Born into a family of highly accomplished meditation teachers in Nepal,Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche decided in 2011 to “add wood to the fire.”
It’s a technique developed hundreds of years ago — Tibetan Buddhists “add wood to the fire” by putting themselves into uncomfortable situations so they can improve their meditation practice. This practice is used to shake up the comfortable, habitual patterns of even the most adept monks meditating alone in caves or with other like-minded practitioners in monasteries.
Mingyur Rinpoche had been accompanied throughout his life by at least one attendant and treated like a “dharma prince” since his earliest years. Inspired by the great yogi Milarepa and one of his teachers Khen Nyoshul Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche left it all behind and took to the streets of India and Nepal.
He embarked on this retreat to shed his titles and roles, to find out who he was when not the Abbott of his monasteries, when not teaching his students worldwide and when he’d left all he’d known behind. He would not return for four and a half years.
In Love with the World: A Monk’s Journey through the Bardos of Living and Dying is the autobiographical account of his solo wandering retreat in northern India and Nepal.
In his book Rinpoche brings us along on his journey, from his well-planned “escape” from his monastery to being chased by dogs in the night and meditating in pouring rain, and his near death beside the Buddha’s own Cremation Stupa at Kushinagar.
For every account of adventure, Rinpoche adds profound teachings, using himself and his own reactions to unaccustomed situations as examples. He provides clear insight into how a well-practiced monastic approaches everyday life and its challenges. His humanity and candour lend confidence that each of us, too, has “a Buddha at my core,” and his teachings encourage us to recognize and bring that enlightened essence to the fore.
Mingyur Rinpoche has made the study of the mind and its workings his lifework. He embarked on this path at age eleven when he began training at Sherab Ling monastery in northern India. Then, at the age of thirteen, he begged his way into a three-year monastic retreat, advancing to become retreat master at the age of seventeen. It is almost unheard of to become a retreat master at such a young age and more unusual still to embark on such an extended wandering yogi retreat.
On June 21, this courageous teacher, Mingyur Rinpoche, will come to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, to impart with us what he discovered on his wandering retreat and to share his near death experience.