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Lessons from the Monk I Married

Lessons from the Monk I Married

At age 25, Katherine Jenkins was searching for inner peace and a sense of purpose. That search led her, on a bit of a whim, to South Korea where she was hired to teach English. Nothing was quite as she anticipated. At first, even the art of meditation seemed impossibly out of reach.

Ms. Jenkins shares her spiritual journey — from meeting a bowling monk to a mysterious photo to learning to listen to the inner voice we each possess — in her book, Lessons from the Monk I Married.


I just never expected my search for peace would lead me to a bowling alley. Nor did I expect my first experience with a Buddhist monk to involve putting on tacky shoes and comparing ball sizes. No — I expected we’d spend the afternoon watching monks chanting and doing prostrations to the steady beat of a moktak, a wooden percussion instrument used in Korean Buddhist ceremonies. Or maybe we’d attend a tea ceremony, sitting for hours on our knees in silence. Or may I’d even finally learn how to meditate.

Yet here we were, following Su Nim through the narrow streets downtown to a bowling alley. Along the way, I started worrying. Is there a certain etiquette I should follow when bowling with a monk? I wondered. No, that’s ridiculous. How could there be an etiquette? Who goes bowling with a monk, anyway?

After her first attempts to fast forward her spiritual quest, Jenkins learns to trust that her thirst for answers will be quenched in its own time.


“If the time is right, we’ll meet the people we’re supposed to meet.”

And with those words, I realized something that took my breath away: All of my searching had led me here. All those days in the health club, thumbing through book after book on Buddhism and meditation — those days had a purpose. The lifeguard who first got me thinking about Korea; that night with Mike, when I first learned of the teaching opportunity — they were not just coincidence. All along my journey, my intentions had been connecting me to the right people and the right places. My sincere wish to meet a monk on my journey to Songgwang Temple hadn’t gone unheard; I had met a monk from the temple. (Albeit, he loved to bowl, had a funky patchwork vest, and liked to read books by Osho, but he was a monk, nonetheless.)

Though little had unfolded as I expected it to, these were not random events in a chaotic universe. For the first time in my life, I was aware that my intentions were creating my connections. And that I was right where I needed to be.

Whatever our spiritual longings, we are each tasked with finding our own answers. Still, there is much we can gain from another’s path, and Lessons from the Monk I Married is filled with insight. The author manages to share her personal story of growth without hitting the reader over the head with “lessons.” It’s an enjoyable read and I give it a hearty recommendation.

For more information about the book or the author visit:

Disclosure: A representative for the author provided me with a copy of the book for the purpose of writing this article. No agreement was made about the content of the article nor do I have any financial connection to the book.

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1:33PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Thanks Dear Ann for posting-take care.

4:00PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

Boil it down: There are no coincidences.

7:38PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

I just had a dream too and Jeeeeeesus said, there isn't MUCH TIME LEFT! He said gays were born that way and if the Pope keeps calling gays "an abomination" the Pope will burn in HELL. Big Ag is murdering 1.5 million animals a day and the machines only work half the time so they are being cut up while they are still alive. Jesus said everybody who works there and does this is going to be cut in pieces while they are still alive and THEN they will burn in HELL. Newt and Rush who disrespected women before the world will be hung by their balls first and THEN they will burn in hell. It is hard to express the intensity and the urgency of the call, but it is literally one of the last calls! Love to ALL of us women of the WORLD who have NEVER sinned a day of our LIVES and only SERVED, HONORED and GIVEN OUR LIVES to MEAN, EVIL MEN!!! Pray for justice for all war mongerers, murderers, torturers, killers of innocent animals (hunters), pedophiles, rapists and abusers.
Jesus said all rapists will have their genitalia cut off before they BURN IN HELL! PRAY NOW for JUSTICE FOR THE EVIL ONES! BLESSINGS!

12:26AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Great article, thanks. I'm sure the book will be a great success.

8:54AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012


8:27AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:22PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012


7:58PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012


12:04PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I am so glad you shared this book with us. Thank you.

8:37AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I would like to give a testimony about the Rapture. Dear friends, today is 4/4/2012 and I just had a dream from Jesus The Christ. Dear friends- IT IS TIME TO REPENT!!! It is NOT MUCH TIME LEFT! It is hard to express the intensity and the urgency of the call, but is literally one of the last calls! Love to ALL people of the World from Bulgaria. Blessings.

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