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Jeremy Gansler

Jeremy Gansler

From 15/01/2013 to 15/04/2013

Teaching English at a Buddhist Monastery was an immensely enriching experience. There’s a lot to learn from people who devote their lives to attaining happiness. Teaching the young monks was very challenging. They were often poorly behaved and difficult to engage, but the work was highly rewarding. The more time you spend teaching the more you bond with your students, as the seemingly unbridgeable cultural gulf begins to narrow. The experience will bring you back to when you were in school.

The everyday life of a monk is not something many people get to see. Our images of monks are mainly caricatures. We see them as pure, stern, and sober men, wandering about the cloister, contemplating enlightenment. This is true to some extent, but they are also subject to the whole range of human emotion and experience just like the rest of us. Jealousy, violence, and petty politics exist in monasteries, too. People are people, no matter what philosophy they study.

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