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Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,259 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first book, The Joy of Living, was a New York Times bestseller hailed as “compelling, readable, and informed” (Buddhadharma) and praised by Richard Gere, Lou Reed, and Julian Schnabel for its clarity, w ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Harmony (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  1,259 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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♥ Ibrahim ♥
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it

It is wisdom to embrace change. We should not block distractions or give in to them. Instead, I should welcome them as friends: Hello fear! Hello itch! How are you? Why don't you stick around a while so we can get to know each other?" This practice of welcoming thoughts, emotions, and sensations is commonly referred to as mindfulness, drenpa in Tibetan language, that is, to become conscious. Once I offer to make friends with my mind, it's astonishing to discover how shy it soon becomes. When I n
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
It's kind of random how I came across this book - I had never heard of it before in spite of its best seller status. I know I've hinted before that I'm going through some big things in my personal life, so I'm sure this genre of book makes sense in that respect, but the biggest thing that lead me to this book is that my husband has really gotten into Buddhism lately and I wanted to be able to keep up with him so I searched my library catalog for "Buddhism" and perused the selection. I narrowed t ...more
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
The first book about Buddhism I would recommend is "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama. The second book is this one. The author explains how to apply Buddhist philosophy to the human problems we all deal with on a daily basis. He shows how different methods of meditation can be used to get through common problems like self-doubt and frustration with work. He clearly explains step-by-step methods and illustrates his points with stories anyone can relate to. He is good at explaining Buddhist ...more
Brad Carl
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was way more than I bargained for or expected, but if you want to know about Buddhism this is the book to read.
Cynthia Egbert
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, library
I adored this book and am buying my own copy. I listened to this one on audio and the author uses one word repeatedly that he pronounced in an odd fashion and I just desperately wanted to make notes in the book as I was listening so I am looking forward to sitting down with my own hard copy. I could seriously just copy the entire book here aas good quotes but I am just going to add the ones most profound to me.

If you have a little water in ear, pour in more water and drain it all out. A illustra
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Kind introduction to many key concepts and practices in Buddhist mindfulness meditation (e.g. Four Noble Truths, awareness, insight, empathy).

As the author succinctly puts it at the end of the book, “joyful wisdom comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.” (p. 268)
Diana Shaffner
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
What a wonderful book! Joyful Wisdom, who cannot use a dose of that?! In this book the author who sometimes describes himself as a 'happy little monk' starts out telling about his childhood struggles with intense anxiety that caused him problems well into his young adult years. He dealt with these difficulties despite having a loving home and a famous master of meditation as a father. While this book is full of wisdom, the perhaps most powerful one standing out is the one on impermanence. Nothin ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave it 5 stars because this book sparked so many conversations. Some tough and complicated ones.

I thought this book was kind of self help book, but it turned out to be ‘very Buddhis’. It’s About the concept of buddhist teachings such as mindfulness and how to practice meditation. It’s very interesting for me.

I might not be able to undestand it fully now - i really need to reread it again - but i got many ideas. I think that what makes a good book!
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Anastasiya Mozgovaya
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a must-read!

it is impossible to prevent change from happening, but it is possible to prepare yourself. an extremely nurturing book.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very relatable and has some good life advice even if you are not interested in religion.
Bob Woodley
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is an introduction to Buddhist meditation, but since the author is so highly trained there are tidbits and perspectives that are not usually found in introductory texts. I learned more than I expected.

Mingyur's personal narratives are particularly enjoyable since his upbringing was so unusual. I hope someday he writes an auto-biography.

He speaks in a contemporary voice that will be easy and natural for most readers. He voice is refreshing and modern compared to the tone used by the writers
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2021, dharma
Is it just me or does this book lack a purpose? Many things are said and I don't feel like we stay on the subject long enough.
Matthew Turner
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's been a long time since I have read a book on Buddhism and it was overdue. It's nice to get some perspective on modern day living from time to time. I had previously read a book by his holiness, the Dali Lama and I felt that I had a strong sense of what each of the four Noble Truths of Buddhism were after finishing his book. This book wasn't as concrete on what they were. I couldn't decide if that was a good or bad thing. The very fact that the author is more vague than the Dali Lama makes ...more
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was an in deep text about what is taught with words about Zen philosophy and meditation in a Buddhist temple in São Paulo. Although there are things that I personally don't agree, the book covered the subject clearly and deep enough. ...more
Bryce Holt
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even excellent books can catch you at the wrong time. This was a good book (I listened to the audiobook, FYI), but I think the messages were sadly lost on me. The messages of detaching oneself from fear, desire and those things that hold you back from living life as it should be lived...I just can't do it right now. I can't just breathe out the stress; can't detach myself from my work. It's sad to recognize that what this monk is telling me I need to do to "find freedom" is the very thing I just ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nicholas by: Nate
So far, the book is living up to its title. For example, pg. 84,

