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Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Review of Raf Adams' "The Suited Monk"

Let me wish you a happy Friday--if you're looking for a good book to restore a balanced perspective, you will not go wrong with Raf Adams' The Suited Monk: A guide to life purpose and happiness.  


Is it just our external experience that dictates our response to life? Hardly...don't forget the peace that only derives from inner balance.


My review is presented for your enjoyment. Feedback is always appreciated.

Available at Amazon.com

The Suited Monk: A guide to life purpose and happiness
Raf Adams
WOW! Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-936400-66-9
196 Pages (Includes front and back matter)
Eleanor Roosevelt once quipped, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”  If the truth of that statement were allowed to sink into most people, half of what is written about happiness would become obsolete. Literature abounds with promises that equate to if you will but do this, and then you will be happy—as if happiness were dependent upon some externality to come to fruition.

Into that fray comes Raf Adams’ The Suited Monk which reads like a cold drink of water in the midst of a desert landscape. Instead of situating happiness as making endless revolutions on the carousel of life while straining for the elusive brass ring, this treatise promises happiness now— if you are willing to alter your perspective.

Drawing on his own experiences of career burnout and even the disenchantment that forsaken love brings, Raf introduces the Life Journey Model. A schematic which attempts to answer the probing question: What am I here to do?  When the reader understands that the intuitive internal world actually informs the external reality, he will be squarely on a path to fulfillment (and happiness, by extension). 

In fact, a life that is spent too worried about externality will make its adherent unhappy since so often rejection and pain are the hallmarks of existence. Not to worry, indicates Raf – seek to “Bridge the Gap,” by relying upon your inner guidance. Move away from rejection to acceptance by letting go of past emotional hurts, putting negative ideology away, and moving forward to the positive experiences that will unfold before you.

Such an interesting concept is the basis of the works’ title: The Suited Monk.  Who could be more in touch with the existence of externality and internality than someone who spends his life his reflective contemplation?  Such revelation is a clarion call—each person who reads this book is like a suited monk. You wear your required “uniform” to help you get through life…but you are also dressed in the garb of a monk, one who is intimately aware of your internal situation, opting to focus on positivity rather than be ensconced by the negativity of this world.

As a Christian, this reviewer differs with the author on the point of “internal divinity,” instead opting to believe that humankind has the indelible impression of her Creator embedded into her existence. In that way, people should live their life by seeking fulfillment to help their fellow humans, instead of maliciously seeking to undermine others for sordid gain.  Adams’ thoughts will help Christians find ways to put their perspective into practice.

Adams presents fodder that should be discussed in ethics classrooms, around the water cooler…and within the confines of a religious establishment.  If life just about what happens externally, or, rather…is the essence of life how one bridges this gap and attempts to live in the moment.  Media outlets will preach doom and gloom without offering hope for a better tomorrow—The Suited Monk will help you live life more fully, starting today.

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

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