UrbanMonk.Net Frequently Asked Questions
Are you enlightened / a guru / ascended master?
I am truly grateful, honoured and humbled that my readers see me like this. I’m not being sarcastic – I really am honoured. But at the same time I don’t want to be a fraud – I am not and never have claimed to be a spiritual guru who holds all the answers. I know I make a lot of jokes about starting my own cult, but that’s all they are – jokes.
I have no formal spiritual or religious training. I am a psychology student who found the spiritual path the best to escape his own suffering. All the things I write about are tested on me and a few friends only. Please don’t believe anything I have to say – put it to the test, and decide for yourself.
I don’t walk around all blissed out everyday. I don’t levitate. My farts don’t smell like strawberries. I have days where I am overflowing with confidence and days where I doubt myself. Some people think I’m the best thing that ever happened to them. Others think I’m a total retard. Sometimes I feel sad. Sometimes I feel like a Calvin Klein underwear model.
In other words, I am just like you. I have my ups, and I have my downs – it’s part of the game of life, and I just want to enjoy the ride. The only difference is that I’m on this side of the screen, and you’re on the other.
An additional note on gurus: There are enlightened gurus out there, but there are many more frauds. Use your common sense, and do some research before listening to any of them, or following what they have to say.
Are you affiliated with Urbanmonk.com, or any other variants?
When I created the blog, I spent days agonizing over the name, and in the end I fell in love with Urban Monk title, even though urbanmonk.com was taken. I decided it wasnt that big a deal and bought the .net extension, which is something I regret now. There is a lot of confusion and possible lost readers who might type in urbanmonk.com or something.
I have also contacted the owner of urbanmonk.com, hoping to purchase the domain name, but they said they will be using it soon for their own publishing company. If / when that happens, please remember that I am not affiliated with any of the other variants of the Urban Monk name UrbanMonk.Net is the only site I run so far. I have a joint venture with two good friends and fellow bloggers coming up, but the name will be something totally different.
Could you help me with my specific problem?
I really welcome all feedback and questions, and I try to answer them as best as I can. I love suggestions for future posts, as I know I am providing value if I am answering reader questions.
However, as mentioned in the contact page, I am not a trained professional (yet) and don’t claim to be one. I am a psychology student, yes, but Im not certified yet. There are many people who email asking me for solutions to their problem, and some of them I am not qualified to answer. All I can write on are my own experiences, and what has worked for me. I have held nothing back in my articles.
Please continue sending me questions and feedback, but please understand if I can’t help sometimes. I feel a bit guilty when I get emails from people who are obviously in distress and all I can say in return is please read this post here on so-and-so, or perhaps find professional help. Also, the amount of emails has been sharply increasing and it’s getting increasingly harder to find the time to reply.
What religion do you follow?
I don’t know. I was raised as a Christian, but recently I have been exploring various religions in my free time. So far, certain branches of Buddhism (like Zen) take my fancy, but it’s only because I haven’t gone in-depth into the others. Taoism is my next area of exploration. I’m a big fan of non-duality, although I’m not really qualified to write on it as I haven’t experienced it (yet). However, all these are more philosophies, or ways of looking at life, or schools of thought (not sure what you call them) rather than religions. I dont know if Im a religious person.
You mentioned being depressed. How did you find the courage to snap out of it?
I don’t know either. I was so upset, angry, self-hating and miserable for many years. I came out of it naturally a couple of times, and then certain things would trigger a fall back into depression. However, one of these falls was different this time I thought “Oh no! Oh no! Never again!” and decided I would fight it with all my might. After a few days of being miserable I found the courage to pick up the phone and call a counsellor. There’s no shame in seeking professional help, despite the social stigma.
Around the same time, my interest in spirituality developed from a hobby into a full-grown passion, and that was the start of the whole journey.
Why do you put in dirty jokes / talk about sex so much?
I don’t know (again). It’s more fun that way I guess, and thats the way I speak among friends. Since the blog came out of pre-launch in late April, Ive finally developed my own writing voice, and I think this is a good balance. I initially intended the blog to cover a wide array of topics including more “urban” stuff like social skills and so on, but somehow it developed down this path and built a reputation as a blog on the inner world.
I don’t see anything wrong with sex and a bit of dirty humour; although I admit it might be out of place in a blog like this and therefore I have toned it down as much as I could.
A big thank you to my beloved big sister, though, who acts as my editor although she lives in a different country. If it wasn’t for her constant emails to “be more professional!” and “take out that dirty joke!” you would be reading a very different blog .
Writing about myself
This is more a statement rather than a question. Whenever I read a book, I get a bit irritated if the author constantly talks about himself and his life experiences. As a result, I try to leave out my own stories as much as I can, although sometimes I have to – many of the things I write about are a result of my own experimentation and therefore I have no other way of illustrating it.
Many readers feel the opposite way, though – they enjoy the personal stories, and so I’ll continue to throw them in. If any one gets sick of it, please let me know. Please try to understand that I dont write about myself because I enjoy it, but its a necessary evil to further a point.