"Now, peeing may not be anyone's idea of an enlightening experience, but I can tell you that once I empty my bladder, I recognize that the deep sense of relief I feel in that moment is a good analogy for the Third Noble Truth: that relief was with me all the time as what you might call a basic condition. I just didn't recognize it because it was temporarily obscured by all that water. But afterwards, I was able to recognize it and
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first time learning some of the concepts of Buddism and I was really happy with this introduction. A wonderful look at the basic of this ideology with great step by step procedures for getting started. I loved all the examples Yongey Mingyur uses from people's real lives and the way things were broken down for easier understanding. My first complaint is that it is a bit repetitive in the middle and I found myself losing interest, but the last few chapters made up for it. The other co ...more
Jan 16, 2013 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'd like to write a quick review:

I read this after finishing "The Joy of Living." My friend swapped these books with me. I don't identify as a Buddhist, but I will say that much of his teachings and stories are uplifting and inspire me to cultivate a sense of stability in my life and compassion towards all beings. Yongey Mingyur alludes to his childhood, when he was filled with anxiety. I relate to this well, as I too have experienced anxiety in the middle portion of my life.

Stylistically, his
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
A kind, gentle, and practical approach to developing awareness, insight, and empathy. I appreciated his approach to breaking down difficult mind states into smaller, easier-to-deal-with units and his caution to not overdo and to change up your practice to keep it fresh and relevant. His techniques and analogies are accessible such as his observation that the increased arising of difficult emotions can be a sign that your practice is progressing, like a dirty dish soaking in water. While the dish ...more
Tenzin Tsokey
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I find this book a testament of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche's personel practices and insights into meditation and Buddhist science. I am sure he has done really amazing job by writing this book for thousands of readers knowingly or unknowingly hunting for such book long times back.
Infact, it took me for awhile to read this book easily because I can not turn to next page to next without giving a thoughts to a particular page that I had read, as almost every single pages in the book demanding your no
Nicholas Carpenito
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a truly great read. It was insightful, it was light hearted, funny, and powerful. I learned things from it, I laughed a lot reading it, and I felt like following the lessons in it would really make me a more complete person, more able to help others find their way.
At not point did I feel compelled to finish this book, you can read it, put it down for a month, and start again, and nothing is lost. It feels like listening to an old friend speak to you, not like being preached to or taug
Rif A. Saurous
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fine addition to the Buddhist canon. A mix of philosophy and semi-practical instruction. I especially appreciated Mingyur's perspective, his discussions of his own struggles and what he still struggles with.

Compared to some of the more westernized books, Mingyur focuses more on using meditation and self-examination to make immediate incremental improvements to your life, and less on a binary enlightened vs. not enlightened or awake vs. not awake perspective. While I find myself wanting to beli
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
Pretty hard to judge this one unbiased since Mingyur Rinpoche is my favorite author and teacher. I watch a lot of his free videos on YouTube and even those are pretty helpful.

What I find very useful from this book is that it can serve as a meditation guide for a long time. Granted, many other books on Buddhism are the same way, but Rinpoche's teachings are ones I find that resonates most easily with me.

Like many other books on meditation this one would be better served with more theoretical expl
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As a student of Mingyur Rinpoche, I am thrilled that his new book, JOYFUL WISDOM, is coming out soon! Much needed in this 'age of anxiety!'

Rinpoche shows us how to embrace change and find freedom within - JOYFUL WISDOM is filled with new shamatha and vipassana practices and concludes with loving-kindness/compassion techniques. The final section suggests ways to apply each of these practices more skillfully.

Rinpoche teaches with warmth, compassion, wisdom, and joy - his teachings are great for t
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is definitely the best book of buddhist practice I have read (and I've read a few). Clear and concise explanations of the theory and practice of meditation. If you have not teacher or school, this is as good a guide as you will find until such time as you connects with a teacher or sangha where you can receive some individual guidance. Yongey Minhyur draws from his tradition, his personal learnings and Western neuroscience to help us become more acquainted with our minds and relationships w ...more
Maggi Scott
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This and the Joy of Living Book are an excellent clear introduction to Buddhist meditation coupled with the context of current physics and other science understandings of matter, particulalrly quantum theory, and that the smaller and smaller we divide things, they are never finished, so it is with conciousness.

Excellent practices, using our senses, an object, breath etc.

He is probably the funniest teacher and understands the Western mind in how to explain complex ideas v simply, he understands
Virginia Lambing
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, and lend it to everyone I can convince to read it. It makes you question your thought processes and patterns, and encourages meditation as a way to 'calm' the mind. This book puts everything in life (the little stressors to the big challenges) in perspective, from a Buddhist point of view.

Definitely read if you're even remotely interested in Tibetan Buddhism, philosophy, or stress-management.
Fred Chamberlain
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a solid and engaging book that explains the practical aspects of Buddhism without beating readers over the head with the spiritual aspects of it that eventually drove it to become a religion. I often smile when I consider how much cognitive behavioral theory mirrors Buddhist practice. A great read for anyone. Whether you are knowledgeable of the practice or curious, this book is grounded in entertaining and useful analogies and stories to reinforce points.
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To cut through problems, we need problems. 2 11 Apr 25, 2013 10:39PM  
great reviews of JOYFUL WISDOM and a fun video from Mingyur Rinpoche! 1 20 Mar 28, 2009 12:33PM  

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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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