Buddha-HERO

These TikTok-Savvy Monks Will Set You on the Path to Enlightenment

Who knew social media scrolling could be so... soothing?

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Words by Vandana Pawa

The popularity of “hustle culture”the demand for non-stop work and productivity at the expense of rest and one’s humanityhas (thankfully) taken a bit of a tumble in recent years. A shift in work style due to the pandemic has underlined the ways people, especially BIPOC folks, are experiencing serious burnout because of the constant grind required to be successful, in addition to the effects of impostor syndrome and the racial trauma that can occur in predominantly white workplace environments. Recently, though, it feels like the demands of capitalism are less of a priority. But a switch to slowness in everyday life actually requires a lot of learning (and un-learning), and we’ve noticed that many might be looking to the monks of TikTok to gather a few tips on how to reframe our lives with a little help from Buddhism.

@buddhaspeaks How to meditate like a Buddhist monk. How to practice Vipassana or mindfulness meditation. #buddhism #meditation ♬ original sound - buddhaspeaks

Buddhist monks and concepts of Eastern spirituality have been all over our FYPs lately, and they’re bringing with them a great look into the teachings of Buddhism, and ways viewers can be intentional when it comes to their own lives. The TikTok account @buddhaspeaks shared a tutorial (that’s now approaching one hundred thousand views) on how to practice Vipassana, mindfulness meditation, from achieving the correct posture to gaining the level of focus required to meditate.

One monk, Shaolin master Shi Heng Yi, speaks of peace, and the impact of achieving an unrelenting sense of peace with oneself. He can also be seen explaining more in-depth concepts of Buddhism, like the question of “demon hand and Buddha heart,” examining balance in our emotions and actions. Another monk speaks of gratitude and practicing gentleness with oneself. May we all internalize the wise words  of these TikTok-savvy monks into a slower, more restful 2023.

Published on January 19, 2023

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Words by Vandana Pawa

Vandana Pawa is a New York based culture and fashion writer, currently working as a programs curator at the Asian American Writers' Workshop. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @vandanaiscool.