At thirty-six years old, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was a rising star within his generation of Tibetan masters and the respected abbot of three monasteries. Then one night, telling no one, he slipped out of his monastery in India with the intention of spending the next four years on a wandering retreat, following the ancient practice of holy mendicants. His goal was to throw off his titles and roles in order to explore the deepest aspects of his being.
He immediately discovered that a lifetime of Buddhist education and practice had not prepared him to deal with dirty fellow travelers or the screeching of a railway car. He found he was too attached to his identity as a monk to remove his robes right away or to sleep on the Varanasi station floor, and instead paid for a bed in a cheap hostel. But when he ran out of money, he began his life as an itinerant beggar in earnest. Soon he became deathly ill from food poisoning--and his journey took a startling turn. His meditation practice had prepared him to face death, and now he had the opportunity to test the strength of his training.
In this powerful and unusually candid account of the inner life of a Buddhist master, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche offers us the invaluable lessons he learned from his near-death experience. By sharing with readers the meditation practices that sustain him, he shows us how we can transform our fear of dying into joyful living.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a lama and monk of the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and the youngest son of Tulku Urgyen—his elder brothers are Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Mingyur Rinpoche serves as abbot of both Tergar Osel Ling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Tergar Rigzin Khachö Targyé Ling Monastery in Bodhgaya, India, in addition to teaching throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
There's two aspects to it, really: the Monk's journey (or, the beginning of it) and Buddhist teachings on life and death.
I think it was the contrast between the two that made this such a slow read for me, because it's two topics I'm rather fascinated by but it was jarring to switch between the two constantly with this book.
The journey: Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has lived his life as a Buddhist monk in relative comfort and luxury. He has risen through ranks with dedication to the teachings of Buddhist ways and is highly respected and thus treated with considerable respect. However he's decided it's time to discover how to 'be comfortable being uncomfortable' (my words, not his) so he sneaks out of the monastery compound with little money and possessions and sets out to explore. This book follows the first leg of his journey, where he sleeps at a train station for a few nights then moves on to a Buddhist site (sorry, the names are all a thousand letters long and hard to pronounce, so equally hard to remember and attempt to spell) where he eventually becomes sick.
The plug of the novel is what this book can teach you from his experience of nearly dying, but the near-death occurrence doesn't happen until nearly 200 pages in. So a lot of this book is spent waiting for things to take that dark turn, and when it does it's kind of ... underwhelming. SORRY. This guy actually nearly died and here I am talking about how his relating the experience was underwhelming! SORRY. But he's just so CHILL about it! It was really interesting but also I was just so baffled that he did nothing except meditate on it. I'm not reaching enlightenment any time soon, my sense of self-preservation is way too strong.
To be honest, I would have been really fascinated to read about his entire 'wander', since he apparently wandered for four years, and this only detailed a few weeks or so. It was fascinating to read about how his teachings comforted him (or didn't) when faced with unique experiences.
However, the story itself was constantly interrupted by ...
The teachings: While there were some interesting ideas amongst it all, this is heavy stuff. It is pages and pages of walls of text and it is full of concepts that kind of start by making sense but drift into me wondering where I lost the thread. It is full on. It was kind of like a race-car driver trying to explain to a two-year-old how to drive. With instructions like, 'the accelerator makes you move so you just stick your foot on it and drive' but the kid doesn't even know what any of those words mean.
It's me. I'm the kid.
I tried really hard to follow all the stuff about bardos and in-between and dying every day etc but in the end I honestly had no fkn clue what this dude was talking about. He's just so used to his way of life that it's impossible for him to dumb it down because he already thinks he is.
That was my impression, anyway. Perhaps people smarter than me, or with more experience of Buddhist teachings, will appreciate his message a little more.
So the story itself was a 4-star, but way too bogged down by the teachings. And the ideas in the teachings were about a 3-star, but then they were too dense for my dense mind to understand so the delivery was 2-star.
So overall I guess we have a 3-star novel with an interesting story, interesting ideas, but a slow, tedious, confusing sort of delivery.
Not one to read on a whim, friends, but if you want some deep insight into Buddhist living this account is well worth a read.
Ban đầu mình tính không có đọc, may mà tên tác giả quen quen (cái bìa thì lạ quá). Hoá ra là nhà sư vui nhộn nhây nhây mình đã đọc 2 cuốn trước và xem 1 số clip hướng dẫn thiền.
