I am a real life Monk, affiliated to No Tribe, Religion or Society. My spiritual name is Dhamma Tapasa Viraja (Dhamma Hermit Free From Dust) given to me when I was an ordained Buddhist monk in North Thailand. My birth name is Andrew Hallas but I’m affectionately know by friends as the Monk.
I am affiliated to No Monastery, No Religion, Tribe or Society, I do however wholeheartedly believe in the Buddhist teachings of Meditation, Mindfulness , Loving Kindness and Compassion as fundamental in the search for enlightenment.
My whole life has been in this pursuit and understanding of our human experience, I have now spent Thousands of Hours in Meditation and Mindfulness training from within monastery’s and meditation Centers across Europe and Asia, many intensive 3 month Vipassana rains Retreats and during my life as a Buddhist monk in Thailand. These Thousands of hours training in Meditation and Mindfulness have helped me gain great insight into my own mind and all our human consciousness, this has bought me a truly deep sense of peace and lasting tranquility for the first time in my life.
My abbot had predicted it would be in my 6th year wandering the countryside as a Thudong Monk that everything i learnt would come to fruition, Thích Nhat Hanh personally told me to stay true to my path for it leads to realisation, and this year, my 6th year wandering Europe in search, everything of life’s mysteries have revealed themselves, it is as if I just rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, for the first time in my life I have a relationship with my father and all childhood traumas cease to be of an issue, I simple let go. A truly freeing experience.
I am continuously traveling or wandering the world and I spend and dedicate every ounce of effort into the pursuit of enlightenment, using the Buddha’s teachings of Meditation, Mindfulness, loving kindness & compassion as my guide.
After returning to England from my monastery in Thailand I would spend many months as a monk with a rucksack walking through England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and into Germany. I suffered along my journey mostly from the general harsh conditions of sleeping outside under a small tarpaulin and finding somewhere safe to sleep every night, and as so I now choose the ever growing and popular Vanlife movement to fulfil my 3 basic human needs of shelter, food and medicine. My Shelter is my Van a rusty LDV Convoy I named Bee and To obtain my another two requisites I now work for my food and medicine, unlike my monk days, wether that’s gardening, selling ice creams, making jewellery or farm harvests, I do what’s needed.
During the last couple of years my wanderings have bought me a companion in a little mischievous dog I affectionately call Marley Moo. I’ve officially adopted Marley so he can have a passport and travel with me. This simple act of kindness, as well as quite a few other misdemeanours, driving as a monk and living in a van to name two, got me into a lot of trouble with the Buddhist Thai Sangha and after an intense few years of real deep soul searching and inner questioning about Buddhism, other religions, the Thai sangha, and my place as a monk in it all, I finally came to a realisation. I am a monk living the Vanlife. It was a incredibly hard and lonely time for me. It has taken me almost 3 years to finally figure out who I am, my place in the world and what I am really searching for, I finally realised my USP so to speak. I am now comfortable with myself and realise I am a completely unique real life Monk living the 21st century Vanlife movement all in the search for enlightenment, even if this has come at the cost of loosing the support of the Thai Sangha and all monetary funds.
Just like any monk of any religion I live by a code of conduct or moral principles called precepts. Each precept is simple in its clarity and we can all easily follow some if not most of them to improve our own lives. I’ve lived with most of these morals for the whole of my life, even as a child. My code of conduct, moral principles I live by:
No sexual misconduct
No Alcohol or Drugs
To eat only one meal a day
To practice non violence in every situation in life
To try to never ask for anything
To take only what is freely given
To give everything I can
I have found that working in robes, gardening or farm harvest, just isn’t practical for me anymore, and as so can be found out of robes as much as I am in robes, I choose only to wear my robes in private, while meditating or when I’m teaching mindfulness and Meditation techniques, although sometimes just sometimes I’m seen out and about in robes
If you would like to support myself and Marley Moo with a small donation of any kind then we have a PayPal code and in return we have a small gift waiting for you.
You will not only be supporting a real life Monk but also the upkeep and running costs of this website and both myself and Marley Moo thank you.
of course if you don’t really want to just give us money then please head over to our wonderful handmade Gift Shop Click Hear and support us that way.