorly interested in himself and minorly interested in himself on drugs. He subsequently spent months training as a monk with the Thai Forest Tradition, a sect of Theravada Buddhism that seeks to follow the exact rules of the historical Buddha from over 2,500 years ago. Lindsley has worked at NOLS and briefly worked at Google until publishing his resignation letter in the Washington Post. An accomplished Ultimate Frisbee player, he has won multiple national championships and two gold medals for Team USA at the World Games. He received his master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from Pacific Universityand his master of business administration from Cornell Tech. He enjoys pranks and being outside with his family.
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