It's been approximately 1,600 days since Tyler Lewke started his blog, Posts from the Path. In 2015, I read my first post by Lewke entitled “What is a Bhante Sujatha?” It was then that I discovered we shared a mutual friend, Buddhist monk, Venerable Bhante Sujatha.
“I received a letter from a man in Montana who’s been reading these posts for the last 2 years and said he had a burning question for me.'you talk about something called a Bhante Sujatha, but I don’t know what that is, can you explain?'”
Laughing at the remarkably hilarious and informative blog, I messaged Venerable Bhante Sujatha, who was scheduled to visit my yoga studio, asking him if I could introduce him using the contents of Lewke's post. Humble as always, Bhante replied “Of course!”
Since that time, I have been a regular reader of his blog and finally, caught up with the overbooked Buddhist business man to ask him about how he started on his path.
Three years ago, Tyler Lewke was helping Buddhist monk, Bhante San, plan a retreat. While Bhante San had planned to practice 100 days of silence, Lewke sought ways he could make his own vows while still maintaining his personal and professional commitments. Lewke decided on several vows including “driving the absolute speed limit.”
“Most of them I failed at,” admits Lewke.
The one vow he kept was writing about his spiritual journey during those 100 days. He found and shared with others “what a messy spiritual life can look like.”
While he never envisioned continuing the blog after his commitment was fulfilled, he discovered he had a following. In retrospect, he found spelling and grammatical errors. Rather than give up, Lewke not only kept his blog up, but forged forward as a means of helping others.
“It's how I can be in deep service in the world, but not be physically present.”
Running a company with over 200 employees keeps him always on the go. As to whether his staff knows about his writing, Lewke admits that he “didn't expect them to know about it...it's very personal and raw.”
Getting to know your boss, or the owner of the company you work for, is like trying climb over the White House gates. Employers generally keep those personal boundaries intact and well protected. However, since the word got out, it's deepened his connection with his staff.
“It's served us as a way to talk. It's been a way to have a relationship with them,” says Lewke.
Virtually every weekday morning, you can find him at Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters in Crystal Lake sitting down at a table with two other fellow writers at the crack of dawn. Lewke built a space at home to write, but found it hard to concentrate. He shares that he does “better in chaos.” Whether that chaos is a busy coffee shop or on planes or trains around the world, he found as a writer what works for him. And he has a deadline.
“4 A.M. daily,” he says. “I've never missed a day so far.”
Whether climbing Adam's Peak with Venerable Bhante Sujatha in Sri Lanka, attending a Black Lives Matter rally in Chicago, or running a business, his inspiration springs from day to day life. Lewke writes about “how I see things and what I should work on and what the world should work on.”
Through his posts, he willingly exposes his own vulnerabilities, letting others know that trying to find that spiritual balance is “amazing and complicated.” Since making his vow, writing has become an ingrained practice for Lewke. So much so, that he is writing a book.
“It's my truth and my experience.”
Lewke shies away from content that would impose upon the experience of others. Rather, he speaks about the 37 practices of a Bodhisattva through his own lens. While he jokes that he wants to name the book “Bullshit from a Fool,” he says he is currently looking for a more digestible title. Only the future will tell what this humble writer, with a sense of humor about himself, will settle on. Whatever it is called, Lewke is sure to once again bring to the table his well-known wit and humility.