I know my dps is low, but that 10k isn't really an accurate reflection of how much damage I actually do. With the buffs from the blinding skill, my mantra, and my healing skill and the 3 stacks of my whirlwind thingy, I do some decent damage.
The problem is that if you choose to use those 2 specific "spells" to buff your dps, you're going to die - often.
On inferno, you need blind with searing light to make champion packs and bosses miss you. 60% chance to miss, 14% chance to block, 40% chance to dodge (with mantra of evasion + hard target), that's how you stay alive long enough to kill packs. Miss and dodge also apply to spells, so searing light dramatically increases your survivability, even on low hp.
You can't choose sweeping wind on hardcore either, it's certain death right now. I've had one dead monk on hardcore to a shitty pack I could've killed with no issues, but I had sweeping wind on, on an invulnerable minions pack and got caught in a door. That's why you NEED tempest rush. Of course, on softcore, you could simply afford one more death. Seeing how you need serenity, blind, mantra searing light and one normal attack skill (crippling, fists of thunder, whatever), you only have room for one more spell. It's either tempest rush (the only thing that can get you out of a bad spot) or death. If shielding / invulnerable minions go away at some point, that may change, but even then you'll have to get out of vortex/plagued/desecrator/molten asap, so tempest rush looks like a "absolutely-need-that" ability.
Look, no matter how you look at it, monk dps is simply shit. Not whining about it or anything, it's how it's supposed to be balanced - a class that greatly reduces enemy damage (look at my profile for specific spells/runes/passives) and mitigates damage while healing. It's never going to have "Good" dps. Originally, with enough ias and life on hit, you could be invulnerable - save for invulnerable minions or shielding packs. That no longer works, so the only thing you can do is spec for maximum survivability and just...dps as you can.
That thing about classes being flexible and being able to use spells as you wish is just bullshit. It may work up to hell. On inferno, you're stuck, same 6 spells, no matter what.