Learnings from Ishaya Monk, Sandy Newbigging
August 20, 2019
I spent the last few days in the Catalan mountains with my friend & mentor @sandynewbigging. Sandy & I originally met by chance when appearing on a panel discussion together last year @thisisamyrushworth @calmzone . From the word go he embodied an inner joy & peace, character traits that led me to want to learn more, my inquisition was heightened when he shared his fascinating journey in becoming a coach & Ishaya monk. Sandy probably isn’t aligned to your current perception of an ordinary monk though, he combines his practices with a very normal existence living with his fiance, driving his Harley motorbike & enjoying his favourite whiskey when the time is right. I love to spend time with anyone who can teach me to grow into a better person, so when the chance came to spend 4 days at his tranquil home high up in the Spanish mountains, I was grateful for the chance to go & learn.
Monks know how to quieten their minds & find inner peace better than any. Through thousands of hours of meditation & the practice of experiencing stillness, they are a great example of people who have powerful mind mastery. During my time in the mountains I got a greater understanding of the damage we cause ourselves by living in tune with our thoughts / the voice of our ego. When we are connected to our thoughts we stop being truly present in the moment & we live from an unhealthy place of fear. The ability to separate ourselves from our thoughts and to connect more with our inner message is where the game of life is won & lost in my opinion.
I have returned back to London more aware of the noise, not only from the traffic, crowds & natural energy of a bustling city, but also from the busy, ego stimulated, internal chatter I hear & see from so much of the London population. Most of us haven’t ever been taught how to manage it, & without education our ego is aggressively alive within us & becomes our default way of living (to our detriment).
On the contrary, we spoke about how the beautiful state of flow only arrives when our mind isn’t active. The authentic state of flow comes when we are in tune with our souls message & allow ourselves to simply be, without awareness of the internal dialogue. This was a good reminder for me to continue my journey of thinking less & listen to within more.
In today’s world we often attempt to get to this state of flow through alcohol or drugs, monks choose a different way, they choose to live in this state nearly all the time. I use this word choose because I mean exactly that, with an understanding of how our mind’s work, monks are able to make healthy choices around the state of mind they want to experience. With Sandy’s help & guidance, my aim it to be able to help other people learn more about how we can live with more inner peace, joy & excitement about their future.
It’s been a fascinating few days full of growth. I am feeling very fortunate & grateful for the chance to spend time with & to learn from incredible people like @sandynewbigging . If you want to learn more about inner peace, tranquility & stillness then he’s someone worth checking out. Monk life isn’t for everyone but there are powerful learnings to come from their dedication to understanding the human mind & creating healthy, inner experiences. I hope you are all enjoying your week, I look forward to sharing more learnings in more depth in the future.