Mentl Logo



In a world plagued by conflict and instability, finding ways to not just survive but thrive amidst chaos is a universal challenge.

So ‘the mentl space’ podcast turned to the wisdom of Thubten Gelong, best-selling author of Handbook for Hard Times, A Monk’s Guide to Fearless Living for some insights on how to navigate the road ahead.

We sat down at the Emirates Literature Festival with the meditation teacher to the likes of Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch on Dr Strange, to get his unique perspective on coping with hardships and finding resilience in trying times.

Thubten’s Origin Story

Thubten’s journey becoming a monk stemmed from a period of deep burnout after living a hectic and unhealthy lifestyle as an actor, leading to physical and mental health issues. This pivotal moment prompted him to delve into meditation as a means of coping, eventually leading him to a Buddhist monastery in Scotland, where he found solace and purpose in the monastic life.

The Cycle of Suffering and Resilience

Reflecting on the perpetual nature of suffering, Thubten highlights the Buddhist philosophy of breaking free from the cycle by transforming one’s relationship with hardships. He emphasizes the importance of not just enduring suffering but reshaping our responses to it, a key aspect of his teachings on navigating difficult times.

Evolution of Mental Health Discourse

Thubten discusses the changing landscape of mental health conversations over the years, noting a greater acceptance and openness towards topics like burnout and stress. He recalls a time when discussing such issues was stigmatized, contrasting it with the present, where more people are vocal about their mental well-being, reflecting a positive shift in societal attitudes.

Paradox of Comfort and Discomfort

In a paradoxical observation, despite living in the most materially comfortable era, the prevalence of mental discomfort and burnout remains high. Thubten acknowledges this global phenomenon, pointing out the dichotomy of unprecedented economic opportunities coexisting with heightened mental health challenges, a complex reality shaping our modern existence.

Path to Resilience and Inner Peace

Offering insights on handling suffering and turmoil, Thubten underscores the significance of mindfulness and reframing one’s perspective on adversity. As a meditation teacher and author, his teachings focus on equipping individuals with the tools to navigate uncertainty with courage and find inner peace amidst external chaos.

Listen Now 

Thubten’s enlightening discourse during the Emirates Literature Festival sheds light on the universal quest for resilience and well-being in tumultuous times. Through his personal journey and teachings, he advocates for a mindful approach to adversity, emphasizing the transformative power of inner strength and introspection in confronting the complexities of the modern world. As individuals seek harmony amidst chaos, Thubten’s guidance offers a beacon of hope and wisdom in navigating the turbulent seas of life