Bricolage is a podcast for makers, made in the united kingdom by dominic morow with new episodes more or less every week!

Engine of More: The Maker Monk

Engine of More: The Maker Monk

The Maker Monk*: more of a personal journey to seek a utopian, recognisedly unobtainable ideal as a maker and as a person through a series of personal challenges and approaches to thinking. Whilst aiming to be accepting and not judgey, it’d also promote the idea of challenging ones self out of comfort zones and taking joy from the achievement of climbing your own personal Everest. Coping mechanisms, rules of thumb and outlooks on life. This is the hardest one to write because I can’t think of a good title hence the *, I’m uncomfortable with the connotations of monk, with the idea of seeking excellence and with the idea that I of all people could suggest any of it. This sort of work would be heavily influenced by Stoic philosophy and the idea of trying to achieve the unachievable Stoic ideal. It would borrow heavily from Zen and Epicurean philosophy and other modern approaches to living a good and content life whilst remaining a life-long student and a collector of skills. * I don’t like the word monk it implies male and religious.

This is a blog post relating to Friday’s list of 4 book idea, this is idea number 4. First things first I do not like the word monk. It has way too many connotations. First off, I’m pretty sure it refers only to men, even if it doesn’t I think the usage is primarily for men and most people will think it means men. The second is religion, most obviously. I’m not entirely opposed to religion, but I am an atheist. I rather think religion is somewhat spoiled by the superstitious that have to go with it

In respect for the fact that these “10 minute” daily blogging is taking more like 2 or 3 hours, I’m going to cut and paste (with some sanitising) some notes I wrote on the topic last year.

What is a Maker Monk?

One who lives by a code or set of rules or practices, and aspires to live by that set of practices, informing and enveloping all aspects of their life without dominating the lives of those around them. They strive to improve mind, body and craft and apply themselves in a positive way, striving to make an impact for good in the world.

The Mind, The Hands, The Heart. A Maker Monk is mindful, they seek to improve mind, body and craft through the application of learning and daily practice.

The Maker Monk:
- Shares their skills as best they can
- Is mindful of the desires of others to learn and does not squash the enthusiasms of others through cynicism.
- Does not seek to prove themselves or greater intellect, understanding or authority on any subject (does not seek to score points in a conversation or forum posts).
- Is forgiving of the mistakes of others
- Is forgiving of the mistakes of them selves
- Is not fanatical to doctrine
- Considers and critiques their own philosophy
- Respect the tolerant philosophy’s of others
- Does something everyday to make the world* a better place
- Never seeks to make others feel like a newb.
- Seeks to break bad cliques and build inclusive cliques made of a wildly varied group from different walks of life.
- Seeks to meet those from different cultures and find commonalities and enjoy differences, at all times celebrates what it is to be free and human.
- Seeks mentors and heroes, does not seek to destroy the heroes of others.
- Is self-aware and considers the opinions and feelings of others, does not corner people to talk without listening and seeing verbal and physical cues.
- Believe there are no truly bad people but their are bad processes
- Is able to accept continued change and does not dwell in nostalgia for times past

The Maker Monk does not obsess over being a Maker Monk, they are free to forget they are from time to time, catch themselves working against their own philosophy, forgive themselves and start right back up whenever they please!

The Maker Monk should borrow from whichever doctrine or philosophy that resonates with them. Do you like Zen? Then be Zen. Aspire to be a stoic? Be a stoic. Are you Christian? Then be a christian. However the Maker Monk should not push their faith or philosophy on others in the name of being a Maker Monk and should not conflate their religion or philosophy into the practice of being a Maker Monk.
All philosophy spiritual or secular is between yourself and you.

The Maker Monk is a maven, and likes to explore new skills and learn to do things in new ways. They do not fear change, they fear stagnation and seek change through improvement. They also celebrate in seeking to improve in one or more chosen areas of craft, a skill in which they take pride, a skill to which they might devote 10,000 hours, and be honoured to be called expert. They do not seek to be seen as expert but are satisfied with their own experience and knowledge. They seek to find new approaches and appreciate new learning even when it makes them uncomfortable and redundant. The recognise the human need for respect and status and are generous when applying status to others as this does not diminish themselves.

(Work In Progress).

I blame #Makevember for this. #Makevember has caused me to explore a few themes about how we as humans think about making and sharing what they’ve made and what it means to do either. Its made me think about the difference between done, good-enough and perfection and how we reflect on that personally and how we engage with others whilst making and the stories we tell ourselves about it and the stories we share about it and how or why we share them.

I’ve included a lot of talk about the body and health in there because I think that too is important, though I’d want to speak to a differently able maker about this too to make sure I fully understood any privilege and challenges I’m overlooking. I want being a maker monk to be accessible but also hard, equally for everyone in different personal challenge ways. In 2017 I started doing a lot more physical exercise and training and have found it wonderful for a feeling of well being and achievement.

In a nutshell I’m not ready to write this book and I don’t know what I’d call it if I did. The Mindful Maker?

The thumbnail is Mythbusters Jr co-host Rachel Pizzolato posing as Rosie the Riveter with a 3D printed Rosie behind her at World Maker Faire New York 2018. Photo by me. All the photo thumb nails are by me. I’ll do a post on all of them at some point as mostly they’re from the maker world.

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