Cuốn này thầy chơi lớn. Người ta bỏ nhà đi tu, còn thầy bỏ chùa đi bụi. Đi hẳn 4.5 năm và đối diện với thực tập sống chết mỗi ngày.
Bạn nào có thực hành thiền, quan tâm tới tâm linh đồ thì rất nên đọc cuốn này. Để thấy tâm linh nó rất đời, nó rất đơn giản nhưng cũng vô cùng khắc nghiệt, phức tạp. Đọc mấy đoạn thầy không có gì ăn 4-5 ngày, người vật vờ xong... mình lăn ra ốm luôn. Có cơ hội để thực tập ngay những điều vừa đọc.
Review chi tiết sẽ có trên Youtube nhen, cho một cuốn sách hay.
A rare, intimate look at a monk’s inner compass, this book is a treasure. It can be a bit ‘technical,’ especially toward the end, but it didn’t matter. I had always wondered what would happen if monks or nuns were to actually live in the ‘real’ world, stuck in traffic and screaming kids or abusive parents or distressed bank accounts. Yongey Mingyur always wondered the same, perhaps, setting out on a 4-year incognito retreat through India, abandoning a relatively plush monastic existence for a life on the streets.
The book doesn’t trace all of the four years. But even in the short one or two weeks it traces, the results were fascinating. I was enthralled to learn how the Rinpoche seems very human in craving daal, feeling aversion for the stink from fellow passengers on the train, and coping with anxiety and panic attacks, while wondering why he was doing this at all. It’s not that Yongey doesn’t feel what we do - where he is a Rinpoche is how he explains how his mind handles all that life throws at him. A book to be bookmarked and one that gave me some support during tumultuous times.
I have always been drawn to tales of seekers who abandon everything, everything that defines their life behind and wander in search of answer and meaning of life. but, most people say to leave everything behind and live like a hobo on the street begging for food is foolish. most people say we could just practice in the comfort of our home and warm bed and warm fresh food. some believe in getting rid of all the materials belongings because they breed attachments and are major distractions too. I believe in a calling from higher self.. which demands a drastic change, something so divine you feel its ok to lose everything. and you lose everything. and move towards it with all your heart and mind and come back anew, fully reformed , fully awaked, fully enlightened. prince Siddarth did it mingyur rinpoche did it may be we should too if we are true seeker. let me graduate first ;-)
very inspiring book.. I would love to read about his whole 4 years journey. most pages of the book describes his inner world, analysing his thought and various emotions, this level of introspection I believe can only be achieved by a true practitioner.thank you mingyur rinpoche.
The story of a monk who sheds himself of all his worldly possessions and creature comforts to go on a wandering retreat in search of enlightenment. Unfortunately, for me, the book seemed to be more focused on Buddhist practices and teachings than the monk’s journey. The beginning is so promising, filled with the rich imagery and excitement of Mingyur Rinpoche’s clandestine departure from his monastery. But, then, the story quickly loses all its charm by bogging the reader down in lessons of the most exhausting detail. Additionally, the rambling, repetitive nature of the writing simply caused me to lose interest altogether, making it a chore to finish the book. Beyond that, I found Mingyur Rinpoche to be unbearably whiny at times, likely the result of the pampered lifestyle he led up to the retreat. That said, I did appreciate his complete honesty in the telling of his experiences and felt I could have learned much from his keen insights if only the writing had been better. Finally, I really wish the book would have covered more of Mingyur Rinpoche’s 5-year journey and not just the first 6 months.
In short, both tedious and enlightening - worthwhile if you are interested in obtaining a better understanding of Buddhism, but not if you are looking for a biographical account of Mingyur Rinpoche’s life.
Helen Tworkov's writting is wonderful: clear, bright and insightful, being up to the task of delivering such precious teachings. The book is more about what Yongey Mingyur learned from is Sadhu-like wandering retreat than about chronicling the journey itself. It is a deep, loving book. A great read in times of isolation, in which being able to deal with our own thoughts is important.
Mingyur abandons his Tibetan monastery to "live among the people" for three years. I thought this was an interesting premise. However, I thought the narrative was slow. For example, almost halfway through the book he was still into only the second day of his experience. And, while the book was ostensibly about using his meditation practice to guide him through the "chaos" of living the world he would be experiencing, I felt that it actually got in the way -- it helped him avoid really experiencing what life was like for and among "the people." Rather than being "empty" and experiencing life as it is, in the present moment, I felt his "monkey mind" was busy explaining it away and trying to quarantine it with his "theory." And he never gave himself to service with or on behalf of others, of really joining them in the poverty and understanding and empathizing with them -- I thought he used his meditation as a shield around the mental cocoon he made for himself.
