In his book Think like a Monk, monk-turned-author (and many other things) Jay Shetty writes about competition. Not just normal competition like in sports, or at work.
But competition amongst monks. What? Monks have renounced the whole world right? What is there for them to compete on?
He says in their ashram, monks would aspire for such high levels of purity that they would compete as follows:
- I meditated longer than everyone else
- I ate lesser than that monk
- I outlasted all of them, etc.
He poses a valid question at the end. If a monk behaves like this, then what’s the point of, well, being a monk?
He also concludes beautifully with a reference from another book called The Monastic Way. “In a monastery, the only competition allowed is to outstrip each other in showing more love and respect.”