What do you mean you are an Urban Monk?

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Someone asked me what I mean by calling my self an Urban Monk. Well to answer that I am going to pull some information from one of our greatest resources on earth, Wikipedia.

Wikipedia says a monk is:

A monk (from Greek: μοναχός, monachos, “single, solitary”[1]) is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of other monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

In the Greek language the term can apply to women; but in modern English it is in use only for men, while nun is used for female monastics.

Although the term monachos (“monk”) is of Christian origin, in the English language it tends to be used analogously or loosely also for both male and female ascetics from other religious or philosophical backgrounds.

The term monk is generic and in some religious or philosophical traditions it therefore may be considered interchangeable with other terms such as ascetic. However, being generic, it is not interchangeable with terms that denote particular kinds of monk, such as cenobite, hermit, anchorite, hesychast, solitary.

Which leads us to look up ascetic:

Asceticism (from the Greek: ἄσκησις, áskēsis, “exercise” or “training”) describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals.

Some forms of Christianity (see article Monastic life) and the Indian religions (including yoga) teach salvation and liberation and involve a process of mind-body transformation effected by exercising restraint with respect to actions of body, speech, and mind. The founders and earliest practitioners of these religions (e.g. Buddhism, Jainism, the Christian desert fathers) lived extremely austere lifestyles, refraining from sensual pleasures and the accumulation of material wealth. This is to be understood not as an eschewal of the enjoyment of life, but a recognition that spiritual and religious goals are impeded by such indulgence.

Those who practice ascetic lifestyles do not consider their practices virtuous in themselves, but pursue such a lifestyle to encourage, or ‘prepare the ground’ for, mind-body transformation.

In the popular imagination, asceticism may be considered obsessive or even masochistic in nature. However, the askēsis enjoined by religion functions to bring about greater freedom in various areas of one’s life (such as freedom from compulsions and temptations) and greater peacefulness of mind (with a concomitant increase in clarity and power of thought).

Lastly we need to look up Urban:

Urban means “related to cities.

Urban – Etymology
Latin Urbanus, name of eight early popes, from urbanus (“of the town or city,urbane”).

My reasoning:

I have put some key points in bold however, I think when you read all the information that is presented in these widely excepted definitions you can easily agree that the goal of Project Zen is the pursuit of the enjoyment of life via our freedom to transform the mind, body and spirit through exercise, training and restraint.

I live in an Urban environment and as you fallow my posts, you will see that the journey down this path or project throughout the year, I will use many of the locations available in this urban centre to facilitate exercises affordable and easily accessible. So anyone who wishes to join me on this path can do so with our concern for budget. All one will need to do is put in the time, energy, participation and the rewards will fallow suit.

Thus I have no problem with calling my self an Urban Monk.

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