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Lessons from the Monk I Married Paperback – April 3, 2012
"Katherine Jenkins offers us a glowing jewel in this moving and uplifting book. She shares with us an abundance of wisdom and insight learned in the university of life. This beautifully written and compelling work is one to treasure and share with those we love."
Allan Lokos, guiding teacher, Community Meditation Center, NYC, and author of Patience and Pocket Peace
"I was inspired by the wisdom in Lessons from the Monk I Married, entranced by its exploration of far-away places, and moved by Katherine's story of profound and irresistible love. It's a story that would force even the most jaded person to agree that there is, indeed, such a thing as a love that was meant to be."
Noelle Oxenhandler, author of The Wishing Year
"Katherine Jenkins's beautiful memoir is a wonderful story of listening to one's heart through both hardships and joy alike."
Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
"Jenkins’s writing is graceful and direct in this gentle, earnest book" Publishers Weekly
"This gentle book is full of surprises. Part memoir, part spiritual journey, this is written in an accessible and conversational style that should appeal to a wide range of readers " Booklist
About the Author
Jenkins spent over eight years in South Korea, where she met her husband in 1996. That same year, she went to Nepal and joined a ten-day silent meditation course. That ten-day course changed her life and she has been practicing Vipassana meditation ever since.
Jenkins moved back to the States with her husband in 2006, where they became managers of the Northwest Vipassana Meditation Center in Washington State. During her time at the meditation center, she helped edit the book Letters from the Dhamma Brothers, which was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Soul Series in October of 2008.
Today, Jenkins lives in Seattle with her husband, a popular yoga teacher and lecturer, and she teaches English as a Second Language at Edmonds Community College.
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Top Customer Reviews
This passage, somewhere midway in the novel, made me laugh aloud, drawing a couple of stares from passersby. But it's only one of the hundreds of moments in this book that made me either gasp, or laugh, or have to put down the book and just think for a while.
"Lessons from the Monk I Married" follows Katherine's long journey from working at a Seattle health club a few years out of college, to traveling to Korea in search of the life she thought she wanted, to climbing mountains into Tibet, to ashrams in India, to utter solitude as a teacher in Japan, to all across the states... you name it. Her meeting with a kind and quirky young Buddhist monk-- one who likes bowling and other surprisingly non-monklike activities-- breaks Katherine's expectations of spirituality, and the two eventually fall in love. Their relationship becomes complicated, needless to say (she wonders at one point the possible punishments for "corrupting" a prized monk,) but their journey together, which spans years and dozens of foreign landscapes, is entirely captivating.
The spirituality in the book is not overbearing or preachy to any degree. She simply conveys to the reader what she learns from her adventures and her wise, but also human, husband. Lovers of memoir will appreciate the honesty. Lovers of adventure will devour the excitement of crossing a tense Chinese-occupied border and the many dangers of traveling in uncharted, risky territory. You don't have to be a Buddhist, or spiritual to any degree, to enjoy a good story. And this definitely is one.
Kathy Jenkins not only dreamed of it, she DID it! Lessons from the Monk I Married tells how Kathy Jenkins picked up and left the USA to teach English in South Korea - all by herself, without knowing a soul, and without really understanding why. She just knew there were answers for her there. And there were...
Reading Lessons from the Monk I Married, you quickly feel that you've made a new best friend. Kathy recounts her experiences and her feelings with the openness and authenticity that makes you feel like you've known her forever. She lets you see her vulnerability, all while showing her strength, her courage and her wisdom as it grows throughout her travels. From her first time at a meditation retreat to her journey through Thailand, Nepal, Tibet and India - you experience it as if you're there with her.
But it's not only the stories and the unlikely love that makes this book special. It's how the stories are interwoven with life lessons. Kathy organizes her stories into chapters with titles like Let Go of Expectations, Trust Your Inner Voice, Surrender to the Unknown and To be Happy Together, First Learn to be Happy Alone. These are some the things Kathy learned in her travels and some of the things you will become more aware of as you read this inspiring book.
Lessons from the Monk I Married is more than a memoir, more than a love story - although it is both of these. It is an outpouring of Kathy's soul that will inspire you to get in touch with your heart and live from the wisdom, the courage, the strength, the peace and the purpose that reside there.
Arlene Taveroff, PhD