I feel bad giving this book such a poor review. I feel guilty criticizing or "judging" someone who has "mastered" meditation. But I had a knee-jerk reaction against what I saw a using the spiritual wisdom he had supposedly attained to keep his distance from the people, even while he was amongst them.
In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Helen Tworkov. Nonfiction. Kindle Edition. Published 07 May 2019. 5 Stars.
Superb. An intense, introspective and one-of-a-kind memoir as Rinpoche takes us through his soul-searching journey from ego and physical death to his amazing emergence from its ashes. You’ll find yourself in the capable hands of a passionate and seasoned teacher as he generously shares his journey and practices from overcoming anxiety to a miraculous rebirth. This book is a pungent observation of human frailty through an enlightenment process that does not surrender its wisdom easily. Transmuted to gold by the crucible of life, he emerges with a truth as ancient and glowing as the Buddha himself. Highly recommend!
This book is absolutely fabulous. The insights and wisdom shared by Mingyur Rinpoche are endless. I listened to this book on Audible and after chapter 1 purchased it in hard copy as it is lesson upon lesson of how to move beyond everything you identify with source your identity from pure awareness. I laughed, I got sweaty palms as he had to beg for his first meal...I cried as he wrestled with the decision for life or death. This book is beauty, love and wisdom. It is a must read for life!
Wonderful book. Not only was this autobio, from roughly a month of a Buddhist monk's life, interesting, the teachings, both directly expressed and implicit helped me greatly in understanding several points of Buddhist experience on which I had been in the dark. The author, having experienced panic disorder throughout his life, made me feel at home with the teachings, and hopeful for my own progress, as I, too, suffer from anxiety.
Such a wonderful interweaving of adventure story and Tibetan Buddhist teachings. Few books I’ve read have grounded the Buddhist teachings into daily life with such accessibility. Destined to be a spiritual classic.
Summary: Such an amazing story of this monk's journey. This is the perfect book during this period where the fear factors are so high. He really breaks down what matters given. Truly beautiful.
I love this idea of Bardo - i.e. the gap - that this silence is beautiful and is the whole point of understanding the present. I love the humility and the way he acknowledges his special treatment. Great reminder .... can't be reminded enough. p. 5 He talks about the idea of adding fuel to the fire. In some situations, the point is to be so aware of the full force of the fear that your body gets to know the sensation so it can understand and ultimately learn to be at peace with it.
p. 22 - Interesting to hear him describe the God Realm. This is the place of easiness. Everything is great. We must break that to evolve. But his point is that God realm is not the place where things are perfect, rather it’s the place where we are so incredibly comfy.
p. 37 - He’s talking about what awareness is using a variety of examples. This is the thing that lets us rise above and really be connected to this human experience but it is easy to get distracted by/trapped the discomfort.
p. 68 - He’s talking about this awareness that he’s being treated as special. But then he goes and acts the beggar so he can truly appreciate and be at one with the opposite scenario. This awareness is a part of being in the now. Wow dude.
p. 75 - Bardo/Gap is defined. Wow. Now I understand the breathing thing. The idea is that all of life all moments are actually in the in-between which we are constantly filling. but we need to appreciate what we are filing only by knowing what it is in nothingness. That is so deep.
p. 92 - “… Instead of needing to get rid of the panic, I needed to become familiar with the rigid sense of self that kept trying to hold things in place.” deep AF.
p. 94 - “… my experience of them meant that they were not nothing.” The point is panic only matters to the extent that we are experiencing them. It has not other existence outside of that.
p. 95 - We are not the sum of parts. He’s trying to explain that these negative things, panic, etc… we are not the composite. We are something else. Something more than this “mere-ness”. We are not static. so we cannot be these little things.
