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Life Benefits of Employing the Self Discipline of a Buddhist Monk (sebastianmarshall.com)
20 points by lionhearted 1889 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

It's not often that I find myself disgusted with an author, but this post is quite frankly the worst thing I have seen on HN in a long time. The author likens himself to a Buddhist monk, " I liken it to having the self discipline of a Buddhist monk," without any clue to what it means to be a Buddhist Monk. Do you think a monk would say that you should "build a strong personal brand" to "turn you into the Coca-Cola of personal brands." ?

Author, if you are reading this, you are delusional at best. To everyone else, I hope that if truly would like to understand how to actually engage a more Buddhist lifestyle that you attend some lectures at your local monastery, if you're here in the Bay Area check out www.sfzc.org.

Are monks a good example of very disciplined people? Yup. Is DROdio? Yup. Seems like a good analogy to me.

It seems like recently there's been a trend in HN comments where people miss the forest for the trees, picking out one little piece of a post to whine about instead of learning from the whole thing.

So long as you have no knowledge of Buddhism the analogy does seem good. You speak of 'learning from the whole thing' but clearly the GP post is complaining about that very same thing... that the author focused in on an idea and presented it without appearing to have learned of the wider context. Or if the author does know, he's not communicated that.

Someone with knowledge is likely to ask which school of Buddhism in attempt to understand the analogy. If Theravada, then does DROdio mean that his discipline is the equivalent of precepts that he his following?

In that sense self-discipline is just another word for practise and routine. An attempt to make an action second-nature.

The article also specifically says: "Think of the self discipline of a Buddhist monk practicing monastic silence for years next time you're tempted to stray from prioritizing successfully."

Buddhists rarely practise silence in the form of a vow of silence in the Western religious sense, this Buddhist saying expresses it better:

   Do not speak, unless it improves on silence.
Observing that a Buddhist monk appears to have discipline and then repeating such behaviour without understanding why would be to cargo cult.

To go back to your last line again, 'picking out one little piece of a post to whine about instead of learning from the whole thing', I think it's precisely because most people on HN do want to learn about everything that we do pick things apart. It's hacker nature to disassemble something to try and understand it, and perhaps some people do that too vigorously in the context of conversation.

Of course, some pick apart for sport, and I wouldn't agree with the GP that I was 'disgusted' by the author. I also hesitated upon those parts of the article, and now I've spent longer writing this post than was probably worth it... the vast majority of thoughts I never hit reply for, they seldom improve on silence. But perhaps in this case that single saying does.

@nowarninglabel I can agree to disagree with you. Analogies exist for a reason. I never claimed to be a buddhist monk. Seems to me that you're mixing the two up.


Concentration is a key skill, here is a guide:


And another guide on grounding yourself to the now (when else are you going to get work done?), not being tug back and forth between a gone past and a non-existent future:


You only live once. No, seriously, you only live once. If you're not doing something today that you're passionate about, then quit. Take that scary plunge into the unknown. You will be so happy that you did. It won't be easy at first, but it well be better immediately

Who care about the moto "You Only Live Once"? A waste of time is a waste of time no matter if your projected lifespan is 50 years old or 30,000 years or forever.

If what you're doing is not benefiting you or anyone in any way, stop doing it.

The implication is that time is precious because you have so little of it. If lifespans were ten thousand years, you could afford slacking a bit, just like if you have one billion dollars in your account, you can afford wasting some of it.

That said, I agree with you that it shouldn't matter. But it does.

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