I am currently a student from Kennesaw State University majoring in International Affairs with a
I enjoy creating, whether that is art, music, video games, and writing. Day dreaming is my specialty, always trying to create solutions to complex problems – while it is hard for me to focus on the practical.
To work with people, start communities and let them flourish, these are things that are valuable to me. Originally I wanted to get into politics and work in an international organization such as the United Nations and be a language interpreter.
Growing up, I always had high ideals for how I wanted the world to be. Yet as I was young, I was still lost about myself and my purpose. How was I to make the world a better place if I could not even find my own direction?
I was blessed to have a supporting family that pushed me to ask those questions and to seek answers through reading self-help books, engaging myself in youth groups, traveling around the world, and attending personal-development workshops.
The more I learned about the complex problems that I wanted to solve, I grew depressed and helpless of its immensity. Political debating only made this worse.
The more I learned, the more I suffered, because I was trying to solve dilemmas using external tools. Maybe it was time to question the old way and to begin investigating INTERNAL solutions?
Going deeper down the rabbit hole, I realized this: if I was going to make a difference in this world, I have to do it by going to the SOURCE.
What is the source you might ask?
The source is understanding human nature.
- Why do we lie, cheat, cry, and fight?
- Why do we suffer?
- Why is it that people can live in a trailer home or in a mansion and they will still hunger for more to eat, more to do, and more to have?
- Why do we ‘get used‘ to things?
- Do we blame external problems so we can avoid our internal ones?
- How can we be happy from the inside-out?
These are questions I wanted to answer.
In the last couple years as I was trying to actualize myself and be open minded, I discovered that politics was something that I was not cut out for. What I discovered is that politics is a necessity for a functioning society, but it is not the END goal – let alone the END solution. If we could reverse-engineer human nature, we could discover how we react to the systems that governments and businesses establish.
Think about it, what is the downfall of every system that we create? The downfall is people failing to meet our systems, models, and ideals. It is our fundamental feeling of scarcity and insecurity that lead us to act selfishly, demonize, or to take advantage of others. Therefore, I made a commitment not just in a career but my livelihood in personal development and spirituality. Tools such as meditation, contemplation, and self-reflection gave me a calling to improve society’s quality of life on an individual level.
When it all changed
Growing up as a non-denomination Christian, religions and spirituality always intrigued me since I was little. However, through college I became skeptical of my beliefs. Something felt off about what I assumed to be true, so I made a commitment to myself. From that day on, I would never knock on another man’s door for answers and take it for granted.
From perspectives such as science, philosophy, and religion, I wanted to put everything to the test. I wanted direct experiences of what I was learning. What was counter-intuitive during the time was that this skepticism made me more open minded than and helped me go beyond my comfort zone.
To my surprise, I did not become an atheist. If anything, my desire to seek the fundamental nature of existence brought me to try meditation, which was a total game changer. Why is meditation so special? It is a mastery of the body and mind. It is putting all of our philosophical questions through a mechanism that can observe the world and to be able to experiment like an “intuitive scientist.” Meditation led me to discover that something is inherently mystical about everything and that the mundane is already a miracle!
We live to fight half of existence, it is exhausting!
- We love some communities and demonize others.
- We love the taste of food but hate the feeling of pain.
- We believe in good and fight what we claim to be evil.
My desire to get caught up in the political rallying was a symptom of this internal restlessness, a war that never really existed, yet I was the casualty and the perpetrator of my own suffering!
However, the more we learn, the more compassionate and humbling we become, because the complexity of all of these “problems” in life really function like one beautiful symphony. The good and bad in life is ultimately from one metaphysical source that allows it to exist. That in its very nature is unconditional love.
I want to be fully aware of this and overflow with fulfillment – to the point that that self-interest no longer rules my life, that there is truly nowhere to go, to do, or to be other than to bask in the present moment. I want to bring heaven to Earth, to turn Earth into heaven. I want to discover unconditional happiness from its very source, isolate it, study it, and replicate it so others can find fulfillment no matter the circumstances.
That is why I decided to become a monk, whether in the future I join a commune, I become secluded, or start my own monastery. Regardless of what decision I make when the time comes, becoming a monk is not done by a piece of paper, by authority, or by ceremony.
Becoming a monk starts as soon as you wake up in the morning and how you carry out your day. It is your intention to live with no purpose other than to admire the divine which is reality. It is to embrace the beauty that is already in the mundane.
What is the vision for United Insights?
United Insights provides insights on our blog, tools and practices you can use to grow yourself, and resources for living alternative lifestyles. We focus on three domains of life, the foundation for what it means to be a modern monk: addiction liberation, financial freedom, and spiritual practices.
Humanity is evolving technologically, psychologically, and culturally faster than ever before. We began with a survival mentality, and we slowly grew in new aspects of life. We began to question assumptions we used to make, rules we used to listen to, and fears that used to enslave us.
That being said, should monks evolve too? Monks come from various religious and spiritual traditions around the globe that are rich in wisdom. However, the world is constantly evolving and our solutions bring up new problems that we have never dealt with before.
Although technology improves our standard of living and our economy is booming, these tools are a double edged sword and we must learn to use them responsibly.
- Advertising algorithms help us find what we are looking for, but they also put us in a trance and distract us from our vision.
- Educational resources are abundant across the web, but we take the information for granted and create echo chambers of people that think alike.
- The internet connects us to our family, friends, and coworkers, but we begin to lose connection with ourselves.
- Our fast, industrial pace allows us to create a standard living fit for a king, but we never can slow down enough to enjoy it.
In other words we free ourselves by material means through financial freedom, health, and success. However, we imprison ourselves mentally and we lose touch with our internal-joy. These are problems that we as humanity have faced before, but never on such a degree as now.
For every generation, the monastic community slowly dwindles in size. This is not a problem we can solve by clinging to old traditions, because it is a natural (and necessary) change in our environment to sustain itself. However, the world is getting smaller, bureaucracy is getting trickier, the work day is moving faster, and our technology is getting flashier. These things give our culture stability and comfort. At the same time, comfort hinders freedom and change, and the ability to think in quiet seclusion.
All of these new aspects of life make it difficult for new monks to thrive.
For children to grow up in a quick pace world, they lose the opportunity to experience the enjoyment (and peace) of lifestyle minimalism and the benefits of spiritual practices.
Modern Monk Project
- How can monks and their communities evolve in these new environments?
- How can we help people create a joyful balance of technology and minimalism?
These are questions I want to answer through United Insights and what we call the “Modern Monk” project.
Technology helps us gain more, and monks know how to enjoy life with less.
That being said, how can we use game changing technologies, our modern economy and integrate it with the lifestyle of a monk?
Let us learn not just how to earn a dollar, but how to get twice the enjoyment out of each and every dollar.
That is our mission: to combine the best aspects of a monk and the greatest strengths of modern society into a sandwich of internal-fulfillment.
And here we are now, United Insights is born, here I am writing this story, and here you are reading it.
Would you like to be a part of this story?