108- 109 - He starts to talk about death. this is a slightly over my head, but I think what he’s saying is that we cannot fear emptiness, b/c in reality that is actually what is real. Like above, when he’s saying we are the ones filling the emptiness.
p. 115 - The use of dreams as a part of our spiritual expansion.
p. 119 - “May i have happiness, May I be free” this mantra helps to stabilize him back into the presentness. p. 120 - expand the above mantra to others to find compassionate love for all.
p. 126 - his way of thinking about the fact that life is suffering. Yes. We cannot run. But we can face it, change our mind to our view of it. Become 1 with it.
p. 159 - This explains the breathing thing. We are using the breath as an anchor to the now. When you forget the breadth you are not meditating.
p. 179 - Becoming nobody is the reverse of the way life is. It helps us become at peace with the suffering. We are nobody vs. ego/fighting, we are somebody
p. 193 - meditation without this understanding of the Bardos will not lead to where you’re trying to get to. …. Sleep is a daily death that should help us come to terms with it if we use it well.
p. 213 - His musing on the loss of body and death if he were to hover over friends. Very profoundly beautifully written.
p. 227/228 - His experience of coming back. Wow. Crazy.
As a Buddhist, 5/5 - I loved it. I really enjoyed the way the author made very complex aspects of Tibetan Buddhism accessible and easy to understand. I will be reading more of Mingyur Rinpoche's work on this subject.
As a writer, 3/5 - The narrative arc of almost 85-90% of the book is about a journey that, in the end, we don't get more than about a month of. I was very interested in the process by which Rinpoche identified the labels he lived by and tried to peel back those layers of identity to get to an authentic experience; also, the contrast between what was essentially a life of privilege and comfort and jumping into a more "real world" existence with such dirty things as money, hunger and train tickets was very interesting and I would have loved to read more about that process over his retreat. However, the narrative seemed to get hijacked by his near-death experience which... really just took over and finished the book. I'm left wondering if the remaining story is taken up somewhere else.
Overall, 4/5 I loved the book, it was definitely worth the read.
A Buddhist monk who has basically been born into Buddhist royalty has this idea of doing a wandering retreat for a year; he sneaks off to do it, encountering a very different world than he has ever experienced. He gets down to who he is, and almost loses himself in the process. But compassion saves him, as it saves most often. Lovely story.
An excellent mix of Buddhist teaching alongside Mingyur Rinpoche’s experiences practicing the lessons of mindfulness from a Buddhist perspective by living on his own on the streets, trying to put what he’s learned into practice. To see what he went through and how he could gain insight into humanity through hardship helped me see the world differently as well.
Це книга, від якої я чекав дещо інше. Тут багато ідей із буддійської філософії, вчення. Багато тантричного буддизму. І мало, недостатньо для мене особистого досвіду людини, яка вирушає у подорож випробовування. Кожен розділ наповнений роздуми у контексті вчення, кожен розділ про різні фундаментальні засади. Я ж чекав побачити більше Мінгьюра як людини, яка може навіть сумніватися у найтемніші ночі життя.
There's something very funny about the thought of a venerated Buddhist monk - an abbott nonetheless - escaping from his monastery in the middle of the night and running away. After months of meticulous planning that's exactly how Rinpoche begins what will become several years of a wandering retreat for him. I felt it was also a great way to begin this memoir. I had been concerned that aspects of the book might be beyond my understanding as I don't have much of an understanding of Buddhism beyond the usual preconceptions (and, as it turns out, misconceptions). However to be greeted with a flawed flight which involves slipping into a muddy puddle immediately made me realise that I could understand Mingyur Rinpoche. He might come from a completely different culture, but too much haste resulting in a muddy puddle accident is an event with which I could easily identify.
In Love With The World is partly a memoir of the first month of Rinpoche's retreat and partly a tome for him to impart relevant Buddhist teachings to his readers. I did feel therefore as though I was starting to learn about the religion from the middle, but I could mostly keep up with the concepts being discussed and understood the points being made. It wasn't until the final chapters and Rinpoche's description of his near-death experience that I lost track of what he was trying to say. I enjoyed the earlier recounting of stories and the information imparted about the places visited. It was also very interesting and helpful to me to read about episodes such as Rinpoche's intense anxiety during his first ever unaccompanied train journey (he's 36 years old). I would have imagined that a Buddhist abbot would be serene under any circumstances, so to learn that he had to employ breathing and relaxation exercises to calm himself was reassuring to me.
I didn't realise that In Love With The World would only cover such a short period of Rinpoche's retreat. I would have preferred to have learned more about the whole period of travel with less religious theory, although I understand that teaching Buddhism is Rinpoche's vocation. My reading here has encouraged me to discover more about Buddhism and its history, and the whole concept of meditation.
