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In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,631 ratings  ·  207 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Random House
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Start your review of In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying
This is a tricky one to rate.

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 dedicat
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I am a monk; a son, a brother, and an uncle; a Buddhist; a meditation teacher; a tulku, an abbot, and an author; a Tibetan Nepali; a human being. Which one describes the essential me?”

In 2011 Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche left a note on his bed, walked out of his monastery in India and began a four year wandering retreat.

Inspired by Tibetan Buddhist Yogis of the past, he aspired to achieve enlightenment and experience his true Buddha nature.

Following the Tibetan principle of ‘adding wood to the fire’
Paul Oppenheimer
An intimate teaching story

A first-person narrative of the author’s coming to terms with the teachings of his traditions. Written clearly and without pretending.

Nuno R.
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. ...more
Smitha Murthy
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 li ...more
Gedun Drakpa
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 be
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying
Author: Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Helen Tworkov
Publisher: Random House Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Review Date: March 30, 2019

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb:
“A rare, intimate account of a world-renowned Buddhist monk’s near-death experience and the life-changing wisdom he gained from it.”

This is a fantastic book for Tibet
Dawn Tessman
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Producervan in Cornville, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.
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 fr
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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!
Marc  Mannheimer
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Markus Stobbs
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
May Ling
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 som
John Kaufmann
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
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 experienci ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
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.
Teri Temme
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"...pause and notice what we already have..."
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The most startling book I’ve read for years. It opens my heart.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 perso
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
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 tol
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 dharm
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
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
Raghav Sharma
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
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. ...more
Lian Seng
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting presentation of Tibetan meditation practices and Bardo teachings using a wandering retreat as the backdrop
Jul 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This luminous book is a real gem, and quite unique.

The abbot of a Buddhist monastery in India decides to do a three-year retreat. But rather than going to a shrine or other typical refuge, he will wander anonymously throughout India, begging for his food, and becoming a nobody. For someone who has always had servants, has never handled money, and is accustomed to being a VIP, this will be a great shock.

More than a memoir, this book is an intimate look into an advanced soul undertaking a truly ri
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: east
This was a nice read, not really a story as the description claims, not a holy text, but rather a friendly teaching. It was written by a man with very intimate lifelong knowledge of buddhism.
(Disclaimer, I know close to nothing of buddhism.)

I am quite strongly against western divorce of meditation from the spiritual practise, because then we end up with 'mindfulness to boost your start up revenues' kind of approach, which is driving me insane. This book provides easily accessible piece to count
Bob Woodley
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
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.

There were some good takeaways that I highlighted such as joy being a by-product of meditation and not the goal. The goal is awareness, and we tend to miss that, which then leads to "unproductive" meditation that doesn't go the way we would like it to.

I suppose I intended to gain exposure to ideas from a monk about how to live a better more fulfilled life. While there were little tidbits here and there, overall the book just talked about Mingyur's initial journey outside of the temple walls and
Jun 08, 2021 rated it liked it
While I found this book generally interesting, I do feel like a book about a Tibetan monk’s solo retreat into the wilderness alone should have been a bit more compelling.

This book is a very interesting look into a monk’s experience leaving the comfort of a monastery and facing life alone in the world where no one knows you. While sections of this book were enlightening and very enjoyable, a lot of the book felt like it could have been structured and written in a far stronger way.

There’s not a
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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 t ...more

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