Nourish Your Inner Self

A while back I read the book in search of wisdom: A Monk, a Philosopher, and a Psychiatrist on What Matters Most by Matthieu Ricard, Christophe Andre, and Alexandre Jollien.

One of the things I love about the book is that it’s written in a conversational style versus an informational, as-a-matter-of-fact style.

The authors share their thoughts on life and cover topics such as inspiration and the ego. Reading their thoughts on life feels like chatting with friends. Each writer shares their perspective based on their life experiences.

How our personalities, experiences, and backgrounds shape us

My greatest take away is how our personalities and experiences shape ourselves and our lives. As you can tell from the title, each writer comes with a different background: one is a monk, the other is a philosopher, and the last is a psychiatrist.

Alexander, a philosopher, shares how his disability has affected him. For example, his disability led him to a passion for philosophy. When he lived in a special institution, it was normal to show his emotions with transparency, and after he left the institution, he learned to hide his emotions because that’s what most people did.

Christophe, a psychiatrist, shares how he tends to look at life through a negative lens. One of his daughters teaches him how to be “a master of joy…toward life”. She is always so happy no matter what she’s got going on in her life.

Matthieu, a monk, shares how the Dalai Lama was once asked why he thought a lot of people had come to listen to him. He responded with: “‘Maybe it’s because for sixty years I have been meditating on compassion every morning for four hours.”

This quote speaks volumes on what it means to have a clear life intention, dedication, and focus. The Dalai Lama has been so clear with his life intention of compassion that it has inspired people to look up to him because he leads by example.

The Ego

I’m currently on a section about the ego and how the ego gets in people’s way. It definitely gets in my way sometimes. The authors talk about the ego in a personal way that makes me relate to them. They give examples on how they have worked on not letting the ego affect their lives negatively.

“A healthy ego is a transparent ego, the ego of someone who has within himself a vast space of inner peace into which he can welcome others because he is not obsessed with his own situation. By making your ego less heavy and definite, you can spare yourself a lot of problems. You become less sensitive to criticism and praise. You tidy up your thought process…”

Matthieu Ricard from in search of wisdom

Nourishment for the Inner World

Overall, I like how this book is nourishing my soul and how a book can serve as nourishment for the inner world.

I know that no one is perfect, but it makes me feel good to work on the inner world and to find ways in which I’ve improved myself over time. For example, I’ve learned to show up even when things get rough, difficult, and out of my comfort zone.

I’ve always wondered why we are born into different situations–why some of us are born rich, why some of us have disabilities, why some of us seem to have the perfect families?

And in the end, I come to the conclusion that we all have available within us the same wealth of things: the capacity to love, to be happy, and to find peace within ourselves.

What has been nourishing your inner world lately?