This is a great book for those after a relatable teaching on the Buddhist way.
The thread of the book is a story about a Monk's near-death experience, which spans a few days. The story is used as a reference for the writer to imbue his teachings on all the big topics in Buddhism: impermanence, awareness, death, rebirth, the no-self, and he also covers lesser-talked-about topics: sleep and dreams, working with pain, and giving. Attachment is not covered specifically.
The story is written very personally, taking you through each thought, which gives the reader a real understanding of how a monk thinks. He experiences the same doubts and feelings we have all experienced when faced with personal challenges and therefore seeing his thought process and method of overcoming these doubts and feelings is very insightful.
If you are at the very beginning of your journey of challenging the Western philosophical approach you will find the bulk of the second half of this book less accessible, but there will still be much to takeaway for you on the whole. If you are a few years into your investigations on Buddhism then you will find takeaways throughout the book as the author covers so much ground and with sufficient depth.
The story is set in the heart of Buddha territory in India which can inspire our inner-traveller.
Yongey Mingyur has a writing style with flow and grace making it a very enjoyable, relaxing read - the perfect setting to further your understanding of the Buddhist way.
In Love With The World : A Monks Journey Through The Bardos of Living and Dying by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche due 5-7-2019 Random House/Spiegel & Gran 5.0 / 5.0
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche began studying Tibetan Buddhism and attending retreats to help learn how to deal with death. A bardo believes the stage between ´dying´ and ´rebirth´ is ´becoming´. Yongey felt it would help him come closer to the state of Pure Awareness. Yongey went on a retreat and became deathly ill with food poisoning. He was told he might die. Yongey was able to use his studies to practice his training with living with death.
This is beautifully written and presented in a way that is easy to understand and follow. The idea of perpetual awareness-staying open to the moment-not grasping for permanence....the idea that everything you ever wanted is here in your present moment of awareness really resonate with me. Its one of the reasons I began studying Buddhism years ago. When we attempt to equate productivity with success, to grasp on to life, make them solid and we begin to lose ourselves. The trick is to stay open and accepting to the present.
I loves this...its a great introduction to an awesome mindset. Thanks to the publisher and author for this e-book ARC for review. #netgalley #InLoveWithTheWorld
This is a story of the first few weeks of Yongey Mingyur's multi-year retreat living as a wandering begging monk in India. It starts off as a gripping adventure story, the abbot escapes from his monastery and rides on 3rd class rail to Varanasi. He gives philosophical context to his actions and helps the reader understand his background and his intentions. So, a strong beginning.
But it is a chatty, unstructured work and towards the end I found myself flipping pages wanting to see what happened.
The best part is seeing just which meditation practices an experienced Buddhist might apply in various adverse situations.
It would have been better if there was a little more story, and a little less philosophy.
The teaching on the Bardo are front and center in this work. I've always found these teachings a little too neat and 'just so' when faced with messy reality. And a little too obsessed with the after-life. So seeing him fit all of his experiences into this framework is impressive, but didn't convince me and if anything confirmed my doubts.
I first saw this book with my best friend who had borrowed it from a local cafe near our school. Then my ex recommended it to me. Then I saw someone in my class reading it and I knew I had to read this book. Being somewhat familiar with Buddhist teachings, I unlike some, don’t find the content of this book too complicated in terms of the teachings. This book too me is an inspiring account of a genuine Buddhist practitioner working with the hardest of circumstances and thriving because of the dharma. My motivation for dharma practice has also been to become able to navigate challenging circumstances without falling apart. And this book depicts that that is possible. If I could be an ounce as dedicated as this man in my practice, surely enlightenment is possible?
In Love with the World by Yonget Mingyur Rinpoche is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early May.
The writings of Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk on retreat/sabbatical to study other religions and end-of-life rituals in Asia. It has some elements of The Celestine Prophecy where the journey is the book’s way of conveying lessons and teachings (i.e. chaptered vignettes on mindfulness, facing and acknowledging anxious thoughts and transgressions, impermanence, experiencing both awareness and emptiness).
Three separate streams (Buddha's life, Mingyur's life and Buddhism precepts) so beautiful merged together is a very satisfying read. Even if you don't agree with all of the buddha's teachings, it's just a fun autobiographical account of someone's journey thru the Buddhist experience.