In many conversations about mindfulness and meditation, you may have heard of the Urban Monk, Jay Shetty. But who is he?
Who is Jay Shetty?
Shetty’s journey to becoming an award-winning author, podcaster, and purpose coach were far from simple. Shetty began at age 21 by splitting his summers between working at a corporation and studying at monasteries.
After some time, he committed to studying full-time as a monk at an ashram in Mumbai, India, for three years. Shetty eventually made the decision to leave the monastic life he built to reintegrate with general society and bring what he learned to the world.
Shetty started as a social media coach and eventually became a viral social media sensation for his inspirational videos teaching people how to be content. Now, Shetty continues to give motivational speeches, offers an array of courses, has a wildly successful podcast, and continues expanding his meditations’ reach. Shetty’s mission is to introduce people to the Monk Mindset and the lessons it can teach.
“Living as a monk was like going to school, and the last seven years have been the exam. The Monk Mindset works. Whether you want to find your purpose, manage negativity, build real confidence or overcome your fears, the tools I learned when I lived as a monk truly do work.”Jay Shetty
What is He Famous For?
The Urban Monk became an internet sensation after posting a Facebook video in 2018 that went viral and today has amassed a whopping 368 million views. Before that video, Shetty was discovered by Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington. Huffington asked Shetty to produce a self-help-centered morning show because she was so impressed with the content he created.
Eventually, Shetty left HuffPost and made his own self-help videos. Since starting his path as a motivational speaker and influencer, Shetty gained momentum by releasing his podcast On Purpose and New York Times Best Selling book, Think Like a Monk. In addition, Shetty’s meditations and speeches have reached millions of people. As a result, the bestselling author has become a thought leader in the self-help and wellness space.
Is He a Real Monk?
Although Shetty left his path of becoming a lifelong monk, he has many years of experience studying as a monk. Jay Shetty spent much of his early 20s studying and devoting his life to becoming a monk on the Hindu Vedic path. Shetty spent four summers during business school, splitting his time between working at a large financial corporation and studying at a monastery.
Shetty decided to dedicate himself to learning the solitary way of the monks. Shetty spent three years training to be a monk. Shetty learned a minimalist, mindful and spiritual lifestyle that he is now sharing with the world. Shetty is no longer a monk in the traditional sense; he is a modern monk and mindset guru. Shetty stated that his time as a monk trained him to be resilient and overcome life’s obstacles.
Why Did He Leave the Ashram?
If Shetty devoted so much of himself to a monastic life, why did he choose to leave it behind? Well, according to Shetty, in an interview with GQ, he departed the ashram in 2013 after realizing he wanted to share what he learned with the world. Shetty cites his newfound self-awareness as the catalyst for his exit. Shetty says he realized he shouldn’t be a monk for the rest of his life.
He recognized that he would be able to prosper by leaving the ashram and sharing his knowledge with the world. Shetty says his teachers and fellow monks were immensely supportive. Shetty stated that his teachers believed that he would be able to spread the gospel of mindfulness and help others to gain self-awareness.
Leaving the monastery was difficult, and he faced many challenges. Shetty revealed that he was broke, in debt, and had to move back in with his parents before he could reach his true potential. The bestselling author states that his training as a monk is the reason for his success.
Who is His Wife?
Roshni Devlukia-Shetty, often referred to by her nickname Radhi, develops plant-based recipes and is an expert on fitness & well-being.
Devlukia-Shetty met Jay Shetty while he was studying at the monastery. In an interview, Devlukia-Shetty revealed that she met Shetty through her mother. As the story goes, Shetty was instructed to assist Devlukia-Shetty’s mother with her spiritual practice when Devlukia-Shetty’s mother gave her number to Shetty. Devlukia-Shetty’s mother thought very highly of Shetty and thought he could be a good match for her daughter.
Because Shetty was so devoted to his spiritual lifestyle, he gave the number to his sister. Devlukia-Shetty and Shetty’s sister began talking. Eventually, Devlukia-Shetty let the cat out of the bag to reveal she had a crush on Shetty. After some time, Shetty and Devlukia-Shetty grew closer, and Shetty eventually left his life as a monk behind. The two were married in 2016 and have developed their businesses and reach.
Radhi Devlukia-Shetty has created several businesses to assist people in living their life’s purpose and developing their well-being. She has her own inspirational YouTube page where she discusses many topics from Ayurveda, breathwork, and even hair care. Together, the couple created an Adaptogenic Ayurvedic tea business called Sama Tea.
Jay Shetty Meditation
How Long Does He Meditate For?
According to a Women’s Health Magazine article, Shetty meditates for 1 ½ – 2 hours daily. The On Purpose host’s current meditation routine is short compared to the 4-8 hours he meditated daily at the ashram. While his current habit may sound like a lot, Shetty doesn’t expect everyone to be at this level of meditation.
“You don’t ‘train’ when you’re in the midst of the competition or game itself, you train during practice. And every morning we need a training ground. We need a training center,” he says. “And if your training is 20 minutes or 10 minutes, or if it’s an hour and a half, the point is finding your own training ground every day.”Jay Shetty
Shetty looks for moments of silence and integrates his mindfulness practice into day-to-day life. Shetty believes that mindfulness can be as small as an intentional deep breath to feeling grateful for something beautiful. The practice is staying in the here and now while overcoming all that life throws. A daily meditative habit makes it easier to find moments of calm even when the world seems to be crashing down. You don’t have to meditate for hours on end to achieve calmness and bring it with you into daily life.
How Does His Meditation Work?
Shetty believes that the practice of meditation helps people find peace and purpose. Shetty’s meditations focus on bringing awareness to the present moment while staying accessible. Shetty touts a daily routine, regardless of length, as a critical component of successful meditation practice. Shetty uses many techniques to assist people in achieving serenity, but the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding method is one of his favorites.
Oprah Daily even featured it for their Mindful Monday offering in May 2022. This method brings your focus into the present moment, only focusing on your breath and sensations. Shetty also offers specific practices to help viewers cope with complex issues. One of his most popular meditations is a daily 7-minute guided meditation available through the popular app, Calm called Daily Jay.
Is It Good for Beginners?
Short answer – YES.
Shetty’s meditations are perfect for beginners. Shetty’s mission is to “Make Wisdom Go Viral.” Shetty wants to make entertaining and relatable lessons that everyone can integrate into their lives. Shetty’s overarching purpose is to teach everyone the lessons he learned as a monk and help them overcome life’s obstacles with grace.
Shetty’s guided meditations are perfect for mindfulness newbies because he walks you through the meditation step by step and encourages you to stick with it. His meditations start at 5-7 minutes because who doesn’t have a few minutes to devote to breathing? His highly approachable meditations are perfect for folks just beginning their mindfulness journeys.
Further Reading and Listening
If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness, meditation, and finding your calling, check out Shetty’s other works.
Jay Shetty Podcast
Shetty launched the On Purpose podcast on Valentine’s Day in 2019. The podcast is available on all streaming platforms and YouTube. He discusses various topics, from deepening your relationships, finding your purpose, and even time management. In addition, Shetty often interviews famous and exciting guests, including Oprah Winfrey and Khloe Kardashian.
Jay Shetty Books
In 2020, Shetty released his New York Times Bestselling book Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day. The book is about Jay Shetty’s journey and all of the lessons he has learned.
“This book is an effortless guide on how ANYONE can Think Like a Monk: courageous, compassionate and determined; and why it isn’t a choice but a necessity in our fast-paced, stressed out and disconnected world. Discover how Jay rebelled against the norm to find happiness and meaning through self awareness and deep work and in this book you’re invited to take that journey with him.”